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Chicago, IL - Shocking Lawsuit Alleges Widespread Sexual Abuse by Chicago Gynecologist, Dr. Fabio Ortega, Was Ignored by Endeavor Health and Swedish Covenant Hospitals

Chicago, IL - Shocking Lawsuit Alleges Widespread Sexual Abuse by Chicago Gynecologist, Dr. Fabio Ortega, Endeavor Health and Swedish Covenant Hospitals Accused of Coverup
Published: March 29, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on March 29, 2024

Lawsuit Alleges Hospitals Failed to Protect Patients from Predatory Chicago Gynecologist

A lawsuit filed in Cook County, Illinois, has accused a Chicago gynecologist, Dr. Fabio Ortega, of sexually abusing hundreds of his patients over the course of decades, according to NBC Chicago. The lawsuit also takes aim at two major Chicago hospitals, Endeavor Health (1301 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201) and Swedish Covenant Hospital (5140 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60625), alleging that they failed to protect patients despite being aware of Ortega's predatory behavior.

Illinois Gynecologist Pleads Guilty To Sexually Abusing Patients

According to the lawsuit, Dr. Ortega pleaded guilty in 2021 to sexually abusing two of his patients. However, the lawsuit claims that this was just the tip of the iceberg, with over 300 former patients coming forward to say they, too, were abused and violated by the doctor.

Endeavor Health Accused of Failing to Protect Patients From Sexual Assault

The lawsuit alleges that the hospitals were aware of Ortega's history of sexual abuse and predatory behavior, with a police complaint being filed against him as early as 2004. Despite this, the hospitals allegedly ignored and concealed the abuse, allowing Ortega to continue practicing medicine and preying on vulnerable patients.

Victims Come Forward Alleging Years of Sexual Abuse

One of Ortega's longtime patients, identified only as Jane Doe, spoke exclusively to NBC 5 Investigates about her experience. Doe, who was 18 years old and pregnant when she first saw Ortega in the early 1990s, said the abuse began when her husband stopped accompanying her to appointments.

"I start noticing uncomfortable conversations with Dr. Ortega, asking me like, how my husband was in bed," Doe said. She added that she didn't know if Ortega's behavior was normal for a gynecologist, as she found no complaints about him online.

Doe said the abuse escalated in 2016 when Ortega told her, "I want you to have an orgasm." It was at that point that she refused to see him again. Doe said she didn't speak about her experience until several months ago, when she saw the coverage of Ortega's prison sentence.

Hospitals Aware of Doctor's Predatory Behavior

The lawsuit alleges that the hospitals, Endeavor Health and Swedish Covenant Hospital, were aware of Ortega's history of sexual abuse and predatory behavior, yet failed to take action to protect their patients.

"He knew that using the white coat could get away with these forms of abuse, and sadly this patient population was not believed, was not heard the way they should've been from the hospital," said Parker Stinar, Jane Doe's attorney and managing partner with Stinar Gould Grieco & Hensley.

Stinar said that despite Ortega's guilty plea in 2021, the hospitals have not taken adequate steps to notify former patients or investigate the full scope of his alleged abuse. He said the hospitals are "continuing to cover this up."

Chicago's Top Hospitals Respond to Allegations

Endeavor Health, which owns Swedish Covenant and Northshore Medical Group, said the company has "no tolerance for abuse of any kind" and that it has "enhanced and continue[s] to improve and evolve [its] processes and policies to ensure [it has] an environment that supports reporting of threatened or actual abuse."

The company also claimed it was "committed to engaging in a process that allows for meaningful review and response to each person impacted," but due to pending legal matters and patient privacy, it is unable to comment on any specific case or allegations.

As the investigation continues, the lawsuit and the allegations against Dr. Ortega and the hospitals have sent shockwaves through the Chicago medical community. The case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of patient safety and the need for healthcare providers to be held accountable for any failures to protect their patients.

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Holding Hospitals Accountable: A Conversation with Illinois Doctor Abuse Lawyer

In light of the shocking allegations against a Chicago gynecologist accused of sexually abusing hundreds of patients, we sat down with Guy D'Andrea, Esq., a local Illinois doctor abuse lawyer, to discuss the legal options available to the victims of such horrible abuse. Kent, who specializes in cases of sexual abuse and assault, explained the rights and remedies these survivors may be able to pursue, as well as the potential liability of the healthcare facilities involved.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Brian, thank you for joining us today. As a lawyer who specializes in cases of sexual abuse by medical professionals, what are the key legal rights and remedies available to the victims in this situation?

Attorney Guy D'Andrea (BK): Well, Darla, this is a truly horrific situation. These patients have endured an unimaginable betrayal of trust, and they deserve to have their voices heard and their rights protected.

Under Illinois law, victims of sexual abuse by a healthcare provider have the right to file a civil lawsuit against both the perpetrator and the healthcare facilities that failed to protect them. This can include claims for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent supervision or retention of the abusive doctor.

More importantly, the statute of limitations for these types of claims is often extended, giving more time for victims of sexual abuse. So, even if the abuse occurred many years ago, these victims may still have a path to seek justice.

DM: That's crucial information. And what about the hospitals' potential liability in this case?

BK: The hospitals could face significant liability if it's proven they knew about the doctor's predatory behavior and did nothing to stop it or warn patients. Healthcare facilities have a duty to provide a safe environment for their patients and to screen, supervise, and discipline their medical staff properly.

DM: That's a powerful point. So, what other information can you give to any other victims who may be out there, perhaps still struggling with the trauma of their experiences?

Guy D'Andrea: My message to any other victims would be: you are not alone, and you have rights. I know how difficult it can be to come forward, especially against a trusted medical professional. However, I would encourage anyone else affected to reach out to an experienced attorney who can help guide them through the process and ensure their voice is heard.

No one should have to suffer in silence. With the right legal support, these victims can not only seek the justice they deserve but also play a vital role in holding accountable those who betrayed their trust and failed in their duty to protect.

DM: Thank you, Brian, for sharing today.

BK: Thank you, Darla. I'm hopeful that by discussing this situation, we can empower more victims to come forward and send a clear message that this type of abuse will not be tolerated.

Justice and Healing for Survivors of Doctor Sex Abuse

As this disturbing case continues to unfold, it's clear that the victims of Dr. Ortega's alleged abuse have been through an unimaginable betrayal of trust. However, as attorney Guy D'Andrea emphasized, they are not alone, and they have legal rights that can be protected.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of sexual abuse by a medical professional, we encourage you to reach out to our team of experienced attorneys for a free consultation. Remember, you have rights, and there are compassionate professionals ready to guide you through this difficult process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in seeking justice.


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Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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