IVF Negligence Lawsuits: Cost of Broken Dreams
People that have been unable to conceive on their own turn to fertility clinics to help them achieve their dream of having their own biological children. One of the most widely used treatments is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), wherein a sperm and egg are combined artificially to produce an embryo. Fertility clinics have a duty to employ the proper standard of care when providing IVF services to couples seeking to conceive. A clinic can be held liable when they breach their duty and engage in negligent conduct that causes harm to the ability to conceive, the sperm/egg samples in their control, or a child. If you’ve suffered harm due to improper actions by a fertility clinic, you may be entitled to monetary damages as compensation for your loss. Call (212) 203-9300 for a free consultation to determine whether you’re entitled to compensation.
IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproduction, but it is a very expensive, invasive and time consuming process because its many steps must be carried out meticulously and must be repeated if a cycle is not successful. It starts with retrieving mature eggs from ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm in a lab. The fertilized egg, called an embryo, is then implanted in the uterus. Most fertility clinics recommend implanting more than one fertilized egg to increase the chance of success, which is why the process is known for increasing the likelihood of multiple births in a cycle. A full cycle usually takes about three weeks, but can sometimes take longer.
There are many risks associated with IVF that can occur even if the fertility clinic does nothing wrong such as:
- Multiple Births: If more than one conception occurs, it may result in a pregnancy with a higher risk of early labor and/or low birth weight than a single pregnancy.
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: Painful/Swollen ovaries, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and diarrhea that usually only lasts about a week, but can sometimes be more severe.
- Miscarriage: The rate of miscarriage is about 20%, which is much higher than with natural conception and increases with age.
Other known risks include egg-retrieval complications, ectopic pregnancy, birth defects, anxiety and depression. If you’ve had a poor result from IVF treatment it can be difficult to distinguish between negligence and known risks, so it’s important to contact an experienced New York City IVF negligence attorney that knows how to promptly commence an investigation.
IVF is an expensive stressful process with many known risks, but many couples and individuals are willing to accept this due to their strong desire for biological children. What’s unacceptable is when fertility clinics make mistakes that cause harm to the individuals seeking the services, sperm/egg samples or the children that result from the procedures. These are some examples of IVF negligence:
- Improper storage of eggs or embryos can result in IVF failure or birth defects;
- Inadequate screening of sperm/egg donors for genetic defects;
- Using the wrong sperm, egg or embryo may require the woman carrying the baby to turn it over to others after it is born;
- Improper implantation can result in an ectopic pregnancy and
- Prescribing the wrong medications.
Fertility clinics will often try to cover their tracks when they cause harm due to their mistakes, so it’s important to contact an experienced IVF negligence attorney as soon as possible so that evidence can be preserved and deadlines can be met.
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have information on the number of lives births and the success rates for all IVF fertility clinics in the United States to help you choose a facility more likely to provide excellent care. Once you’ve chosen some providers from these lists, it’s prudent to follow up with your own research before starting treatment. These are some important to issues to consider when choosing a fertility clinic that provides IVF services:
- What procedures do you have in place to track embryos to ensure that they are implanted in the right woman?
- Check with the local courts to see if there is any history of malpractice for the clinic or their health care professionals and
- Contact the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Department and other relevant agencies to see if there have been reports of misconduct.
Once you choose a clinic, it’s important to examine their paperwork before you sign it. Look for fine print that limits your ability to sue them for malpractice and either refuse to sign this provision or choose the next clinic on your list.
Victims of IVF negligence are entitled to collect economic and non-economic damages from the responsible parties, such as doctors, nurses, physicians assistants, lab technicians, equipment manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. Economic damages include compensation to pay for hospitals, doctors, past and future lost earnings, special education, physical therapy, rehabilitation, prosthetics, appliances, accommodations to home/vehicles and other quantifiable costs you’ve suffered. Non-economic damages are for subjective pain, suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. When IVF negligence leads to severe birth defects, it can be possible to collect lost earnings from when the time the child turns 18 until they’re 65. Money can’t change what happened, but access to state of the art treatment and facilities can greatly assist recovery.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you or your child has suffered harm after receiving IVF services, it’s important to begin an investigation immediately to determine if what happened could have been prevented if proper procedures had been used. Acting quickly is crucial so that the fertility clinic doesn’t have time to cover their tracks, making legal action more difficult. The first step towards justice and compensation is to speak to an experienced IVF negligence attorney who can assist you in determining whether or not you have a viable claim. Complete the contact form below or call (212) 203-9300 for a free consultation to determine whether you’re entitled to compensation.