1000’s of Human Embryos “Lost,” Hospital Offers Free Do-Overs

Image: Dr.jayesh amin, CC BY-SA 3.0

Hospital insists it is not liable for loss of eggs and embryos in freezer malfunction, but offers “free fertility care to impacted patients.”

| CNN – Eight new lawsuits have been filed by families who lost eggs and embryos after a storage tank failed at Cleveland’s University Hospitals Fertility Clinic in March.

The suits were filed Thursday in federal court, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs, who allege negligence and breach of contract.

Previously, lawsuits related to the fertility clinic’s storage tank failure, which destroyed more than 4,000 eggs and embryos and affected at least 950 families, were filed in Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County …

“University Hospitals has admitted its responsibility for the failures of its tanks. That failure, it has said, should not have happened,” Wolf said. “The loss suffered by our clients is devastating. … Those eggs and embryos represented the hopes for having children for hundreds of American families.”

CAS DataLoggers’ attorney did not respond to a request for comment. Plaintiff attorneys could not outline the exact relationship CAS DataLoggers had with the fertility center and said that information would come out through litigation.

One of the complaints obtained by CNN described how an alarm sounded when the storage tank temperature fluctuated — but no one was in the clinic to hear it.

“A remote alarm system provided by CAS [DataLoggers], which was designed to alert UH employees to a temperature fluctuation when the Center is not staffed, was turned off and had been off for a period of time,” the complaint said.

What the hospital system has to say

University Hospitals issued a statement Thursday in response to the latest lawsuits.

“Since the March 4 Fertility Center event, University Hospitals and its leaders have apologized and continue to put our patients first by offering free fertility care to impacted patients who would like to continue their path to growing their families,” the statement said …

The statement added that “UH has worked with Fertility Center patients and their lawyers over the past year to negotiate a significant number of settlements and will continue offering resolution alternatives to our patients who want to avoid the time, expense, and anxiety of litigation.” Read more. 

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