Fertility Clinic Lawsuits Filed Over Failed Storage Tank for Frozen Eggs, Embryos
More than 70 lawsuits have been filed against an Ohio fertility clinic, after a cryo tank was unable to maintain the appropriate temperature and ruined thousands of eggs and embryos.
The complaints have all been filed as a result of problems that occurred on March 4, 2018 at the University Hospitals Fertility Center in Beachwood, Ohio, when a cryo tanks remote monitoring system malfunctioned, allowing the tank to overheat and destroy more than 4,000 eggs and embryos.
The fertility clinic lawsuits allege negligence and breach of contract, with a number of recent complaints also including claims against CAS DataLoggers, located in Chesterland, Ohio, which is the company responsible for managing the remote monitoring system that was turned off.
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Over the last several months, University Hospitals Fertility Center has been negotiating dozens of settlements with patients that want to avoid the time, expense and anxiety of litigating the case. The facility stated they will continue to work with impacted patients to settle any additional claims.
One couple who recently filed a lawsuit against University Hospitals is seeking to declare their lost embryos as living people, not property, which could alter the type of lawsuits to be filed against the organization and also include additional consequences.
University Hospitals Fertility Center released a statement this week apologizing to nearly 1,000 patients and families for the massive malfunction. The facility stated none of the eggs or embryos remained viable due to the overheating of the storage tank, and that the facility is currently investigating what caused the remote monitoring system to fail to alert staff.
According to the incident reports, the cryo tanks where the embryos and eggs were stored were equipped with a remote monitoring system that was to alert hospital personnel when the temperature changed. This system was designed to catch temperature changes to protect the storage containers contents.
University Hospitals Fertility Center officials say the remote monitoring system for the cryo tanks had been turned off for reasons unknown, failing to alert any hospital staff of the temperature change. Nearly a year after the incident, it is still unsure how or who turned off the remote monitoring system.
Since the incident, officials claim they have been working diligently to enhance and reinforce a culture that encourages our physicians, nurses, and staff to speak up when they see ways to further improve quality of care to patients.
Additionally, the facility has reached out to the impacted patients to offer free fertility care to those wanting to continue their path towards growing a family.
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