Orange County Couple says Irvine Fertility Clinic Lost or Destroyed Their Embryos

By: The Orange County Register
Published: February 15, 2018

A Mission Viejo couple says their dreams of having a child were dashed when an Irvine fertility clinic allegedly lost their two embryos.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Natalia, 38, and Randall Bergman, 43, said they opted to transfer their two frozen embryos from Coastal Fertility Medical Center in Irvine to another fertility clinic in 2015 after an unsuccessful attempt at getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization.

But when lab technicians at the new clinic attempted to recover the embryos, they found the container straw was empty, the couple said, adding they couldn’t afford to go through the process again.

The Bergmans are suing Coastal Fertility for negligence and breach of contract in Orange County Superior Court.

“Our most important possession in life was our fertilized embryos,” Natalia Bergman said. “Our potential for having a child was everything for us.”

The Bergmans are expected to appear in court on Friday in an attempt to compel the fertility clinic to disclose documents related to any similar cases.

“We want other couples to speak up if they’ve had a similar experience,” said their lawyer, Adam Wolf.

The clinic disputed the couple’s allegations.

“With respect to this couple, we froze two embryos, which were subsequently transferred to another laboratory of the couple’s choosing,” it said in a statment. “That laboratory was then responsible for the storing and thawing of those embryos. We have no control over those embryos once they leave our laboratory.”

The Bergmans said they first sought help from Coastal Fertility in 2013 and produced four viable embryos through in vitro fertilization. The couple said they were heartbroken when they failed to get pregnant from two of the fresh embryos.

The third and fourth embryos were frozen. The clinic’s medical director assured them that transfers from fresh embryos were as good as transfers from frozen embryos, the couple said. They were then shocked months later to find out the clinic had changed its policy and no longer recommended transfers from fresh embryos, they said.

Frustrated, they chose to take their two remaining embryos in a transfer tank to a Newport Beach clinic. They said Coastal Fertility assured them that its laboratory team had placed a straw with their remaining two embryos in the tank.

But lab technicians at the Newport Beach clinic found nothing inside, the Bergmans said.

“No fewer than three different lab technicians studied the solution to ensure that there was no mistake,” the lawsuit says. “But, shockingly, not only was there no sign of the embryos, but there was not even any sign of any embryo debris to suggest that the embryos had ever been in the straw in the first place.”

The case is set for a jury trial in August.

(c)2018 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Peiffer Rosca Wolf is a national law firm with offices in California, Louisiana, New York, Missouri, and Ohio. Our main office concerning Embryo Destruction and various Fertility lawsuits is located in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, please contact us by filling out a Contact Form or by calling 415-766-3545.

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