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News - 2019

Mar. 2019

Jeffrey Catalano in Good Morning America report on client's lawsuit against fertility clinic

Jeffrey N. Catalano appeared in a Good Morning America report on his client's personal injury lawsuit against Women & Infant's Hospital for a 13-year delay in disclosing it had stored a frozen embryo of the woman.

Mr. Catalano's client first learned in August 2017 that the hospital's fertility clinic had preserved her embryo in storage since 2004, the year she underwent in vitro fertilization treatment with her husband.

The women's lawsuit asserts the hospital was negligent in failing to disclose it stored the embryo when, at the time of the in vitro treatments, she and her husband were told by a physician that this and other embryos were abnormal and shouldn't be implanted in her uterus. The woman and her husband at the time assumed the embryos would be discarded.

The hospital never asked the woman and her husband to sign a consent form indicating each partner's wishes on what to do with the embryo in the event of divorce or death. The woman's husband died unexpectedly in 2006 of a heart attack, and she has since remarried.  Absent the consent form, the hospital is powerless to do anything with the embryo.

The lawsuit, filed in in federal district court in Massachusetts, is seeking damages for the significant emotional distress suffered by the woman.

Mr. Catalano told Good Morning America that his client is seeking to hold the hospital accountable for its actions so that what happened to her does not happen to anyone else. She is also seeking an apology, he said.