PRESS RELEASE: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Etobicoke Fertility Clinic
For Immediate Release
July 5, 2018
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Etobicoke Fertility Clinic
(Law Firm: Gluckstein Lawyers)
Toronto, ON - A woman whose eggs were stored at ReproMed - the Toronto Institute for Reproductive Medicine (TIRM) has filed a class action lawsuit, alleging the fertility company was negligent in its inspection, monitoring and maintenance of a storage freezer which failed in late May, destroying her eggs and hopes for a family. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all individuals who lost viable embryos, sperm and eggs in the freezer malfunction.
The suit alleges that a cryogenic storage tank located at ReproMed failed causing a catastrophic vacuum pump failure. The temperature in the tank was allowed to rise likely destroying all the embryos, sperm and eggs it contained.
ReproMed, its medical director Dr. Alfonso P. Del Valle, other medical professionals at ReproMed, Praxair Canada Inc., distributor of cryogenic tanks, and U.S.-based cryogenic tank manufacturer Chart Industries, Inc. are named as defendants. The suit seeks damages for negligence, breach of contract, and breach of statutory duties.
Gluckstein Lawyers filed the class action on behalf of a 39-year old woman who recently had 65 eggs retrieved which she entrusted to ReproMed. To protect her privacy she is identified only by her initials Q.Z.
Q.Z. received the news that her eggs had been destroyed by email. The email, from Dr. Del Valle informed her that there had been a catastrophic vacuum pump failure. He indicated that the freezer which was supplied by Chart was defective. It is not currently known whether the increase in temperature which destroyed the eggs, sperm and embryos was caused by design defect, manufacturing problem, human error or a combination of factors.
Q.Z. was heartbroken when she learned of the failure. "I was in total shock," she said. "I cried in my car for a long period of time...I trusted the clinic and the professionals. My hopes and dreams are destroyed."
Q.Z. says the process of harvesting her eggs was not easy. Given her age, physical condition and current circumstances, she is not sure that she could go through it all again.
"The impact on individuals and couples who invested time, money and emotional capital to protect a future family cannot be overstated." explains Q.Z.'s lawyer, Jordan Assaraf. "They placed their faith in a clinic to protect their future. The clinic failed them and has caused them irreparable harm."
This lawsuit follows on the heels of two high profile failures of similar freezer tanks manufactured by Chart in the United States. Those failures affected hundreds of individuals who stored eggs and embryos at clinics in San Francisco and Cleveland and is the subject of multiple lawsuits in the U.S.
Q.Z. hopes through the lawsuit to get answers and accountability. "For others, I hope what I do now can prevent this from happening again," she says. "I hope no other families would suffer what I have been suffering and be heartbroken, devastated and lost."
Fertility clinics in Ontario are not government regulated. As such, there was no requirement for inspections or oversight which might have avoided this tragedy.
Individuals affected by the ReproMed failure who would like further information about the lawsuit, can visit www.repromed.gluckstein.com or contact lawyer Jordan Assaraf at (416) 408-4252 ext 280 or [email protected]
Visit Gluckstein Lawyer's Official ReproMed Class Action Resource Page
For more information, or whether you are considering joining Gluckstein's Class Action against ReproMed, please visit https://repromed.gluckstein.com.
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