COLORADO SPRINGS — A Washington state couple has filed a lawsuit against a Colorado fertility clinic after learning their embryos were destroyed in a devastating laboratory failure.
Kara Seldin-Howell and Kolton Howell found out just two days after initially receiving the good news that their in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure had produced seven viable embryos that CNY Fertility had unintentionally destroyed all the embryos, and admitted fault in the failure.
The clinic allegedly neglected to use an oil medium required to keep the embryos alive and allow them to grow. The couples’ attorney said the clinic has since instituted a double-check policy to make sure the embryos are safe.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday with the United States District Court for the District of Colorado against CNY Fertility Colorado.
While the lawsuit can’t replace the embryos they lost, the couple hopes it inspires more oversight of the IVF industry, and keeps any other couples from experiencing the pain they have gone through.
“We see all the news headlines about fertility clinic disasters, but never in a million years did we think we would be affected. CNY Fertility robbed us of our future,” said Kara.
Kara’s partner Kolton agreed: “Within a span of 48 hours, we went from being overjoyed that our dream of starting a family was finally coming true, to having that dream ripped away from us. Even after almost a year, I’m still struggling to process what happened.”
Their attorney, Ashlie Case Sletvold, wants answers as to how this could have happened in the first place. “CNY Fertility admits that it failed to follow basic lab procedures to safeguard our clients’ embryos and promised to implement a new procedure to ‘double-check’ embryos in the future,” said Sletvold. “In a facility that touts its ‘state-of-the-art embryology lab,’ why was no one ‘double-checking’ in the first place?”
CNY Fertility Colorado’s parent company, CNY Fertility, PLLC, is also named in the lawsuit. It operates other fertility clinics in New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, and Canada.
You can view the lawsuit documents in their entirety below.