A couple from New York is taking legal action against a fertility clinic claiming their IVF treatment left them pregnant with twins who were unrelated to them or each other.
According to a lawsuit filed in New York by the married couple – referred to only as AP and YZ to “minimise the embarrassment and humiliation already caused” – they sought the services of CHA Fertility in Los Angeles last year after years of trying to conceive without success.
When, in September 2018, the couple, from Flushing, New York, were told that they were expecting twin girls, they were “ecstatic”, according to the lawsuit.
But, it states, the couple were “confused” when at their three and five-month sonograms they were told they were, in fact, carrying two boys.
The lawsuit claims: “Plaintiffs called [clinic owners] Defendant [Joshua] Berger and Defendant [Simon] Hong to discuss the sonogram results. Defendant Hong and Defendant Berger advised Plaintiffs that the sonogram results were not accurate and that it was not a definitive test.”
It adds: “Defendant Berger and Defendant Hong assured Plaintiffs that they were having girls and that nothing was wrong.”
But after the birth, it says, they were “shocked” to discover the two boys did not appear to be related to them.
It reads: “On March 31, 2019, Plaintiff AP gave birth via caesarean section to two male babies, neither of which was of Asian descent.”
The lawsuit states that representatives of the defendants went to New York to meet the couple in hospital. The couple agreed for themselves and their babies to undergo DNA tests, which confirmed that they were not genetically related to the children and that the two boys were not related to each other. They then had to “relinquish custody” of the children.
“Subsequently, the testing revealed that Baby A was genetically matched to Couple A and Baby B was genetically matched to Couple B…As a result, Plaintiffs were required to relinquish custody of Baby A and Baby B, thus suffering the loss of two children,” it reads.
According to the lawsuit, the couple do not know what happened to their own two embryos, which they believe “were never thawed and/or lost or destroyed by Defendants”.
Attorneys acting on behalf of the couple have filed a complaint and demand for jury trial on 16 counts – including medical malpractice, negligence, reckless and wanton misconduct and deceit and fraudulent concealment.
It states: “Plaintiffs have suffered significant and permanent emotional injuries for which they will not recover…In addition, Plaintiff AP underwent physical and emotional injuries for which she is still under the treatment of medical providers and will continue to be in the future.”
The lawsuit claims the treatment cost the couple spent “in excess of $100,000” on the treatment in charges including doctors’ and facility fees, medication, travel and specialist services.
CHA Fertility did not respond to a request for comment.