Daughter Learned Her Biological Father Was Her Mother’s Fertility Doctor by Taking 23andMe Home DNA Test Kit; Manhattan Ob Gyn Had Been Sanctioned For “Dishonorable, Unethical, [and] Unprofessional Conduct;” Law Firm Renews Call for Crackdown to End “Wild West Days” of U.S. Fertility Industry.
NEW YORK CITY///May 25, 2021///A New Jersey mother took action today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York after learning of the “medical rape” committed by a former Park Avenue Ob Gyn doctor now living in Aventura, a luxury enclave outside of Miami. The new lawsuit is the latest in a series of fertility fraud cases being handled nationwide by Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway (Peiffer Wolf).
The suit by the mother, Bianca Voss of New Jersey, names Dr. Martin D. Greenberg (NY License No. 143933), who maintained an Ob Gyn practice in Manhattan. It is not yet known how many patients of Dr. Greenberg are victims of his misconduct or how many children are the result of his fertility fraud.
In 1983, Bianca Voss wanted to be a mother and she visited the offices of Dr. Greenberg for fertility services. She paid Dr. Greenberg to procure the sperm of an anonymous donor to be used to impregnate her in an intrauterine insemination procedure. Dr. Greenberg indicated he would obtain the sperm from an anonymous donor; he never disclosed that he would insert his own sperm into Ms. Voss. The State of New York has sanctioned Greenberg for “dishonorable, unethical, [and] unprofessional conduct,” although public records are unclear as to what this conduct entailed. In 2010, he was barred from performing surgery in New York State.
Roberta Voss was born in 1984. In September of 2020, she took a 23andMe home DNA kit test, which clearly identified Dr. Greenberg as her father. As the lawsuit filed today explains: “Upon receiving the devastating news of Greenberg’s shocking conduct, Ms. Voss’ daughter reached out to Greenberg via 23andMe.com and email. She did so because she wanted to obtain her family medical history (i.e., Greenberg’s medical history). Aware that Greenberg’s son, unfortunately, passed away at an early age, she wanted to know if she may have inherited a concerning medical condition. She also wanted to know if she may have passed on such a condition to her own child. However, Greenberg did not respond.”
In the last seven years, Peiffer Wolf has handled hundreds of IVF/genetic material cases that have involved well over 1,000 people. In 2019, the firm spearheaded the Peiffer Wolf push for national legislation to rein in the abuses of IVF and fertility clinics. Commenting on this case, attorney Joseph Peiffer said: “Dr. Martin D. Greenberg secretly inserted his own sperm into his patient, Bianca Voss. He did so without her consent and against her wishes. Some people call this horrific act ‘medical rape.’ But regardless of what you choose to call it, Greenberg’s heinous and intentional misconduct is unethical, unacceptable, and illegal. Unfortunately, the Voss family is among thousands like it across the United States where an epidemic of fertility fraud is now underway. We have to do whatever it takes to rein in this rogue industry run amok.”
Bianca Voss, the mother, said: “In 1983, I reached out for help to what I assumed was a reputable doctor. I put my faith in the hands of this person who then violated both my trust and me in an unspeakable way. This situation has upended my life and my family and the damage it is doing and the emotional scars that it is creating may never heal. I want Dr. Greenberg to have to answer for what he did. He needs to be held accountable for his actions.”
Roberta Voss, the daughter, said: “Until a few months ago, I thought I might learn something interesting by taking the 23andMe home DNA kit. I did not expect to find that my mother was violated by her doctor. Now, I am haunted by the idea of a medical rapist being my father and the enormous deceit that went into my own conception.”
The United States is in the midst of uncovering thousands of fertility fraud cases, in which IVF/Ob Gyn doctors have abused their position of trust and authority by secretly inserting their own sperm when carrying out fertility treatments. Most instances of fertility fraud happened between the late 1970s and 1990. This was the period when inseminations became more common, but before at-home DNA testing was on the horizon. Some unscrupulous fertility doctors thought that they could get away with it without being caught. That is why most child victims who discover fertility fraud are 30 years of age or older today.
The U.S. fertility industry has fewer regulations than barber shops or nail salons. Without common-sense regulation, the “Wild West” nature of the multibillion-dollar fertility industry leaves the door open for instances of fertility fraud and other fertility clinic disasters, like those recently experienced in Cleveland and San Francisco. Doctors who inserted their own sperm into their patients—without their consent—violated their patients. And they violated the law. Patients can file civil lawsuits against their physicians for this misconduct. Some states have criminalized the act of a doctor using his own sperm to impregnate his patients without their explicit consent. But there is no federal law that prohibits fertility fraud.
