Fabio Ortega Abuse Lawsuits

June 5, 2024 | David Abels
Fabio Ortega Abuse Lawsuits

For decades, Dr. Fabio Ortega was a respected and prominent OB/GYN who treated thousands of female patients in Chicago through the NorthShore University Health System, among other facilities. However, in 2018, a patient came forward and reported that Dr. Ortega sexually assaulted her.

Over the last few years, the allegations against Dr. Ortega have increased, and shockingly so. As it turns out, the sexual assault of his patients was widespread, as more and more women came forward with their stories.

Not only has Dr. Ortega faced criminal penalties so far for his conduct, but he now faces civil claims.

If you were a patient of Dr. Fabio Ortega who suffered sexual assault, you have important legal rights.

Never hesitate to schedule a no-cost, confidential consultation with a Chicago sexual assault attorney as soon as possible. The right lawyer will protect your interests and seek justice for the harm you endured.


Criminal Sexual Assault Case 

Sexual Assault

In 2018, law enforcement arrested Dr. Ortega, and he faced charges of criminal sexual assault. Three years later, Dr. Ortega pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault against two different female patients occurring during OB examinations in 2016 and 2017.

The patients reported to law enforcement that Dr. Ortega posed extremely inappropriate questions and engaged in inappropriate touching during their exams.

The criminal court sentenced Dr. Ortega to three short years in prison, though he only served one year behind bars before his release.

Prosecutors are now reportedly considering new charges involving allegations by the additional patients who have come forward with reports of sexual misconduct by Dr. Ortega, and we will watch what happens with any future criminal proceedings.

In addition, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation suspended Dr. Ortega’s license to practice medicine due to sexual misconduct with his patients. Though he cannot practice medicine anymore, unfortunately, he has already harmed prior patients.

If you were a victim of Dr. Ortega, consult a sexual assault lawyer in Chicago today. You are not alone, but time is of the essence in these cases.

Overview of Civil Sexual Assault Cases Against Dr. Fabio Ortega

While the criminal charges against Dr. Ortega only involved two patients that he sexually abused, it did not take long for many additional former patients to begin reporting that they also experienced inappropriate conduct during examinations.

Many patients began filing civil lawsuits for the injuries they suffered due to sexual assault by Dr. Ortega.

As of May 2024, hundreds of women reported that he sexually abused them in sexual assault lawsuits against Dr. Ortega and his former employer, NorthShore University Health System, filing their cases under the name “Jane Doe” for anonymity.

The lawsuits allege sexual misconduct, though all of the patients make similar allegations against the former OB/GYN.

Some of the allegations include:

  • Making sexually suggestive comments
  • Asking questions about their sexual fantasies
  • Asking intimate details about their sex lives
  • Fondling breasts under the false pretense of a breast exam
  • Licking a patient’s leg and rubbing her clitoris during an exam
  • Performing unnecessary breast, genital, and rectal examinations
  • Inserting fingers into vaginas and telling patients “how to locate their ‘g-spots,’” with no legitimate purpose or medical need

Further, most patients state he engaged in such conduct without wearing gloves.

Patients have recounted different experiences of sexual assault and misconduct at the hands of a physician who they trusted.

If you were a former patient of Dr. Ortega’s and experienced inappropriate conduct, including sexual comments, touching, or anything else, discuss a possible claim with a Chicago sexual assault lawyer.

Claims Against North Shore University Health System/Endeavor Health

The lawsuits have also named Dr. Ortega’s former employer, North Shore University Health System, now known as Endeavor Health, as a defendant, for two reasons.

Respondeat Superior

First, the law holds employers liable for harm caused by employees under a legal principle called respondeat superior. The employer does not have to contribute to the harm to bear liability under this legal doctrine.

However, this principle usually applies to employee negligence, not intentional criminal misconduct like Dr. Ortega’s. The theory of respondeat superior may not apply to Endeavor because Dr. Ortega engaged in intentional sexual assault of patients.



The plaintiffs also state that Endeavor negligently allowed the sexual assault to occur by an employee of the institution and failed to protect them from abusive and medically unnecessary conduct by Dr. Ortega.

Specifically, the lawsuits allege that:

  • NorthShore allowed Dr. Ortega to continue seeing patients after the criminal investigation began into reported instances of sexual assault against patients. 
  • Many other red flags should have signaled to NorthShore that Dr. Ortega might have engaged in misconduct with patients. For instance, he ordered significantly more pelvic exams than usual.

In many cases, employers that knew or should have known that an employee engaged in sexual assault can bear liability for the conduct of employees.

If you were a victim of Dr. Ortega, you might file a claim against both the doctor and Endeavor to seek damages and justice for the harm you suffered. Discuss these options with a skilled sexual assault attorney who can identify all sources of liability and hold them accountable.

Many Patients Have Likely Not Come Forward

While around 60 patients have already filed claims, many additional abused patients may yet come forward with their stories of assault by Dr. Fabio Ortega. Often, victims wait to see what happens with the initial cases before deciding to join in the lawsuits themselves.

