U.S. Hospital to Pay $190 Million to Women Secretly Videotaped by Doctor

A major U.S. medical institution has agreed to pay $190 million to more than 8,000 women who were secretly photographed and videotaped by a gynecologist as he examined them at the hospital.

Monday's settlement covers claims Dr. Nikita Levy recorded images of the women for several years with a pen-like camera he wore around his neck as he gave them pelvic exams at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fired by the hospital in February 2013 after a female colleague spotted the camera and alerted officials of her suspicions.

This July 8, 2014, photo shows the East Baltimore Medical Center, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where Dr. Nikita Levy worked when allegations he videotaped his female patients during pelvic exams came to light. /AP This July 8, 2014, photo shows the East Baltimore Medical Center, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where Dr. Nikita Levy worked when allegations he videotaped his female patients during pelvic exams came to light. /AP

Police discovered about 1,200 videos and 140 images at his home, but concluded there was no evidence he shared the material with others. Levy committed suicide 10 days after his firing.

A lawyer for the women said they "were brutalized" by the doctor's conduct, which left some dysfunctional in their personal and professional lives.

The hospital said it believed the damage payments were fair and voiced the hope the settlement would "achieve a measure of closure" for the victimized women. The hospital said all of the damages would be paid through its insurance coverage.

VOA News / Jul. 23, 2014 08:17 KST