A fertility clinic lawsuit may be an option for individuals who permanently lost eggs and/or embryos when refrigeration equipment failed. In addition to a class action lawsuit filed in March 2018, other legal action may follow as fertility clinic customers claim to have lost eggs and/or embryos due to tank leaks, alarm system issues and other mechanical malfunctions that may have led to the total loss of frozen eggs and embryos. Affected individuals may be able to pursue a claim with the help of a consumer protection attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated consumer protection attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Egg and Embryo Freezing
Egg freezing allows people to preserve their own eggs so that they may be fertilized and implanted at a later time. Eggs and embryos are preserved and frozen through a process known as vitrification, an ultra-rapid approach to cryopreservation that simplifies and potentially improves cryopreservation because of its ability to eliminate the possibility of damage from ice.
Researchers note that the vitrification process “eliminates the need to find optimal cooling and warming rates, eliminates the importance of differing optimal cooling and warming rates for cells in mixed cell type populations, eliminates the need to find a frequently imperfect compromise between solution effects injury and intracellular ice formation, and enables cooling to be rapid enough to ‘outrun’ chilling injury.”
According to a class action lawsuit filed in March 2018, fertility clinics tout the vitrification process as a safer alternative to slow freezing technologies. Services offered at many fertility clinics can be expensive, and consumers often pay thousands of dollars in freezing and retrieval fees as well as annual storage fees.
Refrigeration and Freezer Failure
The loss of thousands of eggs and embryos in March 2018 has been reportedly linked to freezer failure at two fertility clinics, Pacific Fertility Center in California and University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center’s Fertility Center in Ohio. According to a report published by the Washington Post, a San Francisco-based fertility clinic “experienced a liquid nitrogen failure in a storage tank holding thousands of frozen eggs and embryos for future use, jeopardizing tissue hundreds of women had stored in hopes of having children.” The class action lawsuit, filed on March 13, 2018, alleges that the fertility clinic breached their agreement with their customers and “committed gross negligence” when the clinic failed to keep eggs and embryos frozen.
In a separate report issued by NPR, a fertility clinic with the University Hospitals health care system acknowledged that an issue with the remote alarm system on its storage tank may have led to a fluctuation in temperatures, resulting in the loss of 4,000 eggs and embryos. According to a letter addressed to potentially affected patients, the company has claimed responsibility for the failures, but stated that it is not completely clear how the failures occurred.
Fertility Clinic Lawsuit Claims
Plaintiffs have reportedly begun filing class action lawsuits on behalf of individuals who contracted with fertility clinics in the U.S. and lost eggs and/or embryos as a result of freezer failure. According to a class action filed in California, plaintiffs claim the fertility clinic failed to adequately maintain, inspect, monitor, and/or test their storage tanks in accordance with industry standards and that plaintiffs and other similarly situated individuals suffered harm as a result.
Likewise, the class action alleges that the plaintiffs entrusted their eggs and embryos with the fertility clinic and that the clinic breached their contracts with their customers when they failed to keep those eggs and embryos safe and secure.
How a Fertility Clinic Lawsuit Can Help
When a company fails to use reasonable care and cannot fulfill their duty to their customers, that company could be liable for any damages that result. The actions of the defendants could constitute negligence and/or gross negligence, breach of contract, bailment, as well as violations of various state and local consumer protection laws.
Compensation may be sought for:
- Costs incurred by owners, including loss of value, attributable to any wrongful conduct
- Refund of the purchase price paid for affected services
- Damages related to violations of consumer protection acts
- Attorneys’ fees
Individuals who lost eggs and/or embryos as a result of freezer failure or human error may be eligible to pursue damages through a fertility clinic class action lawsuit and are encouraged to seek the advice of an experienced consumer protection attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.