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Fertility Clinic Negligence Claims

report released by the Ohio Department of Health, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services attempts to explain how the University Hospitals (UH) fertility clinic lost thousands of eggs and embryos in March 2018.

The Department of Health concluded that the hospital failed to properly maintain and inspect a liquid nitrogen storage container used for eggs and embryos, and also failed to utilize alarms designed to alert staff that eggs and embryos in the storage tank were in danger.

Officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services were told that alarms for liquid nitrogen containers were tested in March or April 2017, however UH failed to provide documentation of the tests. The ODH report states that University Hospitals is in compliance, and state officials have received “an acceptable plan of correction” from the hospital.

The Ohio clinic is investigating “an unexpected temperature fluctuation” that affected its tissue storage bank, where liquid nitrogen preserves eggs and embryos. A class action lawsuit has already been filed against University Hospitals in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The complaint lists the University Hospitals system, including UH Ahuja Medical Center, UH Medical Group and UH Cleveland Medical Center.

The accident has caused an uproar among those patients relying on the professional competence of the University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center’s Fertility Center. For many patients who spent years and thousands of dollars on treatments, their last hopes may have been compromised.

As part of the correction plan, University Hospitals will have four new liquid nitrogen tanks purchased for egg/embryo storage, a lab director will conduct a weekly audit, and a quality control council will receive these results. The new compliance does not help the fact that thousands of eggs and embryos were destroyed.

A UH media relations strategist decided to recently decline an interview because of pending litigation involving the fertility clinic. The hospital has stated that they are cooperating with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated hospital negligence and fertility clinic negligence lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of civil litigation claims against healthcare providers. 

Fertility Clinic Negligence Lawsuits

University Hospitals has said that a remote alarm system on a storage tank that was designed to alert staff of changes like temperature swings was turned off. On March 3rd, the temperature inside the tank rose and destroyed thousands of eggs and embryos. UH did not know the alarm was turned off but may still be liable for the damages.

The UH has said, “We had been working with the tank manufacturer who had previously provided instructions on the necessary maintenance to ‘thaw’ the storage tank to correct this difficulty. To do that required transferring all specimens to an extra storage tank previously provided by the manufacturer. This process takes several weeks, and had begun when this event occurred, though no eggs or embryos had yet been moved to the extra tank.”

Custom Biogenic Systems is the company that was providing the new tank. The company has made the following statement: “CBS does not provide or service liquid nitrogen tanks. Accordingly, CBS was not at fault for the absence of liquid nitrogen tanks in the Embryology Lab. CBS did not design, manufacture, install, control, or monitor the remote alarm system that was reportedly ‘off’ during the time of this incident.”

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Why are these cases important?

 When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 

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Video: Investigating Medical Malpractice

The process for investigating a medical malpractice claims involves the following steps: 

  1. Gather a full and informed history from the family addressing their concerns and thoughts on what went wrong; 
  2. Gather the complete medical records including film studies, if any; 
  3. Review of the records and applicable medical literature by attorneys; 
  4. Review of the records by a qualified physician practicing in the relevant areas on standard of care and causation; 
  5. Final consultation with expert to review opinions;
  6. Signing of Affidavit of Merit by the Expert before case filing, for cases where medical malpractice is identified. 
Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley.  The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.


$910,000 Settlement.

(Cincinnati, Ohio):   Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged  future accountability.