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The Levy Case Lawyers Likely to Get More than $65 million

By Byron Warnken, on October 6, 2014

The Background

As the Levy case draws to a close, this post talks a little about the lawyers involved in the Nikita Levy case.  In the event you are from Baltimore but live under a rock underneath the harbor tunnel, or if maybe you are not from Baltimore, the “Levy Case” is about former Johns Hopkins gynocologyst Nikita Levy.

The case is Jane Doe No. 1 v. The John Hopkins Hospital, 24-C-13-001041, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland.

For an extended period of time, the doctor used a concealed camera pen, secretly recording over 1,200 videos and 140 images of women without their knowledge or consent. Photos of 62 children were found also on Levy’s home computer. There were additional allegations that Levy touched patients inappropriately and conducted unnecessary pelvic exams. Levy was fired after a colleague reported her suspicions of the situation. Levy committed suicide before any criminal prosecution could occur.

The Settlement

On July 21, 2014, the Johns Hopkins Health System Corp. agreed to a preliminary $190 million settlement with about 8,000 patients who were secretly photographed and videotaped by gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Nikita A. Levy.

Objections to Settlement

Represented by renowned plaintiff and medical malpractice firm Salsbury, Clements, Bekman, Marder & Adkins LLC, 25 of those former patients filed an objection to the settlement, saying the proposed legal fees of up to 35% are “extraordinarily unreasonable.” In addition to Bekman’s 25 clients, 2 more objections were filed – one by a patient representing herself and the other represented by personal injury lawyer Barry J. Diamond.

As was widely reported, Bekman’s objection lost. Now the Daily Record is reporting the Diamond objection is moving forward.

3 Main Objections

The case was deemed a mandatory class-action, meaning prospective plaintiffs more or less needed to join the class. This has multiple consequences when considering payout.

Objections also criticize the evaluation process used to distribute the payout money. Each plaintiff will be interviewed by a team of female psychiatrists and attorneys and placed into a category based on the trauma level each patient sustained. The category will help determine the monetary value of each patient’s payment. According to the Associated Press, objection reads, “The proposed Agreement fails to specify the high and low range of recovery for each category…Therefore, claimants have no ability to assess the fairness and reasonableness of the likely recovery to which they may be entitled.”

Additionally, objections claim that the steering committee did not assume enough litigation risk or trial preparation expenses for the 35% to be reasonable.  If the 35% stands, counsel stands to pocket, all told, more than $65 million.

The rest of the nearly $125 million would be split among roughly 8,000 victims.

The Lawyers

Schochor, Federico and Staton P.A. (Plaintiff, Steering Committee)

Attorneys: Jonathan Schochor, Philip C. Federico & Kerry D. Staton

The Schochor, Federico and Staton firm has tried multiple cases against Johns Hopkins in the past 5 years. The hospitals and health care providers the firm sued were many, with Greater Baltimore Medical Center Inc., Northwest Hospital Center Inc., and St. Joseph Medical Center Inc. appearing more than a few times. Schochor, Frederico and Staton have filed more medical negligence cases than any other lawyer or firm in Maryland.

Janet, Jenner & Suggs LLC (Plaintiff, Steering Committee)

Attorney: Howard A. Janet

Janet, Jenner & Suggs does not have other cases against Johns Hopkins in the past 5 years; they have worked primarily on cases against St. Joseph Medical Center Inc. This stems from the stent issues.  The firm concentrates in cases concerning cerebral palsy and injury from unsafe products.

The Cochran Firm

Attorney: David E. Haynes

Haynes has filed 12 tort claims and 12 civil claims in the Maryland Judiciary system since 2012.

Wais, Vogelstein and Forman

Attorney: Gary A. Wais

Since 2008, Wais has filed 15 tort claims and 3 medical malpractice claims in the Maryland Judiciary system.

Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin, and White

Attorney: Andrew G. Slutkin

Slutkin has filed more than 20 tort claims and more than 16 medical malpractice claims since 2008.

Cardaro and Peek, LLC

Attorney: Thomas C. Cardaro

Cardaro has filed more than 35 tort claims and 34 medical malpractice claims since 2008.

Snyder and Snyder

Attorney: Stephen L. Snyder

Since 2008, Snyder has had 6 medical malpractice claims and 9 tort claims.

A. Dwight Pettit, P.A.

Attorney: A. Dwight Pettit

Pettit has done a wide variety of cases since 2008, most of which is criminal, tort or contract.

