Chicago/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 18, 2024
300 Accusers Slam Ex-Chicago Gyno Who Admitted Abuse, Hospital in Legal OnslaughtSource: Google Street View

In a sweeping legal battle, 300 women have come forth to sue Dr. Fabio Ortega, a former Chicago-area gynecologist, and his employers, Endeavor Health and Swedish Hospital, citing heinous allegations of sexual abuse. Ortega, 77, had already admitted to the sexual abuse of two patients in October 2021, leading to his imprisonment and subsequent registration as a sex offender. As per a Chicago Tribune report, the Illinois Department of Corrections confirmed his parole discharge in October last year.

The accusations span from the early 1990s, with one lawsuit claiming that Ortega victimized young women, immigrants, pregnant women, and those less likely to question his dubious procedures. An additional 26 women have also taken legal action against Ortega and Endeavor Health this week, bringing the total number of plaintiffs to 60, as stated by the Chicago Tribune. They accuse both the doctor and his employer of failing to act on prior complaints that were lodged against him, allegedly allowing him to continue practicing and abusing more patients.

Allegations in the current lawsuits include disturbing reports of fondling under the pretense of medical exams and Ortega making lewd comments during consultations. One plaintiff recounted Ortega's behavior saying, "If I was your husband, I would have sex with you every day," according to a Chicago Tribune article. Another claim mentioned by attorney Symone Shinton, partner at Stinar Gould Grieco & Hensley, involved a victim who had been raped and sought a rape kit at NorthShore, only to be subjected to further abuse by Ortega.

In response to the claims, Endeavor Health released a statement emphasizing its zero-tolerance policy for abuse and dedication to patient safety. Despite the ongoing legal proceedings, the company assured its commitment to reviewing individual claims and maintaining the highest standards of care, as noted by CBS Chicago. However, the complaint highlights that Ortega was permitted to continue his medical practice even while under criminal investigation, which is now a core aspect of the lawsuit.

Lawyers representing the women, including Tamara Holder and Johanna Raimond, have called for a criminal investigation by the Illinois attorney general into both Ortega and Endeavor Health. Their plea comes as hundreds of additional women have stepped forward following Ortega's guilty plea, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. These new lawsuits continue to unfold in Cook County court, with the earlier motions to dismiss the complaints on the basis of being time-barred denied, therefore allowing the cases to proceed.