Chicago Hospital System Faces Lawsuit for Allegedly Enabling Sexual Abuse by Former OB/GYN

A Chicago hospital system is facing a lawsuit filed on behalf of 300 women who claim they were sexually assaulted by a former OB/GYN. The accused, Fabio Ortega, was arrested for criminal sexual assault in 2018 and pleaded guilty, resulting in a three-year prison sentence. He was released in October 2023 after completing his parole obligations. Ortega is now a registered sex offender, and his medical license has been revoked.

This new lawsuit, filed in state court in Cook County, Illinois, alleges that Endeavor Health, which now operates Northshore Medical Group and Swedish Covenant Hospital, turned a blind eye to Ortega’s behavior and even enabled it. The women assert that the hospital staff frequently observed “disturbing” behavior towards patients, yet allowed Ortega to continue treating patients for years. 

Hospitals Accused of Negligence

The women claim in their lawsuit that Northshore Medical Group and Swedish Covenant Hospital, two top Chicago hospitals, failed to respond appropriately to patient complaints and reports of Ortega’s misconduct. Even during the criminal investigation, Ortega was permitted to continue practicing, which allegedly allowed further instances of abuse to occur. The lawsuit highlights the hospitals’ alleged negligence in protecting their patients and holding Ortega accountable.

The plaintiffs assert that Ortega specifically targeted vulnerable individuals, including young women, non-English speakers, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. They believe that Ortega took advantage of their lack of knowledge about proper medical procedures and manipulated their trust for his own gratification.

Disturbing Pattern of Sexual Abuse

The allegations against Ortega paint a disturbing picture of a physician who abused his position of power and violated the trust of his patients. The institutional abuse lawsuit details various instances of inappropriate behavior, including asking probing sexual questions, conducting unnecessary exams, and making unwelcome advances.

One patient described her experience with Ortega, stating that she was pregnant and had never seen a gynecologist before. During her visits, Ortega made her feel uncomfortable by asking inappropriate questions and conducting unnecessary examinations. When she shared her concerns with hospital staff, they dismissed her worries, attributing Ortega’s behavior to his unique approach to patient care.

The Alleged Sex Abuse Cover-Up

The sexual abuse lawsuit also accuses the hospitals of covering up Ortega’s actions and failing to take appropriate action to protect patients. It alleges that there were multiple reports and complaints about Ortega’s behavior over the years, but the hospitals ignored or downplayed the severity of the allegations.

Despite evidence of Ortega’s misconduct, the hospitals allegedly allowed him to continue practicing, putting countless patients at risk. The lawsuit claims that the hospitals knew about Ortega’s abusive behavior but failed to investigate or take any disciplinary action against him.

Sex Abuse Victims Seek Justice and Accountability

The women who have come forward to file this claim are seeking accountability from Ortega and the hospital system and justice for the harm they endured at the hands of the OB/GYN. By filing the lawsuit, they hope to shed light on the systemic failures that allowed Ortega’s abuse to persist and to prevent similar incidents of institutional abuse from happening in the future.

The plaintiffs’ legal team aims to hold the hospitals responsible for their alleged negligence and the harm caused to the victims. They argue that the hospitals had a duty to protect their patients from harm and should have taken immediate action to address the reports of abuse. 

As the lawsuit unfolds, it is crucial to remember the importance of patient safety and the duty of healthcare providers to prioritize the well-being of those under their care. This claim serves as a reminder that institutional failures must be addressed to safeguard vulnerable individuals and preserve trust in the healthcare system.

Institutional Abuse Lawsuit Information

Sex abuse lawsuits against hospitals and other negligent institutions accuse doctors and trusted authority figures of abusing their positions of power and sexually assaulting vulnerable individuals.
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