September 28, 2022

California couple sue IVF doctor over ‘lost’ embryos

Alex Walterspiel and Melanie Waters, a married couple in their 30s, conceived their 3-year-old son through IVF and hoped to have a second pregnancy using one of the remaining frozen embryos.

Alex Walterspiel and Melanie Waters, a married couple in their 30s, conceived their 3-year-old son through IVF and hoped to have a second pregnancy using one of the remaining frozen embryos. However, when the California couple returned this year, they said, the clinic told them their embryos were gone. Their fear is that the three remaining embryos were “most likely” implanted in another woman’s uterus, according to a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles on August 17.

“They are torn apart by this,” the couple’s lawyer, Andrew Vorzimer, told ABC News. “It’s the worst possible nightmare for parents on both sides.” The couple is now suing reproductive endocrinologist Dr John Jain. They are seeking compensation to achieve another pregnancy and $500,000 plus punitive damages for fraud, breach of contract, professional negligence and emotional distress.

“Where the genetic parents are, we have no idea,” Vorzimer, a reproduction lawyer, said. “Part of the litigation is to go back and try to trace where these embryos went. Ultimately, it may require every patient who has undergone an IVF cycle with John Jain to have genetic testing of the babies.”

“They were told by Dr. Jain that the embryos had been destroyed accidentally – the straws that contained them broke at the bottom of the cryotank,” Vorzimer said. “When they asked to see evidence of that, Dr. Jain changed his statement, and said he could not find the straws that contained the three embryos.” The couple insists the most logical explanation is that the embryos were mislabeled and then implanted into another woman. ~ ABC News, Aug 23

California couple sue IVF doctor over ‘lost’ embryos
Jared Yee
IVF
law
US