When “S.M.” sought to save her eggs for future motherhood, the San Francisco woman was assured that they would be safely frozen until she needed them.
But those precious eggs, along with the eggs and embryos of hundreds of other patients, were stored in malfunctioning Tank No. 4 at Pacific Fertility Center’s lab on Francisco Street — and are now presumed damaged.
In this first suit to be filed after a rare malfunction that remains under investigation, the woman, who remains anonymous for privacy, is seeking compensation for negligence and breach of contract from the Prelude Fertility, where she received treatment in 2016, and Pacific Fertility Center, which stored her eggs.
The law firm, Sauder & Schelkopf of Berwyn, PA, is asking the court to certify the case as a class action, saying that at least 400 individuals may have been harmed by the incident. The suit was filed late Tuesday in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.
“We have been contacted by many people who have been impacted by this heartbreaking incident and we look forward to getting them answers and a meaningful resolution,” said attorney Joseph Sauder.
“The value of the eggs and embryos that Plaintiff and other class members entrusted to Defendants — and for which Defendants accepted legal responsibility to store, preserve, and protect — is substantial,” according to the complaint.
“For some families, these fertility services provide their only opportunity to conceive a child,” it asserts.
The fertility clinic breakdown was one of two refrigeration failures — thought to be the first of their type — to happen nearly simultaneously on March 4. The other clinic, in Ohio’s University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, estimates that 2,00 eggs and embryos may have been damaged or destroyed.
At least two lawsuits have been filed against the Cleveland clinic.
The first is on behalf of Amber and Elliot Ash, who live just west of Cleveland. The couple, infertile after Elliott’s cancer treatment, said that their doctor confirmed that two embryos had been in the affected tank and were unusable.
Another Cleveland-based patient, Kate Plants, is suing for the loss of five embryos. She had sought fertility treatment following ovarian and uterine cancer.
Although no one yet knows what went wrong, experts suspect there were leaks in the seals of the tank that holds liquid nitrogen, where frozen embryos are stored.
The San Francisco center states that its system is equipped …read more
Source:: East Bay – Health