The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 5th

Levine's legal woes continue

More allegations of sexual abuse are surfacing from former patients of retired UNC pediatrician Melvin Levine. Carmen Durso, the Boston lawyer handling Levine's five pending lawsuits, said he is working with N.C. lawyer Elizabeth Kuniholm to investigate sexual abuse that might have occurred while Levine was employed at UNC from 1985 to 2006. Levine has been accused of sexually assaulting young patients starting in the late 1960s and into the 1980s while he was in Boston. "Calls are still coming in," Kuniholm said. "I investigate everyone who calls as soon as I can." She said most calls were made to verify the charges already brought against Levine rather than to file lawsuits. She said she was unable to comment on whether any civil action would be taken but is advising clients to contact the medical board if they have concerns. Levine retired as a full-time practicing pediatrician in 2006 but continued to see patients as an adjunct professor until he voluntarily stopped last week when the most recent allegations surfaced. He also withdrew his practicing medical license, which is required to legally treat, diagnose or operate on patients. Durso said he is concerned about UNC's institutional response to the allegations against Levine because the University kept Levine as a full-time professor as lawsuits were filed. "It's my belief that the people who came to these institutions came there because the institutions were places where they believed their children would get the best possible care," Durso said. "The institutions have an obligation, in my view, to see that a thorough investigation is conducted with regard to Dr. Levine." At UNC Hospitals, physicians are protected by medical malpractice insurance. Doctors are provided a lawyer in the event of a lawsuit. "Every lawsuit is going to be different because every lawsuit is an allegation," said Stephanie Crayton, a UNC Hospitals spokeswoman. "It would really depend on what is revealed from an investigation as to what disciplinary actions may or may not occur." During his career as a pediatrician, Levine helped establish the "All Kinds of Minds" institution, which educates parents and teachers about different styles of learning. His research focused on the idea that each child needed to be diagnosed without common labels such as attention-deficit disorder. For his work, Levine received the prestigious C. Anderson Aldrich Award and was featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" for his child development books. And with investigations continuing, Durso said UNC Hospitals now has a chance to redeem past actions. "They have an opportunity now to do some part of the right thing." Senior writer Ted Strong contributed reporting. Contact the University Editor at udesk@unc.edu.



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