Baltimore City police reported that a former Johns Hopkins Hospital gynecologist who was being investigated for allegedly taking inappropriate photographs and videotaping his patients without their knowledge or consent was found dead in his home on February 18, 2013, evidently due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Johns Hopkins began its investigation of the 54-year-old gynecologist on February 4, 2013 as a result of an employee reporting that the doctor was inappropriately photographing and videotaping his patients during their appointments.
Johns Hopkins began its investigation into the allegations and was able to determine within one day that the gynecologist had been “illegally and without our knowledge photographing his patients and possibly others with his personal photographic and video equipment and storing those images electronically.” Johns Hopkins terminated the gynecologist’s employment on February 8, 2013 after he allegedly acknowledged his wrongdoing.
Johns Hopkins issued the following statement: “Any invasion of patient privacy is intolerable. Words cannot express how deeply sorry we are for every patient whose privacy may have been violated. [The gynecologist’s] behavior violates Johns Hopkins code of conduct and privacy policies and is against everything for which Johns Hopkins Medicine stands. We continue to work closely with law enforcement officials and will assist them in any way possible.” Johns Hopkins is reportedly in the processing of advising the doctor’s former patients regarding its investigation and the allegations against the doctor and has set up a call center and will provide necessary counseling for victims of its former employee.
The victims of the Johns Hopkins’ gynecologist may have a difficult time recovering damages for their injuries and suffering. The gynecologist’s medical malpractice insurance carrier may attempt to disclaim coverage for its insured’s intentional, illegal activities (intentional acts and criminal acts are typically excluded from coverage by the policy language of medical malpractice insurance policies).
Based on the number of possible victims, the gynecologist’s assets and the value of his estate may not be nearly sufficient to compensate all of his victims. Johns Hopkins and its affiliates may be subject to various claims arising out of its former employee’s wrongful acts but it may be difficult (but not impossible) to prove that Johns Hopkins knew or should have known about its employee’s bad acts but may nonetheless be held responsible for the damages he caused based on theories of negligent hiring, negligently failing to follow-up on complaints, negligently failing to have a female staff member in the room during patient examinations, negligently retaining the gynecologist as an employee, negligent supervision of the gynecologist, etc.
If you or someone you know was harmed by the Johns Hopkins gynecologist or by another physician in another locality in the United States, you should promptly seek the advice of a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may be able to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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