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IVF clinic accused of implanting dead embryos into would-be mothers

Orange County IVF clinic faces negligence lawsuit from nine families
Orange County IVF clinic faces negligence lawsuit from nine families 02:13

Nine Southern California couples have filed a lawsuit accusing the Ovation Fertility lab of negligence and recklessness for implanting dead embryos into would-be mothers, according to attorneys. 

 "Late January of this year, Ovation committed a catastrophic error in their laboratory in which they exposed embryos to lethal chemicals, killing them," attorney Rob Marcereau said. "They killed all nine of our clients' embryos along with, we believe, many other people's."

The lawsuit further alleges that Ovation Fertility knew that the embryos were killed during the implantation thawing process but did not disclose it to the clients, according to Marcereau.

"I just wonder how many more couples their negligence has touched," Brooke Berger, one of the plaintiffs, said. We want this to not happen again."

Ovation Fertility blamed temperature levels and incubator failure when questioned by clients, according to the lawsuit. The families' attorneys said the clinic informed the families that hydrogen peroxide was used rather than distilled water. 

"We didn't know if it was intentional by an employee. We don't know," lawyer Benjamin Ikuta said. "At this point, we don't believe there is anything criminal going on here, but certainly negligence; certainly wrongdoing; certainly recklessness."

In a statement KCAL News received after a similar lawsuit was filed last week, the lab said it was an "isolated incident."

"Ovation Fertility has protocols in place to protect the health and integrity of every embryo under our care. This was an isolated incident that impacted a very small number of patients, and we have been in close contact with those patients since the issue was discovered," the lab wrote.

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