The LA Times reports Johns Hopkins hospital will award $190 million as a settlement to several women who were secretly taped by one of the Baltimore hospital’s gynecologists.
In February of 2013, one of Dr. Nikita Levi’s colleagues alerted the hospital to a suspicious device he wore around his neck, resembling a writing pen. The colleague was concerned he was using a spy camera.
Her suspicions were confirmed after security officials visited Dr. Levi’s office and found a number of spy camera devices that the gynecologist used while performing exams on his patients, violating their privacy and safety.
Less than two weeks after the Baltimore police investigation, the doctor killed himself.
Soon after the scandal, the victims filed a class-action against the hospital.
On Monday, the patients and Johns Hopkins’ attorneys agreed on a proposal to pay $190 million to the victims by the hospital system’s insurers.
“When learning of Dr. Levy’s behavior, our clients were extremely distraught,” said the plaintiffs’ attorneys on Monday. “They felt a great breach of faith and trust. They felt betrayed. Now, with this proposed settlement, we can begin the process of healing our community.”
Officials said more than 1,200 images and videos clips were discovered on 10 hard drives at Dr. Levi’s home, however there is no evidence that any of the material was shared.
According to the doctor’s attorneys, since only genitals were shown in the footage it is impossible to tell which patients were taped.
More than 9,000 plaintiffs claimed that the hospital failed to notice Dr. Levi was recording them. They also alleged the doctor conducted exams that were unchaperoned, excessive in number, and sometimes even included “boundary violations,” on numerous occasions.
One of the doctor’s distraught patients, 67-year-old Myra James told the Associated Press she had been going to Dr. Levi for check-ups for the past 20 years.
“I can’t bring myself to go back,” James said. “You’re lying there, exposed. It’s violating and it’s horrible, and my trust is gone. Period.”
James added she hasn’t been able to go to a gynecologist since the news came out in 2013.
Hospital officials claimed that they have no information about what motivated Dr. Levi’s actions, and they believe he acted alone.
Johns Hopkins officials released a statement apologizing to the victims.
“We assure you that one individual does not define Johns Hopkins,” they stated. “Johns Hopkins is defined by the tens of thousands of employees who come to work determined to provide world-class care for our patients and their families.”
The settlement proposal is yet to be approved by a judge, with the next hearing in the case scheduled for Sept. 19.More Like This: News, News & Politics, Video