LOS ANGELES, March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Beverly Hills fertility clinic, ART Reproductive Center, and Dr. David Hill were sued today in California Superior Court for $7 million for the unauthorized destruction of the pre-embryos of their former patient, Marisa Yukich, 38. The legal complaint against ART Reproductive Center (ART) is posted at www.ARTEmbryosDestruction.com.
To preserve her chances of becoming a mother, Ms. Yukich decided to have her eggs extracted and fertilized through IVF while she still had a good chance for fertility, and then to have them cryo-preserved until such a time as she would carry a pregnancy to term. Through the IVF process, seven viable eggs were extracted and fertilized. After promising to store and safeguard Marisa's potential future children, ART inexplicably destroyed them. ART's contract offered to compensate Ms. Yukich a mere $600 for the destruction of her pre-embryos.
Ms. Yukich said today: "No amount of money will make this fully right. ART Reproductive Center and Dr. Hill threw out my most precious property. My embryos cannot be replaced. This is nothing less than the loss of my future children. I still can't believe ART Reproductive Center did this to me. I am devastated."
Attorney Adam Wolf said: "It would be impossible to 're-create' the lost property here. Each fertilized egg is unique. The loss is literally irreplaceable. Even if Marisa were emotionally able to undergo the process again, and even if that process were successful, there is no way to recreate the eggs at the same level of quality. What we are talking about here is the lost promise of motherhood and a life without children. ART Reproductive Center took this away from Marisa."
Wolf added: "It is shocking that ART Reproductive Center's contract offered to compensate Marisa's injuries through payment of $600. Marisa's out-of-pocket losses alone exceed this amount by roughly 30-fold. Moreover, the value of her embryos and her emotional suffering from their destruction vastly exceed this sum. ART's offer is insulting and insensitive."
Ms. Yukich wanted to ensure that she could become pregnant before she turned 40 years old, in order to increase the chance of successfully bringing a healthy child to term. Research shows that a woman's chances of conceiving a child decrease every year. A 2006 study by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests that eggs become more fragile with age, finding that embryo transfers with eggs harvested by women aged 35-37 resulted in live births 37.3 percent of the time, while that figure dropped precipitously to 26.6 percent for women aged 38-40, and 15.2 percent for women aged 41-42.
Under the best of circumstances, IVF is an expensive and arduous process. For Ms. Yukich, the process of IVF was even more painful and expensive than usual, as she had to undergo advance surgery to prepare her body for the process. An early ultrasound revealed that she had ovarian cysts that had to be removed before beginning the process. This removal procedure was painful and difficult.
Ms. Yukich also attended dozens of doctor appointments over the course of several months as part of her preparation for IVF. During these visits, she underwent numerous ultrasounds and blood tests. To increase her egg production, and thereby increase the chances for success, the first phase of the treatment involved the use of drugs to stimulate ovulation. The drugs were administered daily by needle for over two weeks. Ms. Yukich also went to her doctor's office nearly every other day for follow-up examinations and blood tests, which were used to calibrate her drug regimen. On direction from her doctor, Marisa gave herself three or four different injections per day, the contents of which had side effects and exposed her to serious health risks.
At the end of the IVF process, Ms. Yukich had seven viable pre-embryos. On October 13, 2014, ART invoiced Marisa $500 for storing her pre-embryos between October 2014 and October 2015. She called the Center on October 21, 2014, and paid the invoice. On September 22, 2015, Dr. Hill called Ms. Yukich and informed her that, contrary to her wishes, ART had destroyed her seven viable pre-embryos.
The lawsuit filed against ART and Dr. Hill details four separate claims: negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, and conversion.
The case is likely to go to trial next year. Ms. Yukich is represented by the law firm Peiffer Rosca Wolf Abdullah Carr & Kane, A Professional Law Corporation.
For more information, go to www.ARTEmbryosDestruction.com.
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SOURCE Peiffer Rosca Wolf Abdullah Carr & Kane