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Patients Mobilize to Sue Clinic That Accidentally Destroyed Thousands of Eggs, Embryos
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University Hospitals. Photo courtesy of Glassdoor.

Summary: An Ohio hospital is being sued for accidentally destroying thousands of stored eggs and embryos. 

Numerous families who lost eggs and embryos stored at an Ohio fertility clinic have filed lawsuits this week. According to Fox 8, dozens of people have already contacted legal representation about next steps against University Hospitals, which accidentally damaged thousands of eggs and embryos stored there.

  
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According to University Hospitals Fertility Clinic in Beachwood, Ohio, about 600 families were impacted by the center’s liquid nitrogen storage tank malfunctioning. These families endured costly and invasive in-vitro fertilization treatments to save their eggs and embryos for future use, and once University Hospitals compromised them, the families no longer have the ability to have biological children.

University Hospitals liquid nitrogen storage tanks had a temperature fluctuation recently that made the stored eggs and embryos no longer viable. On Thursday, the facility reported that 2,000 eggs and embryos were affected.

The hospital said they are in the midst of an investigation as to whether or not the fluctuation was an equipment failure or a result of human error.

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Kate and Jeremy Plants had stored their embryos with University Hospitals, and they told Fox 8 that they had made the decision to do so after Kate was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015.

“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. “We feel like we’re grieving again the fact that we can’t have kids.”



The Plants plan to sue the hospital for their loss, and they are being represented by Tom Merriman with Landskroner Grieco Merriman, LLC.

Merriman told Fox 8 that he has already been contacted by dozens of grieving people and that he knows of other attorneys who are also filing lawsuits against the hospital.

“We need to get to the bottom of what happened,” Merriman said. “Everyone who has talked to their doctor has been told ‘your embryos are not viable.’ It appears this is far more catastrophic than what was originally reported.”

On Monday, the law firm Peiffer Rosca Wolf Abdullah Carr & Kane announced that it would file a class-action lawsuit against University Hospitals.

University Hospitals has responded to the tragedy, and they stated that lawsuits will not affect their independent investigation into what had happened.

“We understand why some people might feel compelled to take this step,” a hospital spokesperson said. “Any lawsuits being filed will have no bearing on the independent review being conducted or our determination to help patients who have suffered this loss.”

The Plants said that they will now pursue adopting, but that they want the hospital to be held accountable for what they did.

“The fact that it happened in the first place is mind-boggling to me,” the Plants said to Fox 8. “I think something that sensitive and that precious, they should have had fail safes and fail safes and fail safes.”

What do you think of University Hospitals’ error? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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