New lawsuit filed against pediatrician, clinic

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Minneapolis attorney Jeff Anderson held a news conference Wednesday, announcing a civil lawsuit has been filed against Dr. David Van de Loo and his former employer, Mayo Clinic Health System.

Anderson represents two brothers who say they were sexually abused by Van de Loo as patients when they were between 11 to 17 years old.

Anderson says while the case is about Van de Loo, it is more about Mayo Clinic Health System and what he calls its negligence to stop Van de Loo's alleged behavior.

"The prosecution of Van de Loo while appropriate doesn't seem like enough, and that's why we're here," he said.

While much of the attention has been focused on allegations against Dr. David Van de Loo, Anderson says there is more to the picture.

"The message needs to be heard, this clinic shares some responsibility," he said.

He says Mayo Clinic Health System was negligent, allowing Dr. Van de Loo to continue practicing medicine after he says it received a complaint about Van de Loo in 2007.

He says it came from a mother, saying her son was abused by Van de Loo. But rather than taking action on it, he says the clinic had Van de Loo respond.

"And he made a call back, and effectively silenced them from doing any action," Anderson said.

That complaint is not connected to the people Anderson is representing. Mayo Clinic released a statement on Thursday that read in part:

"Mayo Clinic Health System is aware a lawsuit was filed today; however, we have not had a chance to review it. As we have previously stated, the first complaint of this nature that we are aware of was received on Aug. 30, 2012, and the organization took prompt and decisive action following that complaint. We will investigate any new information thoroughly and continue to work with families and authorities as we learn more."

Still, Anderson says while it is Van de Loo's alleged behavior that is front and center, Mayo Clinic Health System shares some responsibility.

"This is a highly regarded clinic with a well-deserved reputation and for a clinic with this stature that could have allowed this to happen for as long as it did is what I call an institutional failure," Anderson said.

The lawsuit says the victims are asking for an unspecified amount in damages to be awarded at trial.

We tried reaching Dr. Van de Loo by phone but did not hear back.

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