Update: Since August 16, 2023 and as of Sept. 13, 2023, Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. has filed 12 additional new cases against former doctor Vernon Cannon and DuPage Medical Group/Duly Health and Care. They include:
On August 16, 2023, Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., announced that it has filed four new misconduct lawsuits against a Chicago area obstetrician-gynecologist and his former employer. In addition to the 16 lawsuits already filed, Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. will be filing an additional 37 cases against former doctor Vernon Cannon and DuPage Medical Group/Duly Health and Care throughout this week, for a total of 53 cases. DuPage Medical Group, now operating under the name Duly Health and Care, is being sued for negligence, along with Cannon, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, who is accused of misconduct against patients while working for the expansive medical practice.
These four lawsuits included:
Watch the press conference below.
Misconduct Cases Against OB-GYN Vernon Cannon
In a press conference discussing the new lawsuits, HMM Partner Evan Smola explained that while each case is unique, all involve the catastrophic failures of Duly Health and Care to respond to repeated warning signs about Cannon practicing while intoxicated.
Evidence collected during the investigations conducted by Hurley McKenna & Mertz included multiple patient complaints lodged with DuPage Medical Group/Duly about Cannon smelling of alcohol, as well as strange and inappropriate behavior on the part of the obstetrician-gynecologist. There were significant indications of decreased productivity and missed appointments. And Smola reported that most, if not all, of the women who came forward to complain about Cannon experienced humiliation, a loss of trust in medicine, and emotional distress when they realized, during their exams, that Cannon was intoxicated.
Most complaints accuse Cannon of battery and lack of informed consent for initiating unwanted, unwelcomed, harmful, and damaging physical contact while intoxicated.
“Women deserve competent, trustworthy, caring physicians,” stated Smola. “We intend to conduct a full investigation as to why Dr. Cannon continued to practice at Duly even after patients complained of his intoxication.”
HMM’s attorneys pointed out that any touching of a woman’s body by an intoxicated gynecologist can be considered unwanted touching and argue that no woman would consent to having a physician exam her genitals while intoxicated.
One recent lawsuit includes allegations that Cannon sexually harassed and groomed a patient when she was in high school.
Several of the lawsuits filed in August 2023 involve allegations of Cannon again appearing intoxicated or impaired during the delivery of infants.
The earlier lawsuits included one that alleged an inappropriate sexual relationship with a patient outside of examinations, and another that accused Cannon of bizarre behavior after a patient delivered a stillborn child.
Institutional Negligence by DuPage Medical Group, Formerly Duly Health and Care
Jane Doe, a victim alleging sexual assault by Vernon Cannon, explained the betrayal she felt after learning about Duly’s conduct: “That Dr. Cannon’s misconduct persisted without intervention or consequences shows a failure by Duly to protect their patients. Duly needs to hear the stories of their patients to implement comprehensive reforms, address protocols for reporting misconduct, and provide support to survivors. No patient should ever go through what I have, and Duly needs to take responsibility to ensure that this never happens again.”
DuPage Medical Group LTD, Midwest Physician Administrative Services, LLC, and Duly Health and Care are being sued for negligence and institutional negligence for allowing Cannon to practice and engage in medical examinations while intoxicated and for negligent supervision and retention of Cannon.
Smola pointed out that although each of the lawsuits filed on August 16, 2023, is unique, all of them focus on DuPage Medical Group’s institutional negligence in failing to properly supervise Cannon and allowing him to continue to practice.
“One of the most egregious factors about the entire situation is the inaction by DuPage Medical Group when it came to protecting their patients,” Smola said. Despite repeated patient complaints about Dr. Cannon, it was not until a physician at a separate facility identified to Duly a problem with Cannon that Duly finally acted.
OB-GYN Vernon Cannon’s Medical License
Since the filing of the initial lawsuits, Cannon’s Illinois Physician and Surgeon License was formally and permanently relinquished in March 2023, having been placed on “permanent inactive status due to unprofessional conduct.” As part of the stipulation to permanently relinquish his medical license, Cannon acknowledged that should this matter proceed to a contested hearing, the Illinois State Medical Board could find that Cannon engaged in dishonorable, unethical, or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public in violation of 60/22(A)(5) of the Illinois Medical Practice Act. This followed the January 2023 petition by The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation which sought the suspension and/or revocation of Cannon’s professional medical credentials.
Smola acknowledged that the attorneys and clients are pleased that Vernon Cannon is no longer licensed to practice medicine in Illinois. However, Smola noted that it is disappointing that this development did not originate with Duly, but rather with the state licensing authority. He suggested that this inaction by Duly serves to further point out the group’s negligence in this matter.
Michael Mertz, Partner at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., stated, “We are incredibly proud of our clients. I think their courage likely contributed to Dr. Cannon finally relinquishing his license. It is only when people come forward that we can begin to find out the truth about what happened here.”
DuPage Medical Group adopted the name Duly Health and Care in September 2021. At that time, Illinois’ largest independent multispecialty physician group operated 115 locations in and around DuPage County. In August 2023, under the name Duly Health and Care, the medical entity advertises more than 150 Chicago area sites and over a thousand medical providers.
Learn more about the Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. lawsuits filed in Cook County Circuit Court against obstetrician-gynecologist Vernon T. Cannon, M.D., and the medical group, DuPage Medical Group LTD, Midwest Physician Administrative Services, LLC, and Duly Health and Care here.
Sexual Abuse at Private Equity-Owned Medical Practices Happens Every Day. Find Out Why.
Unfortunately, sexual abuse at private equity-owned medical practices can happen, as demonstrated by Dr. Vernon Cannon and the DuPage Medical Group. Understanding why this is happening and what you can do as a victim or patient of one of these practices is the first step in seeking justice. Learn more here.