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Medical Malpractice Privacy

Dr. Nikita Levy, a Johns Hopkins gynecologist, treated hundreds of women for more than 20 years. They trusted him and thought they had a typical private doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Levy. Little did they know that Dr. Levy was far from keeping things private. He had been secretly videotaping women who came to see him. And it wasn't just videotaping the women, he was videotaping the most private parts of the women's anatomy and retaining the images on a hard drive. The doctor recently committed suicide after he was accused of the secret videotaping of his patients. Police had executed several search warrants and removed approximately 10 image-filled computer hard drives from Dr. Levy's home in Towson, Md.

At this point, it is difficult to say how many patients were unknowingly videotaped. But police have said they found multiple cameras in at least one examination room, although they would not describe how they were hidden. Police have speculated that the victim pool is quite large as they have already

Dr. Levy was a graduate of Cornell University Medical College. He worked at Johns Hopkins’s East Baltimore Medical Center since 1988. The Medical Center is a community clinic that serves a predominantly low-income and African American surrounding neighborhood. On average, it has been estimated that Dr. Levy saw approximately 25 patients a day.

It has been suggested that the Baltimore police department may enlist the assistance of federal authorities to investigate the case and forensically examine the computer hard drives obtained via the search warrant process. The investigation could take several months because of trying to determine the actual patients who were involved. This could mean cross checking the times on the videos with the patient sign in books to try to match each photo with an actual person.

Apparently, Johns Hopkins has sent a letter to many of Dr. Levy's patients. It described how another staff person in the office had complained to the Hopkins security office that Dr. Levy was videotaping patients. Hopkins explained that they determined that Dr. Levy was videotaping patients and storing the images on hard drives. Hopkins, of course, denied any knowledge about what Dr. Levy was doing. While the investigation was under way, Dr. Levy was prohibited from contacting his patients. Apparently, Dr. Levy admitted what he had been doing upon being confronted.

Dr. Levy's conduct in these matters, if proven, certainly would result in medical malpractice claims being brought. The egregious breach of privacy issues could cause significant post traumatic stress in patients. One can't help but wonder how this could have gone on for many years without any suspicion on the part of Hopkins officials. Surely, a lawyer will try to make the case that Hopkins failed to monitor the doctor appropriately.

If you, a relative, a loved one, or a friend were a patient of Dr. Levy, contact the law firm of Foran & Foran, P.A. for an initial consultation regarding a possible medical malpractice claim against Johns Hopkins and Dr, Levy.

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