Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay $190 million to settle a class action filed by about 3800 women who were secretly videotaped during gynecological examinations by a doctor, Nikita Levy, who was a staff member at the hospital. The preliminary settlement, approved by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Sylverster Cox is believed to be the largest settlement of this sort.
Nikita Levy killed himself in Feb. 2013, two weeks after an employee of the hospital told higher-ups at Johns Hopkins about a penlike device Dr. Levy wore around his neck during patient examinations that she believed to be a camera. While Johns Hopkins did not admit to wrongdoing, it did say in a statement it believes the settlement is “fair and properly balances the concerns of thousands of Plaintiffs with the obligations the health system has to provide ongoing and superior care to the community.”
After receiving the insider tip, Johns Hopkins Hospital security searched Dr. Levy’s office and uncovered several of the penlike devices. Baltimore County police also stormed his home with search warrants and uncovered multiple data storage servers suspected of housing explicit depictions of his patients. The class action suit filed last fall alleged that the institution failed to “discover, stop and report” Dr. Levy because its staff was not trained to recognize and report perverse conduct and patients were not offered the option of having a chaperone present during examinations and procedures. It was also alleged that the institution failed to investigate properly reports of misconduct.