A lawsuit has been initiated against two prominent Chicago hospitals, accusing an OB-GYN, Fabio Ortega, of sexually abusing more than 300 women over several decades. This legal action, representing the voices of numerous alleged victims, accuses NorthShore Medical Group and Swedish Covenant Hospital, now both part of Endeavor Health, of turning a blind eye to the complaints lodged against Ortega. The accusers, primarily Latina women who sought Ortega due to the language barrier, claim that the hospitals not only ignored their reports but also facilitated Ortega’s continued misconduct by dismissing their allegations as medically necessary procedures or misunderstandings.

The case of “Jane Doe 300” embodies the distressing experiences shared by many of Ortega’s patients. Filed in Cook County Circuit Court, the lawsuit details the harrowing accounts of women subjected to unnecessary and invasive examinations under the pretext of medical care. Attorney Symone Shinton emphasized the recurring nature of these reports, criticizing the hospitals’ response as dismissive and negligent. The suit alleges that the medical staff’s actions—or lack thereof—allowed Ortega to exploit his position of trust and authority, causing irreparable harm to hundreds of patients under the guise of health care.

The Victims’ Stories and Hospital Response

Chicago Hospitals Face Lawsuit Over Claims of Ignored Abuse by Doctor
Fabio Ortega, the OB-GYN doctor implicated in the lawsuit

The lawsuit outlines several specific allegations against Ortega, painting a picture of systemic abuse that spanned decades. From unnecessary pelvic exams to inappropriate questions regarding patients’ sexual lives, Ortega’s actions, as described in the lawsuit, showcase a disturbing pattern of behavior that was repeatedly reported to hospital authorities. Yet, according to the legal complaint, these reports resulted in little to no action against Ortega, allowing him to continue his practice unchecked until his arrest and subsequent conviction in 2021. This lack of response, the lawsuit contends, was compounded by a communication barrier, as many of Ortega’s victims were vulnerable due to their limited English proficiency.

In response to the lawsuit, Endeavor Health has issued a statement underscoring its zero-tolerance policy for any form of abuse and its commitment to patient safety and quality care. While the healthcare provider refrained from commenting on the specifics of the ongoing litigation, it acknowledged the importance of creating a supportive environment that encourages the reporting of abuse. The firm representing the plaintiff, Stinar Gould Grieco & Hensley, known for its advocacy in similar cases, including that of Larry Nassar’s victims, argues that the hospitals’ alleged negligence was influenced by discriminatory attitudes toward Latina patients. The legal team insists on individual lawsuits for each victim, emphasizing the unique and personal nature of the trauma experienced by each woman.

This lawsuit against two Chicago hospitals has brought to light allegations of decades-long abuse by Dr. Fabio Ortega, emphasizing the vulnerabilities faced by Latina patients and the importance of accountability in healthcare settings. As the legal proceedings unfold, the case promises to be a pivotal moment in the fight against medical misconduct and for the rights of patients to be heard and protected.