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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Monday, November 18, 2019

When Fertility Clinics Use the Wrong Sperm

Q: Can I sue a fertility clinic for using the wrong sperm?

New York City medical malpractice attorneys know that the spectrum of potential medical malpractice scenarios is broader than most people realize. In some cases, the damages can be mitigated through a follow-up procedure (or several) by a different and more skilled doctor. But other mistakes – like removing the wrong organ or using the wrong sperm when creating an embryo – are permanent and unfixable. Medical malpractice occurs when an injury results from medical treatment that deviates from the accepted standards of practice.

According to Resolve, The National Infertility Association, infertility is a disease that affects about 1 in 8 couples. Those suffering often seek treatment from reproductive endocrinologists. In vitro fertilization, or “IVF”, is a commonly-used assisted reproductive technology that can help singles or couples suffering from male factor, female factor, or unexplained infertility have a baby. 

What happens in IVF?

In a nutshell, for a heterosexual couple, IVF involves the woman being injected with hormonal medication designed to produce more than the usual one egg per cycle. At the proper time, the doctor retrieves the eggs and they are combined with the male partner’s sperm in Petri dishes. If the eggs fertilize, one or two of the resulting embryos are generally selected to transfer back to the woman’s uterus a few days later in the hope implantation will occur and result in a successful pregnancy. Sometimes, donor eggs or donor sperm are used. But in those cases, the couple has chosen donors, undergone screenings in advance, and entered into legal agreements regarding the donation. 

In general, infertility is a stressful medical condition and, even with repeated IVF attempts, many patients may not end up having a baby. Each IVF attempt can cost many thousands of dollars and is frequently not covered by insurance.

Imagine undergoing the physical, emotional, and financially-draining experience of IVF only to later learn that the baby you gave birth to was fathered by a stranger by mistake. 

According to a recent lawsuit, a white married couple from New Jersey, who underwent IVF, gave birth to a daughter with “Asian features”. A DNA test proved the husband was not the baby’s father despite the fact that his sperm was reportedly collected for use in creating the couple’s embryos. 

According to the lawsuit, “the clinic’s negligence caused the breakdown of the marriage” and the couple is seeking monetary damages for their “great pain, suffering, permanent injuries and disabilities, as well as the loss of enjoyment and the quality of life”. The couple is now divorced, allegedly from the stress of this ordeal. The wife wants answers regarding the baby girl’s biological father and his medical history. The husband wants answers regarding if and how his specimen was used and whether any embryos or babies resulted from his specimen. 

Contact Our New York City Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of negligence or medical malpractice by an infertility clinic or by any other doctor or hospital, the Goldstein Law Firm can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

From our office in the Bronx, New York, we represent injured victims and their families throughout New York City and New York State as well as those injured while visiting New York. 



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