Salsbury, Clements, Bekman, Marder & Adkins LLC (Plaintiff, Objection)

Attorneys: Paul D. Bekman & Laurence A. Marder

Like the other two plaintiff firms, the Salsbury, Clements, Bekman, Marder & Adkins firm handles personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability cases. Medical malpractices cases the firm has handled include suits against Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Franklin Square Hospital Center Inc., Frederick Memorial Hospital Inc., and EMCare of Maryland LLC, among many others.

Barry J. Diamond (Plaintiff, Objection)

Attorney: Barry J. Diamond

Diamond has represented clients in over 350 cases of almost exclusively tort and contract cases since 2008 in the Maryland court system.

Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann, LLP (Defendant)

Attorneys: Donald L. DeVries Jr., Marianne DePaulo Plant, K. Nichole Nesbitt & Meghan Hatfield Yancek

Goodell, DeCries, Leech & Dann is located in both Baltimore and Philadelphia. The firm handles a wide variety of practice areas, including medical malpractice defense, professional negligence defense, and insurance defense.

Pepper Hamilton LLP (Defendant)

Attorneys: Laurence Z. Shiekman, Jan P. Levine & Frank H. Griffin VI

Pepper Hamilton LLP is a national firm with over 500 lawyers, offering representation to large businesses, governmental entities, and nonprofits.

12 thoughts on “The Levy Case Lawyers Likely to Get More than $65 million

  1. What is all the fuss about the dollar amount pay out get it over hurt that I feel raped disrespected ungly sometime i feel used and so on but what can we do .i takes boyfriend to my doctor offices when I go because dr levy didn’t just start doing this he been doing it once he told the young lady that he wasn’t going to ex me as soon as she walked out the room he did an ex anyway so he been raping woman a long long time pay out

  2. What I personally feel is everyone got fondled, touched, and had there privacy invaded … So nobody should determine the monetary value or placement of a dollar amount it should be split equally among everyone . This is one of the longest saddest cases I’ve ever witnessed , all the obstacles being put out there , these lawyers are being praised they need to get this over with they aren’t the victims , so why are they being first priority…. Signing off just give these women justice,
    John Hopkins is a horrible….

    • There’s no question the events underlying the case are incredibly sad. The case is being held up because of nuances in lawsuits of this type. The doctor was clearly a very sick man, but Hopkins, as a whole, isn’t “horrible.” There’s not much room for a large institution like Hopkins to do anything other than pay, which they have indicated a willingness to do. I would imagine there are steps being taken to monitor their doctors better. As far as a large hospital goes, I don’t think they have much more or much less litigation than others. You can see the Hopkins lawsuit stats here:

      It’s a tragedy, no question.

    • Patricia,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. This Case is REALLY Sad! The fact that Dr. Levy took his life; without explaining why he thought it was OK to abuse and take advantage of so many women whom trusted him. The coward couldn’t stick around long enough to say “hey I did something wrong and I am sorry!. THEN HOPKINS wants his victims to speak with people whom we have no relationship with and explain how we feel. GET THE F*^() out of here with that! It makes me angry to even think about having a conversation with someone who knows nothing about me to ask me how I feel. The compensation is a Slap in the face.

  3. Im still in shock everytime because I fine it is ridiculous that the lawyers are being paid that amount, there not the one that has been humiliated here. There privacy has not been invaded so why do they rep all the benefits I personally think that is way to much for the lawyers to split amongst themselves and the victims are the one that is suffering …

  4. I just feel like the people that are suffering, including me from being violated by Dr. Levy should finally be compensated. I received one letter stating that someone would be in contact with me soon after the settlement was made. Its sad that want the money to sit in the bank to collect interest. Funny thing is, I bet the lawyers have gotten paid.

  5. I was young and ignorant about my rights when I went to Dr. Levy. I didn’t know someone can be in the room with me. He took advantage of that and I feel humiliated. I think all victims should be paid equally so we can put this behind us.

  6. It’s so sad to say ,ladies that were being humiliated again this time we no who doing it ,first of all dr. Levy God rest his soul,he not here to stand trial ,so WHY are the layers , again the layers being paid so much for a job that basically was open an shut .in my opinion,each layer should be paid 1million,an their should not be team of ladies sychatrist unless the victims request.thats another way we are being ladies remember theirs also a Mrs.dr.levy with two children she has dlffenatley humiliated before GOD an the world.devide the remaining balances to the victims an laye this case to rest with dr.nakita levy.

  7. I’m a patient that was already contacted by the allocation team and i felt like i was reliving being abused all over again i couldn’t even finish my interview and say all that i wanted to say i really feel victimized all over again and just wish it could all be over soon so i can hopefully put this behind me

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