The relationship between a person and their physician can be very intimate: personal details are shared, details that would often be shared with no one else. This is especially true between a woman and her gynecologist. Doctor Nikita A. Levy violated that trust by photographing the women that he was treating and now Johns Hopkins is paying $190 million to try and make right for that betrayal.
Dr. Levy was a gynecologist at Johns Hopkins. Levy committed suicide last year after a female co-worker reported the pen-like camera he wore. The tip resulted in a police investigation and, over a year later, no criminal charges. It was, however, originally speculated that as many as a thousand women could have been violated by the doctor’s actions.
“Dr. Levy treated women in the most personal and private medical situations. One can only imagine the pain, embarrassment and outrage these women felt when they became aware, via a news story, that Dr. Levy was being investigated for secretly taking video and pictures during those encounters with him,” said Scott Lucas, an attorney with the Cochran Firm’s, a branch of Levin, Papantonio, local office.
A number of women reported that, after hearing news of the doctor’s actions, reported trouble with returning to the doctor.
“I can’t bring myself to go back,” said Myra James, 67, to the Associated Press. “You’re lying there, exposed. It’s violating and it’s horrible, and my trust is gone. Period.”
Authorities found images and videos of patients on Dr. Levy’s computer. Police have found no evidence suggesting that the doctor shared the images with anyone. All of the images will be destroyed, following a court order.
The $190 million settlement is still subject to approval from Judge Sylvester B. Cox following a “fairness hearing” at which the women will be given an opportunity to speak.
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.