In a record-breaking medical malpractice settlement, Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay $190 million in compensation to women whose pelvic exams were secretly recorded by one of the hospital’s doctors. The settlement will involve thousands of women in a series of violations that goes back as far as 2005.
Dr. Nikita A Levy worked at Johns Hopkins Community Medicine in Baltimore, MD as an obstetrician and gynecologist. After a female colleague reported her suspicion that the “pen” he wore around his neck during his office visits was actually a recording device, Dr. Levy was fired from his position in February, 2013 and committed suicide 10 days later.
During the course of their investigation, police and FBI officials uncovered over 1,000 images and films that the doctor had stored on his computer. They concluded that the images had not been shared.
Criminal charges were not filed; the settlement with the hospital was part of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of patients. In that suit, the hospital was charged with invasion of privacy, emotional distress, and negligence for its insufficient supervision of the doctor.
Medical malpractice settlement
Over 8,000 women contacted attorneys upon hearing of the violations and the medical malpractice lawsuit involved eight law firms. According to the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, “All of these women were brutalized by this. Some of these women needed counseling, they were sleepless, they were dysfunctional in the workplace, they were dysfunctional at home, they were dysfunctional with their mates. This breach of trust, this betrayal — this is how they felt.”
Some female patients also report being abused verbally by the doctor or being touched in an inappropriate manner, as well as being called in frequently for unnecessary pelvic exams.
The amount that each patient will receive will be determined by specialists who analyze the degree of trauma that each woman has undergone as a result of learning about the violations. There is no way, according to the plaintiff’s counsel, to ascertain precisely which patients were filmed or photographed in all cases. The settlement has been approved at a preliminary level by the presiding judge and is subject to final approval.
New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers offer sound legal advice
The case involving Dr. Levy has been a high profile lawsuit because of the number of patients involved and also because it threatened to tarnish Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the leading healthcare institutions in the country. Unfortunately, cases where a doctor violates a patient’s privacy in this manner occur in other states and institutions across the nation.
If a patient is contacted about privacy violation issues by a hospital or if she feels that she has been subject to this kind of abuse or violation, she should contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers are available to consult with patients who believe that they have been victimized by their doctor in this way. The law firm of Eisbrouch Marsh has the experience and resources to handle such cases. To arrange a confidential, no-cost review of your case, please call us at 201-342-5545.
- NY Times, Hospital Agrees to Pay $190 Million Over Recording of Pelvic Exams http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/22/us/johns-hopkins-settlement-190-million.html?_r=0
- NY Daily News, Johns Hopkins to pay $190 million for OB-GYN who secretly recorded women in examining room: lawyers http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/pelvic-exam-pics-cost-johns-hopkins-190m-lawyers-article-1.1874623