In August 2019, Peiffer Wolf published The Fertility Center Regulation Crisis in the U.S., a report calling on Congress to impose a system of tight and highly transparent IVF clinic oversight. In addition to identifying several glaring weaknesses and the general lack of regulatory oversight of the IVF/fertility centers in the U.S., the Peiffer Wolf report identified the much tougher government standards in the United Kingdom as an excellent model for this nation.
ABOUT PEIFFER WOLF CARR KANE & CONWAY
The law firm Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway maintains offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland, St. Louis, Austin, and New Orleans. In addition to handling numerous fertility fraud cases, Peiffer Wolf has handled a multitude of cases in which medical professionals and facilities were accused of either destroying or losing eggs, embryos, and other genetic material.
MEDIA CONTACT: Max Karlin at (703) 276-3255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The time-stamped court filing, a related news release, and a streaming version of the May 25th news event will be available later that same day at https://lostembryos.com.
After being contacted by a client whose embryos were lost or destroyed years ago, the attorneys of Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway fought to hold the clinic accountable for its negligence. Once the pressure was put on the clinic, more families approached us with similar stories. It was only then that we realized how rampant and reckless certain clinics and facilities across the country truly are.
Since then, we’ve been able to represent hundreds of the strongest and most amazing families in a number of fertility issues: lost embryos, destroyed embryos, inadequate medical testing, fertility doctor misconduct, fertility fraud, embryo implantation into the wrong woman, wrong sperm used to fertilize embryos, and countless others. Standing beside our clients, we’ve been able to provide a platform for other families to step forward and tell their stories. Moreover, we’ve been able to provide a pathway to recovery for their losses.
Attorney Adam Wolf said: “Keep in mind that these families have entrusted their most valuable property in the entire world – their frozen embryos – to these facilities and clinics. We want to make sure that these devastating tragedies never happen again.”
The roots and possible solutions to the worsening situation at such facilities are addressed in the new Peiffer Wolf issue briefer, “The Fertility Center Regulation Crisis in the U.S.”:
- U.S. fertility centers are almost entirely unregulated today, unlike the tighter oversight in such nations as Estonia, Abu Dhabi, Germany and the United Kingdom. In this nation, nail salons are subject to far tighter state and federal controls than U.S. fertility clinics.
- For U.S. fertility centers, the result is a near “Wild West” situation where meaningful oversight is absent, error reporting is essentially voluntary, and tragic cases of lost, destroyed or otherwise improperly handled embryos are on the rise, including more than 5,000 embryos and eggs known to have been lost or destroyed in less than two years. As one expert notes, America’s hands-off approach to oversight of reproductive practices has “left a gaping hole for a booming, unregulated market fraught with fraud and abuse.” In 2016, a national ratings website found that 18-24 percent of fertility patients reported damaged or destroyed samples, among a host of other errors.
Peiffer Wolf is nationally recognized for representing victims of fertility clinic misconduct and fertility doctor misconduct, including destruction or loss of eggs and embryos. If you or your family have been the victim of a reckless or negligent fertility clinic, fertility medical center, or fertility doctor, please Contact the Fertility Lawyers at Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway for a FREE Consultation by filling out our simple online Contact Form or by calling 415-766-3545.
Joseph Cartellone, of Delaware, OH, said: “Never in my worst nightmare did I think that the Christmas gift of DNA testing for my family would unveil this kind of abuse of our trust by the very professionals from whom we sought help. This has been extremely difficult for my family. I want to do whatever it takes to make sure no one else has to go through what we did.”
Unfortunately, some of the following issues that are clients experience are all too common in an unregulated IVF and Fertility industry:
Adam Wolf, attorney and partner, Peiffer Wolf, said: “My law firm has represented hundreds of families and individuals who have had their hopes and dreams dashed by outrageous conduct of the U.S. fertility industry. We think of fertility clinics as highly professional organizations governed by strict rules and staffed by caring experts. But, the truth is some of them are simply business people making billions of dollars in profits.”
Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway is a national law firm with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Cleveland, St. Louis, Austin, and New Orleans. Peiffer Wolf is nationally recognized for representing victims in which fertility clinics were accused of misconduct, including destroying or losing eggs and embryos. This is a highly technical area of law and science; individuals seeking legal representation in such matters would be well advised to look to a law firm that has successfully handled such cases in the past. Contact Us by calling 415-766-3545 or by filling out an online Contact Form for a FREE Consultation.