University Hospitals' gag order granted in fertility lawsuit

Cleveland-based University Hospitals obtained the gag order it requested against attorneys representing the families and patients who are suing the hospital over lost frozen eggs and embryos at its fertility center, WKYC reports.

The order was granted July 26 after University Hospitals requested it earlier this month.

University Hospitals officials said they filed the motion because their attorneys felt some of the plaintiffs' attorneys made "inflammatory and prejudicial statements" to the media about the case.

The motion stops all attorneys for parties involved from making public statements about the case.

The lawsuits stem from a March incident at University Hospitals' fertility treatment center. When temperatures inside a cryo tank at the center began to rise, 4,000 eggs and embryos that belonged to nearly 1,000 patients were compromised. The hospital attributed the incident to human error since the tank's temperature change should have triggered an alarm, but the system was turned off.

The lawsuits were consolidated in April, but it has not been determined if it will reach class-action status.

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