Johnss Hopkins Gynecologist killed himself after getting caught secretly recording women1
Johns Hopkins, one of the world’s most prestigious medical institutions, has agreed to pay $190 million to settle claims by thousands of women against a gynecologist who used a tiny camera to surreptitiously make hundreds of videos and photos of patients.
But an attorney for the Baltimore medical center on Monday described Nikita Levy as “a rogue employee” and said Hopkins should not be blamed for his actions.
“Just because he was an employee doesn’t make Johns Hopkins responsible for what he did,” the lawyer, Don DeVries, said at a joint news conference with the plaintiffs’ lawyers. He said Hopkins agreed to settle because “we are trying to find a balance between the patients … and the interests of Johns Hopkins to provide top quality care” in the future.
But one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Jonathan Schochor, said that Levy was acting in his capacity as a physician and that the hospital was obligated to supervise him and should have known what he was doing.
Although psychological profiling consultants suggested possibilities for why Levy might have done what he did, Schochor said, “We were given no information about what actually motivated him.”
Members of the plaintiffs’ legal team said there was no evidence Levy conspired with others or shared the images, or that the hospital knew that he was secretly recording patients.
Levy was fired last year after a female co-worker came forward with her suspicions. He was forced to turn over the pen-like camera he’d used, and he committed suicide days later. Investigators discovered about 1,200 videos and 140 images stored on computer servers in his home.
The settlement approved by a judge, while preliminary, is one of the largest on record in the U.S. involving sexual misconduct by a physician.