Aug. 20, 2013 - The Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio has filed 40 separate lawsuits, one for each of the patients whose sperm samples were destroyed while stored in a chamber owned by Northwestern Memorial Hospital located in a lab maintained by the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation. Both Northwestern entities are defendants in the lawsuits.
“Most of the plaintiffs have suffered serious illness or were undergoing medical treatment that would likely render them infertile. Freezing their sperm was the only real hope they had for ever having biological children,” according to Corboy & Demetrio attorney Matthew T. Jenkins, who along with Thomas A. Demetrio and Michael K. Demetrio are working on the case.
The negligence lawsuits allege that in April of 2012, the cryopreservation and storage procedure at Northwestern failed, causing damage to semen and testicular tissue. The lawsuit further alleges that after it failed, Northwestern failed to adequately monitor and respond when it knew or should have known that its system failed.
The lawsuits also allege Northwestern was negligent because it put all samples into one tank when it had “numerous additional tanks” available.
The lawsuits come after a Cook County judge earlier granted Corboy & Demetrio’s Emergency Bill of Discovery, ordering the defendants to preserve and turn over documents relating to the cryogenic system machinery after a few men came forward with the allegations. That number swelled to 40 as word spread among patients of the alleged catastrophic failure at the lab. The order, issued by Presiding Judge Moshe Jacobius, Cook County Circuit Chancery Division, required Northwestern to turn over numerous documents, including all inspection records of the cryopreservation and storage system and all communications about maintenance work on the system. It also allowed Corboy & Demetrio representatives to inspect the cryogenic storage system that failed.
Based on the evidence it uncovered, Corboy & Demetrio filed the lawsuits today. Three of the plaintiffs were minors at the time; the youngest was just 14 years old with a rare form of cancer.
All plaintiffs’ identities are being protected due to the sensitive nature of the lawsuits and are filed under John Doe.
According to Jenkins, other plaintiffs include a 33-year-old man who has leukemia and was told that his radical chemotherapy treatments would likely make him infertile; a 26-year-old man who suffers from a genetic disorder that could render him infertile; and a 48-year-old man who had his sperm preserved because he too suffers from an illness that could render him infertile.
Case information: John Doe v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, No. 2013L009306, In Re: Northwestern Cryogenic Tank Cases, Cook County Circuit Court Law Division.
About Corboy & Demetrio
Corboy & Demetrio is one of the nation’s premier law firms. The personal injury law firm represents individuals and their families in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases and is renowned for its achievements in the courtroom and for its contributions to the community. The rights and concerns of its clients are at the core of Corboy & Demetrio’s practice. That commitment, dedication, compassion and relentless drive has resulted in exceptional service and exceptional results for its clients. The Chicago law firm has acquired more than $3 billion in settlements and verdicts and has attained almost 600 settlements and verdicts in excess of $1 million. To contact Matt Jenkins, Tom Demetrio, Mike Demetrio, or another Chicago personal injury lawyer at our firm, call 312-346-3191 or toll free at 800- 356-3191. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about our law firm, go to corboydemetrio.com.