There’s no doubt that Dr. Nikita A. Levy was a creep of the highest order, a gynecologist who secretly recorded his patients’ intimate body parts during routine exams. Last week, the hospital where practiced agreed to pay $190 million to more than 7,000 women.
Although Levy killed himself last year during the investigation of his actions, spurred by the observations of his colleague, Johns Hopkins Hospital was responsible as the facility where Nikita’s gross violation of doctor-patient trust unfolded. According to the New York Times, it was one of the largest medical malpractice cases of its kind.
No criminal charges were filed, because it was determined that Levy had not shared the more than 1,000 videos and images he had stored on home computers. But a class-action lawsuit against the hospital accused him of “harmful and offensive sexual” contact with patients.
The civil suit charged the hospital with invasion of privacy, emotional distress and negligence in its oversight of Dr. Levy, who practiced in a community clinic in East Baltimore run by Johns Hopkins.
The hospital identified nearly 12,700 patients Levy might have treated during the 25 years he was an employee. Investigators believe that he began recording patients with tiny cameras hidden in a pen or a key fob around 2005.
After learning of Levy’s actions, many of the women victims reported disturbances in their work and personal lives.
If the settlement is approved by the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, each plaintiff’s circumstances will be reviewed to determine her share of the damages. But no amount of money can compensate for the horrible loss of trust a patient deserves to have in her health-care provider.