Reports of Dr. Ortega’s abuse reach back to the 1990s, which means he may have subjected thousands of patients over about 25 years to sexual assault during OB examinations.

Often, patients might not even realize that their experiences constituted sexual assault until they hear about others who experienced similar conduct and are bringing lawsuits or filing criminal reports.

A dedicated and compassionate sexual assault attorney is ready to listen to your story and help you determine whether you experienced abuse at the hands of Dr. Ortega and whether you have a valid claim. All you have to do is schedule your appointment to discuss your experience in confidence.

Overview of Civil Sexual Assault Lawsuits in Illinois

If someone sexually abused you in Illinois, a lawyer can explain your legal rights and the options available to seek justice and compensation. Civil sexual assault lawsuits provide victims with a way to hold their abusers accountable and obtain financial compensation for the physical, emotional, and psychological harm they suffered.

In Illinois, plaintiffs can file civil sexual assault lawsuits against individuals, organizations, or institutions responsible for the abuse. This can include perpetrators, employers, schools, churches, or any other entity that failed to protect the victim from harm or enabled the abuse to occur.

To initiate a civil sexual assault lawsuit in Illinois, you will need to consult a qualified attorney who handles sexual abuse cases. An experienced attorney will guide you through the entire legal process, protecting your interests and ensuring you have the strongest possible case.

One important aspect to consider in civil sexual assault lawsuits is the statute of limitations. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for these cases varies depending on the circumstances. Never wait to contact an attorney promptly to determine if you still have time to file a lawsuit.

Engage an attorney for your civil sexual assault lawsuit for several reasons. First and foremost, they will provide the support, guidance, and empathy you need during this challenging time. They will fight for your best interests and ensure you are treated respectfully throughout the legal process.

Additionally, they have the experience and knowledge of the law to navigate the complexities of your case, increasing your chances of a successful outcome. Finally, they will handle your lawsuit's legal aspects, allowing you to focus on your healing and recovery.

You do not have to face the aftermath of sexual abuse alone. By taking the courageous step of seeking legal representation, you can regain a sense of control and seek the justice you deserve. Consult a knowledgeable attorney today to explore your options and start the process of holding your abuser accountable.

Do You Have a Sexual Assault Claim?

If Dr. Fabio Ortega sexually assaulted you or a loved one, you have legal options. Taking legal action can hold the responsible parties accountable and provide you with the compensation and justice you deserve.

By initiating a civil lawsuit, you can seek financial compensation for damages, such as: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Therapy costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income 

Furthermore, pursuing legal action can prevent future misconduct by raising awareness of the issue and encouraging changes in policies and procedures.

Civil Sexual Assault Lawsuits vs. Criminal Charges

Sexual Assault Lawsuits

In cases of sexual assault, there are two avenues for justice: civil lawsuits and criminal charges. While both options provide justice to survivors, they serve different purposes and follow distinct legal processes.

The survivor files civil sexual assault lawsuits against the perpetrator or any other party responsible for the abuse. The objective is to seek compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, therapy costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Unlike criminal charges, which the state files in pursuit of punishment, civil lawsuits prioritize restoring survivors' rights and providing for their physical, emotional, and financial recovery.

One significant advantage of civil sexual assault lawsuits is that they have a lower burden of proof than criminal charges.

In civil cases, the standard of proof is typically preponderance of the evidence, meaning that the survivor must demonstrate that it is more likely than not that the abuse occurred. In contrast, criminal charges require a higher standard of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Civil sexual assault lawsuits and criminal charges can take place simultaneously, and the outcomes of one proceeding can affect the other.

While the authorities decide whether to pursue criminal charges, you have the power to initiate a civil lawsuit on your terms. A knowledgeable sexual assault attorney can help you through the legal process and work towards achieving the justice you deserve.

By pursuing civil sexual assault lawsuits, you not only seek compensation for the damages you have endured but also contribute to holding perpetrators accountable and preventing future abuse.

Consult an Illinois Sexual Assault Attorney Now About a Possible Case

You don't have to face the possibility of a sexual assault lawsuit alone. An experienced Illinois sexual assault attorney will protect you and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.

Law firms in the Chicago area are taking cases against Dr. Ortega. These attorneys have compassion for the harm his victims suffered due to their sexual abuse and want Ortega and his former employers to be fully accountable.

Not only will justice ensure that victims receive compensation for their suffering, but also send a message that such conduct will not go unpunished in the Chicago area. These cases signal there are victims and law firms ready to stand up to doctors and others in positions of power who engage in assault and abuse.

Seek your free consultation today.

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David Abels


David Abels has carved a niche for himself in the personal injury law sector, dedicating a substantial part of his career since 1997 to representing victims of various accidents. With a law practice that spans over two decades, his expertise has been consistently recognized within the legal community.

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