San Francisco fertility clinic sued over embryo tank failure

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco fertility clinic was sued again Thursday over the possible destruction of thousands of frozen eggs and embryos in a storage tank that malfunctioned.

Jonathan and Megan Bauer, a Sacramento-area couple, lost all eight embryos they were keeping at Pacific Fertility Center when the nitrogen level in a storage tank dropped, their attorney, Adam Wolf, said on a call with reporters to announce the couple’s federal lawsuit.

The Bauers had been storing the embryos for several years, and the woman was set to undergo an implantation in April, Wolf said. The couple are now in their late 30s — potentially reducing the chance of pregnancy. They also are not sure they can afford additional fertilization procedures, Wolf said.

“Our clients’ embryos as well as their dreams of future children were irrevocably destroyed,” he said.

Pacific Fertility Center is facing at least one other lawsuit over the March 4 malfunction of the storage tank. An unidentified woman sued the center Tuesday after she said her eggs were destroyed.

A call to the clinic was not immediately returned Thursday.

The malfunction occurred the same day a storage tank at a fertility clinic in suburban Cleveland failed, potentially destroying as many as 2,000 eggs and embryos, but there is no known connection between the two.

The clinic in suburban Cleveland run by University Hospitals is also facing lawsuits.

The Bauers’ lawsuit accuses Pacific Fertility Center of negligence, saying it could have prevented the damage if it had “an adequately operating monitoring system” to catch the rising temperature in the tank.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status to represent other people affected by the Pacific Fertility Center failure.

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