University Hospitals Frozen Egg and Embryo Claims
University Hospitals of Cleveland has recently disclosed that over 2000 frozen eggs and embryos of patients of the hospital’s Reproductive and Fertility clinic may no longer be viable. This news has been nothing short of devastating for the hundreds of affected victims faced now with the reality that all the grueling efforts they have undertaken to preserve their fertility may have been undermined and their chance at reproduction destroyed. For those patients who preserved embryos in advance of enduring medical treatment that has left them sterile, including cancer, or women whose chances of fertility have decreased with age and have sought to preserve eggs for the future, it appears that the future they sought to preserve may now have been taken away through no fault of their own.
We are representing a significant number of clients in an effort to secure their rights. We recognize that these issues are highly private, personal, sensitive and emotional. Accordingly, we have assembled a team of attorneys, investigators and experts who are working together to provide our clients with guidance and informed representation in their claims. If you have been impacted by this tragic circumstance and would like to discuss your rights, call our office at 216-522-9000 to speak to an attorney or simply complete our confidential contact form to the right and a member of our team will be in touch in short order to answer any questions you may have. There is no obligation or fee for this consultation.
The process of protecting fertility and IVF procedures is highly private and personal. There are a number of procedures offered by fertility and reproductive medical clinics to help woman and men preserve their fertility. The primary procedures and processes available include:
- Embryo cryopreservation: Excess embryos from a single procedure are frozen for implantation at a later date.
- Fertility preservation: When a man or woman is diagnosed with cancer, he or she can receive counseling on the options available to preserve either sperm or eggs prior to cancer treatment.
- Egg freezing: This process allows a woman to electively freeze her eggs at a younger age for use at a later date
These processes are all invasive, and some require injections, stimulation, testing, monitoring and retrieval. They are also expensive, often exceeding $15,000, and involve not only the cost of the procedures but also the cost of storage of secured eggs, sperm and embryos. Patients put their trust and faith into the processes and procedures which are marketed as the means to preserve fertility.
Recently, there have been reports of multiple incidents of failure at fertility centers’ storage units resulting in unexpected temperature fluctuations in the liquid nitrogen storage banks that hold stored eggs and embryos. This includes University Hospitals of Cleveland and the Pacific Fertility Clinic in San Francisco. As a consequence, the stored materials have been compromised and are no longer viable.
According to experts, the correct temperature must be maintained in order to avoid any damage. In turn, the only way to find out if the samples exposed to the known temperature variations are still viable is to thaw and prepare to implant them before the viability can be determined. Thus, it could be years before people that have stored specimens are in a position to learn if their stored eggs, sperm or embryos have been destroyed. This is a highly emotional and personal process from start to finish and is typically undertaken as a last ditch effort to protect the future of reproduction when faced with short and long-term loss of fertility. In response to this disaster, the hospitals involved have suggested they may waive the cost of future procedures and treatments for the patients affected, but this is of little consequence to those whose fertility has been lost since they endured the process and prior efforts of preservation.
The losses experienced by affected persons are nothing short of devastating; they are physical, emotional and personal. They could ultimately mean the end of a family’s lineage. Each victim is entitled to more than just an apology but also – full accountability and damages from the institution that failed them. That’s why it’s so critical for affected patients to consult an experienced attorney right away. Contact us online for a free consultation or call 866-823-3332.