Levitin v. Northwest Community Hospital, No. 16-3774 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Levitin, a Jewish surgeon of Russian descent, owns and operates a private medical practice. From 2000-2013, most of her revenue came from her work at Northwest Community Hospital, where she maintained practice privileges. In 2008 Levitin complained to Northwest that Dr. Conway, another surgeon, was harassing her, repeatedly criticizing her medical decisions, undermining her in front of her patients, and interrupting her in surgery. Northwest reprimanded Conway. Direct harassment stopped. Several doctors subsequently filed complaints concerning Levitin’s professional judgment. One refused to work with her. The chair of Northwest’s surgery department informed Levitin that he would begin proactively reviewing the surgeries she scheduled for potential issues and reviewed Levitin’s prior surgeries. He referred 31 cases to the Medical Executive Committee, which found that Levitin deviated from the appropriate standard of care in four cases and initially concluded that Levitin should receive quarterly reviews. The Committee reconvened following an incident in which Levitin operated on a patient without proper sedation and voted to terminate her practice privileges. Northwest’s Board of Directors terminated Levitin’s practice privileges. She filed suit, alleging antitrust claims, state-law claims, and a claim for employment discrimination based on sex, religion, and ethnicity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the rejection of her claims, finding that Levitin was not an employee.