12 Mar University Hospitals Faces Multiple Lawsuits Over Fertility Clinic Incident
By LYDIA COUTRé of Crain’s Cleveland Business
March 12, 2018
University Hospitals now faces multiple lawsuits following an incident at its Fertility Clinic that compromised hundreds of eggs and embryos stored in liquid nitrogen.
Cleveland law firm Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane Abdullah Carr & Kane (PRW) has filed a class action lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas Cuyahoga County on behalf of a Pennsylvania couple and another estimated 700 victims. The complaint lists the UH system, UH Ahuja Medical Center, UH Medical Group and UH Cleveland Medical Center as defendants.
Another law firm also filed a class action lawsuit in the same court on behalf of families affected against the UH system, UH Ahuja and UH Cleveland medical centers.
An “unexpected temperature fluctuation with the tissue storage bank” occurred over the weekend of March 3 and 4, according to a statement from UH on March 8, at which point the system didn’t know the viability of the eggs and embryos.
“Right now, our patients come first,” UH said in the statement. “We are incredibly sorry this happened. We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns. We have already initiated contact with all of our patients to inform them and respond to their questions, and set up a designated call center to arrange personal meetings or calls with their physicians.”
The PRW law firm has handled multiple cases in which fertility clinics were accused of destroying or losing eggs and embryos, according to a news release.
“Lawsuits don’t get any more important than this,” PRW partner Adam Wolf said in a prepared statement. “The Pennsylvania couple entrusted UHFC with their dreams of having children, as well as their most sensitive and important property: their frozen embryos. The result is an incalculable loss and a situation where UHFC and other institutions like it must be sent a message that this sort of horror being inflicted would-be parents is entirely unacceptable and never to be repeated.”
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