Settlement talks in lawsuit over Md. gynecologist's secret recordings to begin within months

Thousands of women who visited a Baltimore gynecologist who secretly photographed and videotaped patients will be allowed to join together for settlement talks in a class action lawsuit against Johns Hopkins Hospital, which employed him.

Lawyers for patients and the hospital asked a judge this week to sign papers that will let the parties move forward with settlement negotiations. The judge signed the papers Wednesday. A lawyer for the patients said Friday he would expect settlement negotiations to begin before the end of the year.

Hospital officials began investigating Dr. Nikita Levy in February of this year after an employee reported suspecting him of photographing patients. The hospital quickly determined Levy had been illegally photographing his patients with personal photo and video equipment and alerted police. He later committed suicide.