The following is a post written by personal injury and medical malpractice attorney Terry Gaffney about the circumstances surrounding the recent death of Dr. Nikita Levy.
Dr. Nikita Levy, an OB/GYN at Johns Hopkins, recently commited suicide, after it came to light that he had surreptitiously been videotaping unknowing patients for over twenty years. These patients may be entitled to compensation as a result of having their privacy invaded.
Invasion of privacy is a relatively new tort in American law, having appeared on the scene in the late 1800s. According to the Restatement (Second) of Torts, an individual's right to privacy, and a corresponding right to personal injury compensation for the invasion of that right, has now come to be recognized in virtually all U.S. jurisdictions. It is recognized in Maryland.
What one considers the tort of invasion of privacy is actually four separate and distinct causes of action. Each of the invasion of privacy torts involves the intrusion into a person's private activities in such a manner as to embarrass, humiliate or outrage a person of ordinary sensibilities.
Intentional Intrusion Invasion of Privacy
Intrusion is a form of invasion of privacy that involves the intentional and unauthorized intrusion, physically or otherwise, into someone's solitude or private activities. In order to be actionable, the intrusion must be of a type that would be highly offensive to the ordinary reasonable person. Examples of intrusion may include such things as eavesdropping, reading someone's e-mail, wire tapping someone's telephone, searching through someone's private possessions, or as in the case of Dr. Levy, photographing naked patients without their consent.
This is a horrific invasion of privacy, and Johns Hopkins Hospital may be liable for damages to Dr. Levy's patients.
Although it is not clear how many patients Levy photographed, the number may be in the thousands. He received his medical license in 1988.
Apparently, Dr. Levy was recently informed that he could no longer see patients after an employee of Johns Hopkins brought the matter to light. He then took his life.
The police have searched his home, and although the results have not been made public, it is likely Levy had retained much incriminating evidence.
The effects of having a trusted physician violate a sacred patient trust by secretly videotaping her when she is most vulnerable is despicable. The damage from this trauma can be extensive and debilitating. Having your privacy invaded in such a vicious and deplorable way can have a far reaching emotional and psychological impact.
If you, a loved one , or friend, has been a patient of Dr. Levy, you may be entitled to compensation for damages related to invasion of privacy. Contact an attorney at Price Benowitz, LLP for a free consultation at 202-600-9400.
Thanks to AnneMarie Rizzo for her help in writing this post.