BALTIMORE (CN) - A Johns Hopkins gynecologist secretly videotaped patients during pelvic exams for 20 years, three patients claim in a class action.
Jane Roe 1, 2 and 3 sued The Johns Hopkins Health System dba The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, in Baltimore City Circuit Court.
They claim Johns Hopkins failed to properly supervise the late Dr. Nikita Levy, who worked as an ob-gyn at Hopkins' East Baltimore Medical Center until last month.
Levy, 54, committed suicide on Feb. 18 at his Towson-area home after police searched his home and office, according to The Baltimore Sun.
The Sun reported that Levy used a pen camera and other devices to secretly record patients, according to a colleague who reported Levy to Hopkins officials.
"Dr. Levy served for more than twenty years as a physician with Johns Hopkins," the complaint states. "During much, if not all, of that time, Dr. Levy took thousands of photographs and/or videos of his patients and/or other private areas of their anatomy, doing so surreptitiously, without his patients' knowledge, permission or informed consent.
"As a result of Dr. Levy's actions and as a result of Johns Hopkins' failure to prevent Dr. Levy's actions, the plaintiffs have suffered an outrageous invasion of their privacy and been subjected to extreme emotional distress and mental anguish."
The women, who live in Baltimore, seek to represent all of Levy's patients at the East Baltimore Medical Center or any other Johns Hopkins facility.
"The class plaintiffs were patients of Dr. Levy's, having seen him for numerous medical examinations and/or procedures until Dr. Levy left Johns Hopkins in February 2013," the complaint states.
"In early 2013, law enforcement officers searched the home of Dr. Levy, where they discovered computer equipment containing thousands of photographs and videos of his patients and their genitals and/or other private areas of their anatomy.
"These aforementioned photographs and videos of their genitals and/or other private areas had been taken surreptitiously by Dr. Levy during much, if not all of his more than twenty years as a physician with Johns Hopkins. He obtained those photographs and videos without his patients' knowledge, permission or informed consent."
The plaintiffs claim Johns Hopkins knew or should have known about Levy's perverse activity.
They say they "all have grave concerns that personal and private photographs and/or videos of their bodies were surreptitiously recorded and potentially distributed over the Internet or by other means."
They say they suffered severe emotional distress and psychological damages due to Levy's invasion of their privacy.
They seek class certification, compensatory and punitive damages for invasion of privacy, lack of informed consent, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, violations of Maryland visual surveillance laws, and costs of therapy and counseling.
They also want Johns Hopkins to find and destroy all photographs and videos made of Levy's patients, to notify all potential victims, and to prevent exploitation of patients.
They are represented by Howard Janet with Janet, Jenner & Suggs.
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