The loss of a loved one is always difficult to cope with, especially when it happens unexpectedly. If a death occurs due to the negligence of another person, the victim’s relatives may feel wronged by that person, which is the legal premise for the concept of wrongful death, as Lake Charles, Louisiana, residents may know. While in some instances, no direct cause of death may be apparent, certain actions by the parties involved may have prevented the loss from happening.
Such is the case of the recent wrongful death filing by a couple residing in Gretna, Louisiana, against a local fertility clinic, which allegedly failed to maintain accurate and careful records. As a result, the clinic lost the viable embryos that the couple had earlier deposited with it. Apart from inadequate monitoring and failure to ensure the accuracy of its records, the clinic also has been accused of failing to document and keep the couple updated on the condition of the embryos, miscommunicating facts and failing to carry out procedures as stipulated.
Due to these events, the lawsuit contends, the couple lost their chance to have more children, as well as suffered from mental and emotional torment due to the loss of their potential children. The couple’s lawsuit requests reimbursement for medical expenses, as well as compensation for the loss of their viable embryos, although the exact amount of damages requested was not made public. Reportedly, the couple had one child through the clinic’s services and upon returning for a second procedure, was informed of the clinic’s failure to safeguard the eggs that they had stored.
As this case illustrates, the anguish caused is partly due to the trust and responsibility that the couple placed in the institution to safeguard their potential future family. Victims of such carelessness do have the option of seeking compensation through legal means, such as the steps taken by this couple. The law may punish differing cases of negligence with varying severity and it is advisable to seek legal counsel to determine how these out-of-the-ordinary cases may proceed.
Source: The Louisiana Record, “Fertility clinic sued for wrongful death for allegedly losing fertilized embryos“, Kyle Barnett, Nov. 24, 2014