DuPage County

New lawsuits to be filed against former DuPage County OB-GYN, alleging inappropriate behavior

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More than 50 lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming days against a DuPage County gynecologist who dozens of women say had a history of inappropriate behavior, including drunken exams.

“I do feel betrayed. I have trust issues now,” said Christina Deeke, who worked alongside Vernon Cannon, and was also a patient. 

“At what medical personnel would be taking off their shirt and showing their patient all of their tattoos?” she asked at a news conference Wednesday.

Deeke is one of dozens of women bringing lawsuits against the one-time OB-GYN. According to attorneys, 16 lawsuits have been filed so far, with 37 additional lawsuits set to come.

Elizabeth Gudella was a teenager when she started seeing Cannon, and also recalls him taking off his shirt to show her his tattoos.

“I was underage so I feel I was certainly violated, but to a certain extent it was like ‘he’s the doctor,’” she told NBC Chicago.

Her attorney, Michael Mertz, said Cannon also attempted to bring Gudella to concerts and asked her to set him up with her friends on dates.

“The relationship was incredibly inappropriate,” he said.

In her lawsuit, Vesta Eddings alleges that, during an exam, Cannon appeared to be “slurring his words,” was “difficult to understand” and “appeared intoxicated.”

Cannon worked as an OB-GYN at DuPage Medical Group, which is now known as Duly Heath and Care.

A spokesperson says the medical group takes misconduct allegations seriously.

“The actions alleged are unacceptable and inconsistent with Duly’s mission to provide outstanding patient care and the ethical standards we expect our physicians to uphold,” Director of External Communications Terri Hickey said. “Duly vehemently denies that it knowingly allowed Dr. Cannon to engage in misconduct, and Dr. Cannon has not had any patient contact at Duly since he departed the practice in 2020.”

Earlier this year, Cannon consented to allow the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation to place his medical license on permanent inactive status.

Although coming forward is difficult for these women, Christina Deeke says it is important. “I don’t want this to happen to any other woman,” she said.

NBC Chicago’s efforts to reach the former doctor were unsuccessful. So far, he does not face any criminal charges.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that 16 lawsuits have already been filed, and 37 more are expected to soon be filed, according to attorneys.

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