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Nitrogen tank failure dashes Ohio couples' parenting dreams

A nightmare scenario recently unfolded for prospective parents in a neighboring state.

A Beachwood, Ohio, fertility clinic — the Ahuja Medical Center — experienced temperature fluctuations over a recent weekend that rendered the embryos and eggs nonviable that were stored in their liquid nitrogen tank. Roughly 2,000 embryos and eggs thawed as a result.

Because the tank failure occurred over the weekend, no employees were on-site to take action. The facility's off-site monitoring system also failed to alert anyone to the problem. They discovered the disaster upon their return to the clinic.

Ohio couples who lost eggs and embryos have filed lawsuits over the meltdown, alleging the clinic "destroyed the hopes, dreams, and futures of hundreds, if not thousands of prospective Ohio parents and families."

Infertility problems plague some couples from the beginning of their unions, causing them to undergo laborious and costly procedures to harvest and fertilize eggs and store embryos. Other couples may lose fertility after chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer and elect to preserve their right to procreate future children in this manner. For those couples whose only chances for conceiving and bearing their own biological children were destroyed in the accident, it has been a devastating experience.

They allege that the clinic was negligent and in breach of their contractual obligations. The company's failure to safeguard the embryos and eggs by ensuring the appropriate temperature was maintained, along with the insufficient alarm and storage system inflicted emotional, physical and financial damages on the couples who entrusted the Ahuja Medical Center with this vital preservation.

If you suffer a similar breach of contract or negligent action, you may also choose to litigate the matter in the Kentucky civil court system.

Source: FindLaw, "Fertility Clinic Sued After Freezer Meltdown," Molly Zilli, Esq., March 14, 2018

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