Jonathan Schochor, lead counsel in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dr. Nikita Levy class action case, answers questions for former patients about the settlement proposal.
I am a former patient of Dr. Levy. What should I do?
If you are a former patient of Dr. Levy’s and wish to register to participate in this class action, go to www.drlevyclassaction.com.
How many have registered for the class action?
We approximate that between 7,000 and 8,000 individuals have registered so far for possible compensation in this case. The reason it is an estimate is that there have been many duplications of registrants, including people who have registered more than once and people whose lawyers have registered them. As a result, we are working through the list to ensure we have each registrant only once, and we believe that we have between 7,000 and 8,000 people to date.
What will happen to the photos taken by Dr. Levy?
Rest assured that the pictures Dr. Levy took are under lock and key in a secure environment so that no one has access to them. If we are successful in concluding the litigation, there will be a waiting period of a matter of years after which we, will apply for a court order to destroy the images. If the court sees fit and gives us the order, the images will be destroyed at that time.
How can we be sure the photos won’t show up on the Internet?
The simple answer is that we do not know and will probably never know if the images will appear on the Internet because Dr. Levy took his life.
Is there a process to evaluate damages?
If we obtain final approval in the case, we will bring in a group of experts who know how to evaluate the damages that each of you have suffered. They will look at the nature of the damages you have suffered, the extent of the damages, the permanency of the damages, and any disabilities sustained. After this process is complete, they will place each plaintiff in a specific category, which will then be assigned a specific amount of damages. It is only after the entire process is complete and the judge has approved of everything that specific damages will be awarded to each plaintiff and distributed.
What happened to the criminal case against Dr. Levy?
There is no criminal case against Dr. Levy because he took his life in February 2013.
How will you prove who was a patient of Dr. Levy?
We will begin the assessment with the confidential patient list from Johns Hopkins Hospital indicating whether a person was ever a patient of Dr. Nikita Levy. We can also utilize other medical records and, of course, speak with you, our clients.
If someone registered who was not a patient of Dr. Levy, they will not be eligible for compensation in the class action.
I only saw Dr. Levy a few times. Am I still eligible for compensation?
The simple answer is yes. If you were a patient of Dr. Levy and suffered legitimate injury as a result of his conduct, you are eligible to be compensated at the conclusion of this case.
How will the $190 million fund be managed?
If and when we receive final approval of the settlement, the money will then be paid into a qualified settlement fund, which is a fund with an administrator who will control the money and invest it into an interest bearing account. In other words, the money will be paid into a safe bank account with somebody watching over it so that it is invested and the interest will be credited to you.
Do I need to pay taxes on any compensation I receive?
Under the current laws in the United States and State of Maryland, the recovery under these circumstances will be tax-free from the federal and state standpoint, but you must check with your own tax advisors to confirm this information.
Who should I inform if I’m seeing a therapist?
If the case is approved, we will bring in a sophisticated allocation team of individuals and experts to make an evaluation of each plaintiff. At that time, you should inform the team that you have seen a therapist, how many times, and your therapist’s name.