"I'm a woman who stays on top of her appointments, but the sheer anxiety … I've tried to make several appointments, and have been a no-show," she said. "When I see a doctor with a white lab coat and a pen in his pocket, I get anxious."

Schochor, of the Baltimore firm Schochor, Federico and Staton, said attorneys from separate firms were representing about 3,800 patients before the cases were consolidated and given class-action certification last October.

The firms took out advertisements in radio, television, newspapers, magazines and online to find Levy's patients, and say they will continue to try to locate as many potential victims as possible.

To be eligible for damages, a victim must be verified to have been a patient of Levy. Each is to be evaluated by a medical professional and be placed into one of four categories of damages.

"There's no deadline," Schochor said. "These people are going to do this full-time, and they'll push it as hard as they can. We have to have an appropriate, proper allocation, and we will."

Schochor, whose firm worked on a case in Delaware involving a pediatrician accused of abusing young patients, said he has brought in professionals who worked on that case and others to help patients work through their claims. They include a psychologist and a specialist in post-traumatic stress disorder.

"They're intimately familiar with the ramifications of what occurred, and the different levels of injuries and damages suffered," Schochor said.

He said the sheer number of plaintiffs to be evaluated will make it a "Herculean task."

"We may have to bring in additional people to do it," he said.

A fairness hearing is scheduled for late September, when Baltimore Circuit Judge Sylvester B. Cox is expected to give final approval to the settlement. Also at that hearing, the attorneys' fees are to be decided, and members of the suit may contest the amount of the settlement or the fees.

A distribution of the funds is to be overseen by David Higgins, a Los Angeles-based tax attorney who specializes in settlements.

"He makes sure nobody gets a dollar until the court approves it," Schochor said.

Simmons-Whitehead said the process so far has been a lot of "sitting and waiting," with little communication from attorneys handling the class-action suit.

She said she learned about the settlement from a friend, who learned about it from media reports.

"I don't think they care about what the patients went through," she said. "To this day, we're all still going through things."

Simmons-Whitehead said Levy saw her through two pregnancies, and a partial hysterectomy, which he recommended and which she now regrets.

She blames Hopkins for denying her a sense of closure. She said the institution took too long to investigate the claims.

An attorney for Hopkins said Monday that the institution acted swiftly against a "rogue employee," and could not have known what he was up to.

"He should have been arrested, and brought to justice," Simmons-Whitehead said. "They let that man take the coward's way out."

She said she wants assurance that the images Levy took will be destroyed. Attorneys said the images were in the custody of a firm, and will be destroyed once the legal proceedings are concluded.

"What I care about is making sure my kids are not exposed — and being able to trust a medical professional with my life, my body, and my privacy," she said.

Butler, of the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center, said the settlement payout will likely provide little solace.

"Most of those victims we deal with would much rather the crime never have occurred," Butler said. "You can't unring a bell. And so, in this case, really, with the inability to have criminal prosecution and to feel justice, this is the only justice that they'll ever receive."

Bell, one of Levy's former patients, praised her attorney, Scott A. Snyder, but said she doesn't want anyone to think the patients were after money.

"I got text messages from friends who said, 'Congratulations,' on this lawsuit [settlement]," Bell said. "But it's not a cheerful moment for me."

jfenton@baltsun.com