A class action lawsuit has been filed accusing Dr. Nikita Levy, a gynecologist who worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital for more than fifteen years, of photographing his patients during examinations – and victims of this egregious violation of privacy may not even know that it happened. Attorneys handling the case are currently trying to contact and inform more than 12,000 women seen by Dr. Nikita between 1988 and 2013, as they may be able to take part in the lawsuit.
Dr. Levy breached the trust of his patients and of Johns Hopkins.
Registration for the suit was announced last week, with no deadline currently set.
While potential victims of Dr. Levy’s alleged crimes – it’s important to note that no monetary settlement has yet been reached – may be understandably reluctant to come forward, attorneys are keen to contact as many former patients as possible. The Baltimore Sun reports that John Hopkins Medicine has already agreed to participate in “early settlement discussions,” while a spokesperson added that "Dr. Levy breached the trust of his patients and of Johns Hopkins."
Incredibly, the recordings only came to light because of an observant staff member.
Dr. Levy was first accused of filming or photographing patients after a colleague reported seeing him wearing a pen camera in the office. When challenged by officials, Dr. Levy surrendered several other recording devices. Recorded images of patients from the gynecology practice were later found stored on ten different servers. The number of images is not known.
Former patients have since come forward to report inappropriate remarks made by Dr. Levy during examinations, as well as what attorneys have labeled “sexual boundary issues.” However, more than two-thirds of those who qualify to join the lawsuit have yet to contact attorneys.
Dr. Levy committed suicide only days after the accusations against him were made.
Hospital officials are now working to resolve the matter of compensation after class certification was granted. If you were seen by Dr. Levy for an obstetrics or gynecological appointment between 1988 and 2013, you can register to join the class action. UPDATE: In July 2014, Johns Hopkins Hospital agreed to settle a class action lawsuit over these allegations and provide affected patients with compensation, but the deadline to register for the settlement has passed.