Law360 (January 4, 2024, 7:11 PM EST) — Two Los Angeles couples planning to have children through in vitro fertilization accused CooperSurgical Inc. on Thursday of failing to recall a toxic solution before it destroyed their developing embryos — actions that could lead to a wave of similar suits, their attorney said.
Each couple filed a complaint in California state court in Los Angeles County alleging that CooperSurgical and the Cooper Companies Inc. failed to sufficiently test their embryo culture media and recalled some of the product only after the destruction of irreplaceable embryos.
In a news conference, Adam Wolf, a partner at Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise LLP and an attorney for the plaintiffs, said his firm expects to represent hundreds of other people in similar cases, describing it as likely a “global” problem.
“Let me be clear: This is a disaster,” Wolf told reporters Thursday. “People put all of their hopes and their dreams into having viable embryos so they can have children, and this solution killed people’s embryos.”
[…] The plaintiffs in the two suits filed Thursday are identified only by initials that are pseudonyms to protect their privacy. The two couples, both from Los Angeles, say they underwent fertility treatment only to have their embryos stop growing within five days of creation in November, according to the suits.
Each couple’s doctor said the highly unusual result was caused by the solution provided by CooperSurgical to help their embryos grow before transfer into the uterus, their complaints allege. The couples “are devastated,” the suits say, using identical wording. “They may no longer be able to have children with their genetic material as a result of defendants’ conduct.”
Wolf said the scope of the problem is unclear. He said he is aware of just one other lawsuit but expects many others to follow.
In early December, CooperSurgical issued a recall notice seeking the return of media identified by three lot numbers, according to documents released by the couples’ legal team. The company cited “a sudden increase in complaints.”
Thursday’s lawsuits seek economic, noneconomic and exemplary damages. Their claims accuse CooperSurgical and others of negligence of failing to adequately test the embryo culture media and recall the product in time, failure to warn consumers about the defective product, and other legal violations.
The plaintiffs are represented by Adam Wolf and Melisa Rosadini-Knott of Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise LLP.
Counsel information for the defendants wasn’t immediately available.
The cases are A.B. et al. v. CooperSurgical Inc. et al. and E.F. et al. v. CooperSurgical Inc. et al., case numbers unavailable, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
Full Story: Law360 January 4 2024