Washington: The prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay USD 190 million to over 9,000 women who were secretly filmed by a veteran doctor during gynecological examinations.
The proposed settlement, one of the largest settlement on record in the US involving sexual misconduct by a physician, came yesterday in a class action lawsuit filed last year in a court over the conduct of Dr Nikita Levy, who worked at the hospital in Baltimore city for 25 years.
He was accused of secretly filming and taking photos of more than 9,000 women, often using a spy camera hidden in a pen. He was fired from the hospital in 2013.
Levy committed suicide after confessing to the clandestine photos and recordings.
"We have come to an agreement that the plaintiffs` attorneys and Johns Hopkins Health System believe is fair and properly balances the concerns of thousands of plaintiffs with obligations the Health System has to provide ongoing and superior care to the community," Johns Hopkins said in a statement yesterday.
"It is our hope that this settlement -- and findings by law enforcement that images were not shared -- helps those affected achieve a measure of closure," it said.
Levy was found out after a colleague reported her suspicion that he was secretly recording his patients using a pen-like camera, which he wore around his neck.
Levy confessed and police searched his house. They found multiple computer servers and computers full of naked patient pictures and videos, CNN reported.
As many as 8,000 women and girls were included in the case, according to plaintiffs` attorney Jonathan Schochor.
"We are hoping this is a major step in putting this all behind us," he said.
Hopkins said insurance would cover the cost of the settlement.
"We assure you that one individual does not define Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins is defined by the tens of thousands of employees who come to work determined to provide world-class care for our patients and their families," the hospital said in its statement.
The preliminary settlement approved by a judge yesterday is one of the largest on record in the US involving sexual misconduct by a physician.