New lawsuits filed in loss of frozen embryos at Cleveland fertility center

Lawyers representing patients who lost frozen eggs and embryos last year at a Cleveland fertility center filed six new lawsuits against the center and the company that was supposed to monitor the alarms on the embryo storage tanks, NBC-affiliate TV station WKYC reports.

Cleveland-based University Hospitals admitted clinic staff did not receive an alert about the storage tanks' rising temperatures, which should have been flagged by CAS Data Loggers.

"What we know is that the alarm had been turned off, and University Hospitals hadn't even tested that alarm in a period of approximately one year before this happened," said Adam Wolff, one of the attorneys representing the families.

Seventy lawsuits were initially filed, and University Hospitals used legal maneuvers to avoid being held responsible, attorneys said. Those included requesting that the judge group all the cases together, trying to dismiss the suits, and requesting a gag order for attorneys.

The gag order was granted July 26. 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.

"Since the March 4 fertility center event, University Hospitals and its leaders have apologized and continue to put our patients first by offering free fertility care to impacted patients who would like to continue their path to growing their families," UH officials stated in a news release.

"UH has worked with fertility center patients and their lawyers over the past year to negotiate a significant number of settlements and will continue offering resolution alternatives to our patients who want to avoid the time, expense and anxiety of litigation," the release said.

The attorney for CAS Data Loggers did not respond to WKYC's request for comment.

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