San Francisco fertility clinic faces class action lawsuit, accusations of gross negligence over damaged embryos: 5 things to know

A woman who stored her frozen eggs at San Francisco-based Pacific Fertility Center filed a class action lawsuit March 13 against the company claiming gross negligence, according to The Washington Post.

 Here are five things to know.

1. The Pacific Fertility Center notified nearly 500 fertility patients a storage tank malfunction March 4 may have left their eggs and embryos unviable. The storage tank malfunction resulted from a liquid nitrogen failure, which caused the temperature to rise in a storage tank that contained "several thousand" eggs and embryos, or about 15 percent of the total stored at the facility.

2. In the lawsuit, the woman who stored her eggs at the facility accused the company of gross negligence in its maintenance, inspection and monitoring of the storage freezer.

3. Attorneys representing the woman wrote in the filing, the company's actions are an "extreme departure from what a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation to prevent foreseeable loss of human reproductive tissue," according to The Post.

4. The woman, who is only identified by her initials S.M. to protect her privacy, had her eggs frozen in October 2016 and was paying to have them stored. One cycle of egg freezing at the fertility clinic costs $8,345, according to the report. That price includes one free year of storage. Additional storage beyond the first year costs $600 per year.

5. The incident at the San Francisco clinic followed a similar malfunction that occurred at a fertility clinic at Beachwood, Ohio-based University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center, which affected 700 fertility patients. Cleveland-based University Hospitals is also facing two class action lawsuits over the incident.

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