Global Settlement Reached on Behalf of 80 Claimants Alleging Sexual Misconduct at USC’s Student Health Center by Former Men’s Health Physician Dennis Kelly

San Francisco, California, UNITED STATES

LOS ANGELES, April 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Attorneys representing 80 individuals who filed lawsuits and made claims against the University of Southern California and former USC men’s health physician Dennis Kelly for allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment have reached a global settlement.

“The settlement was achieved through the persistence and bravery of our clients who had the strength to come forward to share the harrowing details of their experiences at the USC Student Health Center and the determination to hold USC accountable for its failure to protect its students,” said plaintiffs’ attorney, Mikayla Kellogg, partner at Kellogg & Van Aken LLP. “The settlement today is another step toward closure for our clients who finally feel a sense of recognition and validation for speaking up.”

Kellogg & Van Aken LLP filed the original civil lawsuit against USC and Dennis Kelly over three years ago, in February 2019, when six LGBTQ+ male USC graduates came forward with allegations that Dr. Kelly engaged in inappropriate sexual misconduct during appointments at the USC Student Health Center and discriminated against them based on their sexual orientation and gender. Since the original filing, 74 additional individuals have come forward, bringing the total number of claimants to 80.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Kelly Van Aken, partner at Kellogg & Van Aken LLP, said, “It has been a long three years for our courageous clients who have persevered through intense scrutiny to ensure their voices have been heard. It is our hope that by taking these allegations public and speaking out on behalf of dozens of current and former students of USC, institutions entrusted with the care of vulnerable young people are forced to confront and correct the toxic and problematic cultures that allow abuse and misconduct to continue.”

Kellogg & Van Aken LLP represented the largest number of individuals in this case (57) and served as plaintiffs’ liaison counsel (lead counsel) for all plaintiffs who were part of the litigation. The terms of the settlement shall remain confidential.

Dennis Kelly was a physician at USC’s Student Health Center from 1997 to 2018. The claimants allege that Dennis Kelly used his position of trust and authority as USC’s men’s health physician to engage in sexual misconduct under the guise of medical care and disproportionately targeted LGBTQ+ patients.  They further allege that USC received complaints about Dennis Kelly’s misconduct but failed to adequately address them and continued to allow Dr. Kelly to see and treat vulnerable young students without limitation.

Media Contact:
James Lee

Kellogg & Van Aken

Kellogg & Van Aken is a civil litigation firm dedicated to seeking justice for individuals who have been harmed, and survivors of sexual abuse and assault. For more information, please go to

A PDF accompanying this announcement of a Joint Statement from USC and Kellogg & Van Aken is available at



2022-04-27 - Joint Press Statement - USC - Kelly.pdf