Johns Hop­kins to pay $190 mil­lion to set­tle suits over pelvic exam pho­tos

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

A “rogue” gy­ne­col­o­gist’s se­cret use of tiny cam­eras to record hun­dreds of videos and pho­tos of his pa­tients’ sex or­gans has led to a $190 mil­lion set­tle­ment with about 8,000 women and girls, lawyers said last week.

Dr. Nikita Levy was fired af­ter 25 years with Johns Hop­kins Health Sys­tem in Bal­ti­more in Fe­bru­ary 2013 af­ter a fe­male co-worker alerted au­thor­i­ties about a pen-like cam­era he wore around his neck.

He com­mit­ted sui­cide days later, as a fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion led to roughly 1,200 videos and 140 im­ages stored on com­put­ers in his home.

“All of these women were bru­tal­ized by this,” said their lead at­tor­ney, Jonathan Scho­chor. “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.”

The pre­lim­i­nary set­tle­ment ap­proved by a judge is one of the largest on record in the U.S. in­volv­ing sex­ual mis­con­duct by a physi­cian. It all but closes a case that never pro­duced crim­i­nal charges but se­ri­ously threat­ened the rep­u­ta­tion of the prom­i­nent med­i­cal cen­ter.

Johns Hop­kins said in­sur­ance will cover the set­tle­ment, which “prop­erly bal­ances the con­cerns of thou­sands of plain­tiffs with obli­ga­tions the health sys­tem has to pro­vide on­go­ing and su­pe­rior care to the com­mu­nity.”

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