Lawsuit form with a stethoscopeA recent report by CNN indicates that John Hopkins has agreed to a whooping $190 million settlement in a case involving a gynecologist who was alleged to have secretly photographed and recorded his more than 7000 patients.

Dr. Nikita Levy was fired in February 2013 after the Baltimore based health care system discovered he had been using a pen-like camera around his neck to snap photographs of patients.  A diligent co-worker suspected that he had been using the “pen” for nefarious purposes.

Generally speaking, hospitals are liable for the negligent acts of their employees, if those negligent acts are committed within the course and scope of the employee’s conduct.  From the employer’s perspective, criminal acts such as sexual misconduct are well outside the scope of employment.  However, if the employer knew or should have known of the conduct, liability can still flow to the employer, here the hospital.

This case only underscores the importance of a thorough review of prospective employees, and the need to keep one’s eyes open.