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“Why did you abuse me? You ruined my life,” says sexual abuse survivor of former OB/GYN Fabio Ortega

April 3, 2024

Press conference details multi-faceted pursuit of justice by civil legal team: update on new and pending lawsuits; call for criminal investigation into hundreds of allegations of abuse; Illinois State Rep. plans to introduce legislation

CHICAGO (April 3, 2024) – Attorneys Tamara N. Holder, Johanna J. Raimond and the legal team from Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, including Founding Partner Stephan D. Blandin, Partner Michael E. Holden and Senior Attorney Daisy Ayllon held a press event today providing multiple updates on the claims of sexual abuse of hundreds of women by former OB/GYN Fabio Ortega.

Also at the press event was Ericka Matos, the first victim of Fabio Ortega to come forward publicly and on the record, revealing her identity. Ms. Matos is currently suing Ortega and Swedish Covenant Health for his sexual abuses decades ago when she trusted him to provide her with gynecological care. She spoke today directly to Ortega, asking the media to convey her words.

Her message to Ortega was very clear, saying, “Why did you abuse me? I trusted you and you ruined my life. And for the hospitals, you are supposed to serve the patients not the doctors. How can you sleep at night knowing he did so much harm to women? It is not correct for you to defend him. I have relied on my lawyers, especially Tamara Holder, who gave me the strength to come forward. I want justice for all of us.”

In 2019, Attorneys Holder and Raimond began this movement against Ortega and his former employers, Swedish Covenant Hospital and NorthShore University HealthSystem, now named Endeavor Health. Over the past five years, they have represented dozens of women and filed multiple lawsuits. Last year, Holder and Raimond joined forces with the Romanucci & Blandin team, and this case has grown to hundreds of plaintiffs. 

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office pursued prosecution on behalf of two women. Even though Ortega pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting both women, he served only one year in prison. Police told other women that their cases would not be criminally prosecuted because there was not enough evidence or too much time had passed. In addition to being a free man, Endeavor Health, formerly NorthShore University HealthSystem, and Swedish Covenant continue to pay his legal bills as one of the largest, most-profitable hospital systems in the United States.

“This is yet another case where a healthcare institution chose profits over patient safety. In 2019, we filed our first cases against Ortega. For the past five years, we have filed and settled dozens of cases. For years, NorthShore and Swedish ignored the cries of their female patients. In fact, in 2017, police told NorthShore that Fabio Ortega was being investigated for sexual abuse. Rather than swiftly remove him from patient care, they snubbed their noses at investigators. Instead, they continued to allow Ortega to see female patients, unchaperoned. And still, despite his pleas of guilty to sexually assaulting two women, NorthShore and Swedish refuse to apologize. Instead, the institutions continue to gaslight their female patients. In court filings, they have made a litany of defenses: Ortega’s conduct was proper; that the women are confused or lying; and the women’s claims are time-barred by the statute of limitations,” said Tamara Holder, Attorney at The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC.

“NorthShore University HealthSystem, now Endeavor Health, failed its female patients and has never – to this day - taken accountability for enabling Ortega to sexually assault its patients. Endeavor has done nothing to earn back women’s trust in the wake of this systemic failure,” said Johanna J. Raimond, Attorney at The Law Offices of Johanna J. Raimond.

“As we mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month, our legal team is committed to doing everything in our power to end sexual violence in the healthcare setting and to deliver justice to Ortega’s victims, through civil litigation, supporting legislative reform, and calling on the State’s Attorney and Illinois Attorney General to conduct a robust criminal investigation,” said Stephan D. Blandin, Founding Partner of Romanucci & Blandin.

The legal team has sent a letter to the offices of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul urging the Ortega investigation - so all of the female plaintiffs’ allegations can be properly pursued.

Additionally, a bill is expected in Springfield this session, sponsored by Illinois State Representative Kelly M. Cassidy (D – 14th Dist.) that would increase and improve hospitals’ reporting requirements when a patient has allegations of sexual abuse by a healthcare provider.

"These cases underscore the myriad ways the very systems we put in place to support survivors of gender-based violence continue to fail them. The troubling allegations of so many Illinois women with claims of sexual abuse by Dr. Fabio Ortega and others are made even worse because information appears to indicate those concerns were not reported and investigated in a timely manner. We clearly need to do better in our state when it comes to investigating these important concerns and protecting people. It will be my honor, along with several other bill sponsors, to put forth legislation this session to do just that," said Illinois State Representative Kelly M. Cassidy (D - 14th Dist).

To learn more about these cases against former doctor Fabio Ortega please visit:


Tamara Holder is a nationally-recognized women's rights & civil rights attorney. For 18 years, Tamara has focused her practice on individual and multi-plaintiff litigation related to sexual abuse, sexual harassment, pay disparity, discrimination in the workplace, fraternity rape, and doctor-patient misconduct. Tamara was a progressive legal analyst/host on Fox News Channel for nearly a decade, and created the show “Sports Court.” She also built a pro bono legal clinic at Rainbow PUSH Coalition, alongside Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Tamara has testified before Congress and passed legislation. For more information about Tamara’s work, or if you or someone you know has information about Ortega and/or NorthShore, visit or call (312) 440-9000.

Johanna J. Raimond is a Chicago-based civil rights attorney who concentrates her practice on representing workers and victims of sexual assault. For more than 27 years, Ms. Raimond has litigated individual, class and multi-plaintiff lawsuits across the United States on behalf of her clients. Prior to starting her own law firm in 2006, she worked at an employment boutique specializing in class action work. She also prosecuted securities fraud as an enforcement attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission. She began her career at McDermott, Will & Emery. To learn more visit

Romanucci & Blandin, LLC is a Chicago-based national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death. For more than 25 years, we have secured more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients - many for millions of dollars and others record-setting awards. Our experience ranges from mass shootings, civil rights and police misconduct to medical malpractice, sexual abuse, motor vehicle accidents or workplace injury cases involving individual or institutional negligence. Romanucci & Blandin is a valuable legal resource to individuals and groups of people who have been injured by others’ wrongdoing. Referring attorneys and clients say several factors differentiate our firm: Our record of success, depth of experience, talented and dedicated legal team, tireless preparation and strategic use of communications to fight for the rights of those whose lives have been changed forever. We are different from other personal injury firms in that our work does not stop when a verdict or settlement is secured. We are often inspired by our clients’ experiences and commit resources to create change in our communities. For more information about Romanucci & Blandin, please visit or call (312) 458-1000.

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