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 , Jenner & 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.