Embryos were accidentally destroyed at California fertility clinic, lawsuits claim

An Orange County fertility clinic accidentally destroyed embryos after they came in contact with hydrogen peroxide while an employee was cleaning an incubator, according to a pair of lawsuits filed by two couples on Thursday, April 18.

The couples, who failed to become pregnant after the embryos were implanted in late January, accuse FPG Labs, LLC – doing business as Ovation Fertility – of negligent representation, negligence, fraud, intentional misrepresentation and five other claims. The plaintiffs are identified only by initials in the suits. No monetary damages amounts were specified.

Ovation Fertility operates 14 laboratories in 10 states, including one in Newport Beach, where an employee “wrongly used hydrogen peroxide instead of a sterile solution in an incubator,” Adam Wolf, the couples’ lawyer, said in a news conference Thursday, calling the situation a “preventable tragedy.”

The lawsuits claim Ovation Fertility knew they hired employees who were unfit, not properly trained, or incompetent to monitor or use the embryo incubator.

The couples, the suits state, “may no longer be able to have biologically related children as a result of defendants’ conduct.”

In one lawsuit, a woman underwent two egg retrievals in October and November 2016, while in the second complaint, the woman underwent egg retrieval in April 2023, the lawsuits say.

Ovation Fertility did not respond to a request for comment. It was not known if an attorney was representing the clinic as of Thursday.

Of Ovation’s 20 network labs listed on its website, the Newport Beach clinic is the only one in California.

The clinic describes itself as one of the top five in vitro fertilization service providers in the United States, and says it operates a “premier laboratory” that implements “best practices” and operates with “the highest standards,” statements that the plaintiffs’ attorneys said in the lawsuits were false.

Source: Mercury News April 19 2024