It’s the nightmare of couples going through fertility treatments to learn that in vitro fertilization has failed or that their embryos aren’t viable. However, no one expects to learn that equipment has failed and destroyed their eggs or embryos. Patients in California sued a clinic for that very reason.
What happened that led to the lawsuit?
Five patients of a fertility clinic filed a lawsuit for damages after their frozen embryos were destroyed after a storage tank malfunctioned. Their complaint stated that they lost the opportunity to have their own biological children as a result.
What was the outcome of the claim?
The plaintiffs were awarded close to $15 million by a jury for their tragic damages. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
According to the fertility clinic, a piece of equipment inside its laboratory lost liquid nitrogen, which led to the malfunction that destroyed some of the embryos inside the tank. The facility issued an apology to all those affected.
The jury found that the fertility clinic and the manufacturer of the tank behaved negligently due to knowing that there was an issue with the tank and that both knew there was a potential for disaster. The end result saw families suffering as their precious embryos were lost and their chance to have their own blood-related children was gone as well.
While the $15 million award from the verdict doesn’t begin to replace what could have been and the potential children the victims lost, it’s a first of its kind. Fertility clinics acting negligently in storing embryos while knowing there’s a problem with the equipment in which they are held must be held accountable.
Since the verdict in this case, there were additional lawsuits filed against a different fertility clinic for a similar problem.
If you suffered due to a clinic’s negligence, it’s your right to fight back and hold the facility liable.