(Baltimore, MD – July 21, 2014) – Howard Janet, managing partner of Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC, and vice chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, said today a $190 million settlement agreement between Johns Hopkins and thousands of patients of Dr. Nikita Levy "cannot erase the memories or ease the grief of victims” but will allow the “healing process to begin that much sooner."
The settlement agreement was given preliminary approval today by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Sylvester Cox, and then announced publicly at a news conference. The agreement potentially affects up to 12,500 former patients of Dr. Levy, who is accused of secretly videotaping and photographing patients during exams and engaging in boundary violations between physicians and patients.
Judge Cox has to give his final approval before the agreement can go into effect. Janet, a key negotiator on behalf of the victims, said a hearing on final approval is expected to take place in September.
“If the judge gives final approval to the agreement, we will begin the process of determining compensation for each victim,” he said.
Among Levy’s patients, Janet noted, were dozens of children.
"The nature of Levy's conduct was so reprehensible, he took his own life rather than face up to it," Janet said.
Dr. Levy died in February 2013 from an apparent suicide, shortly after allegations against him became public.
Other key points of the settlement agreement include:
- Women must be registered members of the settlement by Nov. 14, 2014, to receive compensation. Those who already have registered do not have to do so again. Questions about registration can be directed to www.DrLevyClassAction.com.
- A court-appointed claims adjudicator will determine which claims are valid and the degree of harm that occurred, which will determine compensation.
- The compensation is coming entirely from the hospital’s insurers, since charitable institutions are protected from civil liability exceeding the limits of their insurance coverage under Maryland law.
"This class action involves sexual abuse and shocking and horrendous invasions of privacy, both in the context of a physician/patient relationship. Among his victims — we discovered — were children, 62 of whom are still minors. When breaches of trust like these occur, no amount of compensation can erase the memories or ease the grief of victims. But reaching a settlement at this stage allows the healing process to begin that much sooner. It will allow our clients the opportunity to maintain their anonymity, and preserve their privacy.” — Howard Janet, Vice Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay $190 million in a proposed settlement over claims that gynecologist Dr. Nikita A. Levy surreptitiously recorded patients over the course of several years, the lead attorney in the class-action lawsuit announced.
Hopkins officials and Jonathan Schochor, the chairman of the plaintiffs’ committee, were expected to discuss the settlement at a news conference Monday afternoon.
The settlement may be the largest of its kind. A class-action suit involving a Delaware pediatrician convicted of recording assaults on hundreds of children led to a $120 million settlement in 2012. That same year, a Connecticut hospital settled for about $50 million with 150 victims of an endocrinologist who used a medical study as a pretense to take obscene photographs of children.
“When learning of Dr. Levy’s behavior, our clients were extremely distraught. 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.” Schochor and Howard Janet, another attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
Levy, a doctor in the Johns Hopkins Community Medicine system since 1988, took his life in February 2013 amid an investigation which revealed he was using tiny cameras — concealed in pens and key fobs — to record patients.
Women who were patients of Baltimore gynecologist Dr. Nikita Levy between April 26, 1988 and February 8, 2013 have been asked to officially register as a member of a class action lawsuit against Johns Hopkins Hospital. All women known to have seen or been treated by Dr. Levy already are automatically members of the class action, Jane Doe No. 1, et. al. v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, et al., No. 24-C-13-001041. Even women who have given their names to the call center need to register, or ask their attorneys to register them.
The following statement was issued Monday by attorneys representing the class. They are Jonathan Schochor and Howard Janet, chairman and vice-chairman, of the Plantiffs’ Steering Committee overseeing lawsuit settlement negotiations for the plaintiffs.
If you were a patient of, or treated by Johns Hopkins Hospital gynecologist, Dr. Nikita Levy, you are a member of a mandatory settlement class action
Please read this Notice carefully–your rights may be affected.
Para una notificación en Español, llamar o visitar nuestro website – www.DrLevyClassAction.com
A conditionally approved, mandatory settlement class action against The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc. and The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation has been approved. The case is known as Jane Doe No. 1, et. al. v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, et al., No. 24-C-13-001041.
What is this about?
Plaintiffs in this case say that Dr. Levy, now deceased, secretly photographed and/ or video taped women, and/or subjected his patients to boundary violations or other inappropriate behavior during examinations. While denying liability, the Defendants have agreed to enter into settlement negotiations.
Who is a class member?
If you were a patient or treated by Dr. Levy while he was employed by Johns Hopkins between April 26, 1988 and February 8, 2013 you are a member of a mandatory class action lawsuit. A mandatory settlement class action means that all former patients of Dr. Levy are members of this class action lawsuit. Class members must remain members of the class at this time and cannot sue on their own.
What are my rights?
A potential settlement is being negotiated. However, there is no guarantee that there will be a settlement. The attorneys on the Court-approved Steering Committee will represent you during the settlement negotiations with Johns Hopkins. If you think you are a class member, you must register to receive any money if a settlement is reached, which may take some time. If a settlement is not reached, you would then be free to file a lawsuit on your own at your own expense.
What do I need to do?
If you believe you are a class member, you must register to receive any money if a settlement is reached, which may take some time. To register, go to: www.DrLevyClassAction.com, or call (855) 731-7491.
The Court’s conditional approval does not guarantee that any settlement Class Member will receive any money. In the event the settlement negotiations result in a settlement, the Court will provide notice of the settlement’s terms and other important details. If a settlement is reached all claims against The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc., The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation, and any other entity affiliated with Johns Hopkins will be resolved.
