Plaintiffs' Attorneys and Johns Hopkins Receive Conditional Settlement Class Certification to Resolve Claims Related to Dr. Nikita Levy
On Friday, November 1, 2013, Johns Hopkins announced that it is working to attempt to resolve the litigation brought by those claiming damages caused by Dr. Nikita Levy, the obstetrician/gynecologist accused of having secretly photographed his patients and potentially others, through a conditional class action settlement.
In an effort to pursue a global resolution of all claims, the plaintiffs and Johns Hopkins jointly requested that the Circuit Court for Baltimore City conditionally certify a settlement class. The Court approved the parties’ request on Wednesday, October 30. All individuals who may have a claim relating to Dr. Levy’s activities – including all of his former patients – are automatically included in the settlement class. Within the next several weeks, the parties will ask the court to approve a plan to provide notice to all settlement class members by mail, newspaper ads and/or television.
A judge from the Circuit Court for Baltimore City will need to approve the terms of any settlement, including the allocation of the settlement funds and the fees of the lawyers for the class attorneys to be paid from the settlement proceeds.
In the event the parties do not reach a settlement, the conditional class action will be nullified, and litigation may proceed. Should this occur the potential claimants will have all of the rights to pursue individual claims against Johns Hopkins that they had before the settlement class was certified, and Johns Hopkins will have all of its rights to defend against those claims.
Johns Hopkins sincerely hopes that the conditional class action settlement framework will facilitate a fair resolution of all claims. The decision to engage in settlement discussions is not an admission of wrongdoing by Johns Hopkins. Because of the sensitive nature of the allegations, Johns Hopkins believes that attempting to resolve the claims without protracted litigation is in the best interests of those potentially affected by Dr. Levy’s conduct and will help to preserve the privacy of our patients.
Paul B. Rothman, M.D., Dean of the Medical Faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Ronald R. Peterson, President of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and Executive Vice President of Johns Hopkins Medicine, notified Johns Hopkins staff last week that they were hopeful the Court would approve the parties’ request. To view that message, please click here.