2nd lawsuit filed over lost embryos at hospital

Yolanda Curtis
March 13, 2018

Egg and embryo storage tanks at two separate infertility centers, one in OH and the other in California, malfunctioned, leaving hundreds of hopeful parents devastated and seeking legal recourse. Women freeze eggs in order to postpone pregnancy until a later date or to have a supply for in vitro fertilization attempts.

More families are suing University Hospitals after eggs and embryos they had stored at the University Hospitals Fertility Clinic were jeopardized.

"Anger is a big part of the phone call", Herbert told the Post. The increased temperature risks damage to the eggs and embryos.

Herbert says the embryos were later transferred to a new tank. "The medical community calls it tissue, I like to think of it as my children". One to three eggs may be stored in a unit.

A spokesperson with the clinic told the post that an estimated 15 percent of the clinic's total number of eggs and embryos were in the damaged tank.

DiCello Levitt & Casey is conducting investigations of potential similar lawsuits at clinics across the country, including a San Francisco facility that experienced a similar malfunction earlier this month, according to a news release.

A liquid nitrogen storage tank at University Hospitals malfunctioned the weekend of March 3rd, causing 2100 eggs and embryos to be compromised. "This was a bad incident", Herbert said, "but I was reassured that.he did everything anybody could ever want to do". "The clinic has reported the incident to the College of American Pathologists, which certifies labs, and the overseers of California's tissue banks", Herbert said. The clinic also has brought in a multidiscplinary team to investigate the tank itself and "every aspect that involves cryopreservation", he said.

The couple received notification of the failure on Friday and over the weekend, were told by physicians that their embryos are no longer viable.

DiCello said he is in talks with other patients to add them to the class-action complaint.

According to the clinic's website, its fees for egg freezing are $8,345 for the initial cycle and $6,995 for each subsequent round.

"We would love to have our own biological child, so when we found out that that decision was made for us, and they're destroyed, you're grieving the loss of your own child essentially because your hopes and dreams are put into that embryo", Kate Plants said.

"This was a awful incident", Pacific Fertility Center President Carl Herbert, MD, told The Post.

The first class action lawsuit has been filed against University Hospitals following a refrigerator malfunction that has left the viability of 2,000 eggs and embryos in question.

Hospital officials say more than 500 patients were affected, including some that provided samples in the 1980's.

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