However, if the negotiations do not produce a settlement, the Court will provide notice regarding future proceedings and how to protect any rights you may have.
If you have questions concerning this lawsuit or how it affects your rights and potential recovery of monetary damages, please call (855) 731-7491, or visit www.DrLevyClassAction.com. You also may send an email to email@example.com
The number of women involved in the class action lawsuit against Baltimore gynecologist Dr. Nikita Levy has soared from 9,000 to 12,000. Howard Janet, of Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC law firm, is serving as vice-chair of the steering committee overseeing negotiations with Johns Hopkins Hospital, which employed Dr. Levy.
Dr. Levy, who is deceased, is accused in a class action lawsuit of secretly videotaping or photographing, or subjecting patients to boundary violations or other inappropriate behavior during examinations. According to victim interviews conducted by Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC, these violations included inappropriate language and touching. Also, Dr. Levy did not have another physician or nurse in the room during pelvic examinations, which is a violation of standard medical practice.
As a lead attorney, Mr. Janet has been quoted extensively in the media and on television about the case.
On Oct. 30, 2013, Baltimore City Circuit Court approved the class action against Johns Hopkins Hospital, which employed Dr. Levy. Women who were patients of Dr. Levy between April 26, 1988 and February 8, 2013 are automatically included in the class action.
Court approval of the class action was conditional, however, on whether Johns Hopkins Hospital and attorneys on the plaintiffs’ steering committee can reach agreement on compensation to victims. If they cannot reach agreement, victims may pursue individual lawsuits.
The court approved a plan of negotiations from all the parties on Nov. 25, 2013. Former patients will be notified by mail, or via the media and newspaper, radio and television ads, about registering and participating in the class action.
Class Action Lawyers
WBALTV WASHINGTON —Thousands of women who visited a Baltimore gynecologist who secretly photographed and videotaped patients will be allowed to join together for settlement talks in a class-action lawsuit against Johns Hopkins Hospital, which employed the gynecologist.
Lawyers for both the patients who filed the class-action lawsuit against Johns Hopkins and the hospital itself asked a judge earlier this week to sign papers that will let the parties move forward with settlement negotiations. The judge signed the papers Wednesday, and a lawyer for the patients said Friday he would expect settlement negotiations to begin before the end of the year.
Jonathan Schochor, one of the lawyers leading negotiations for the patients, along with Howard Janet, said the fact that Johns Hopkins lawyers joined in asking the judge to let settlement negotiations move forward signals a willingness to “end this disaster for everyone.”
“Our job is to ensure that our clients are treated fairly, are fully compensated for the harm that they’ve sustained,” Janet said.
(Baltimore, MD) – Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Sylvester Cox today cleared the way for settlement negotiations to begin between Johns Hopkins Hospital and victims of Johns Hopkins gynecologist Nikita Levy, M.D. who allegedly made photographs and videos of his patients during exams and other procedures and is also allegedly guilty of sexual boundary violations during treatment of his patients. Dr. Levy died in February 2013 from an apparent suicide, shortly after allegations against him became public.
Today Judge Cox certified a Mandatory Conditional Settlement Class including all of Dr. Levy’s patients. Jonathan Schochor, Managing Partner of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. is Chairman of the Class Action Steering Committee . Mr. Schochor, who represents 1,700 victims prior to the certification, filed the Class Action along with Howard Janet, Managing Partner of Janet , Janet & Suggs, LLC. Mr. Janet represents 850 victims prior to certification. Mr. Schochor , as Chair, and Mr. Janet, as Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee, are spearheading the Class Action lawsuit on behalf of the Plaintiffs. Together the Steering Committee, which represents all Class members, is comprised of eight law firms.
There are a total of 3,800 known victims of Dr. Levy to date.
This class permits Mr. Schochor and Mr. Janet and other members of the Steering Committee to open mediated settlement negotiations in an effort to achieve a global settlement on behalf of all Plaintiffs in a reasonable time frame.
“We believe that Johns Hopkins has signalled its desire to enter into good faith negotiations by joining Plaintiffs’ counsel in requesting certification of the Class,” said Mr. Schochor. “We hope to work diligently on behalf of our clients and with Hopkins to achieve a global resolution of these cases that properly compensates the victims involved and ends this tragic nightmare for all involved.”
“These women feel betrayed, violated, and humiliated.Their stories echo those of victims of sexual abuse, who experience anxiety, distrust and problems in intimate relationships, I expect negotiations geared toward arriving at a fair and reasonable settlement will get underway before the year’s end,” said Mr. Janet. “At this time, former Levy patients are not required to take any action in order to be included in the pending class action.”
Both attorneys say when the allegations about Dr. Levy’s conduct became public, there was an enormous outpouring of emotion from his victims including shock, feelings of betrayal; breach of faith; anxiety; humiliation; embarrassment; and fear that photographs and videos were distributed to porn sites and other places on the internet. Many of their clients (all Hopkins patients) were crying uncontrollably , and seeking counseling from friends, religious leaders and professionals. Because of their continuing fear of seeing or being examined by doctors, they have not had their normal check-ups , and have not had needed medical treatment or tests and studies such as PAP smears . Because of the trauma they have suffered, they have ‘dropped out’ of the health care system.
The attorneys reiterated that plaintiffs need to be fully compensated for what occurred. They also need to re-engage in the medical system and to obtain proper health care for themselves and their children, the attorneys said.
Notice of the Class Action will go out to known patients of Dr. Levy through correspondence. Notice will also be provided through the media in the coming weeks. If you have been violated by a doctor and you're looking for an experienced class action lawyer contact Janet, Janet & Suggs today for a free consultation.