The people – three women and a married couple – sued the Pacific Fertility Center after the dysfunction destroyed more than 3,500 frozen embryos and eggs.
Representatives from the Pacific Fertility Center and Chart Industries – the maker of the cryogenic storage tank – did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jurors concluded that a manufacturing defect that should have resulted in a recall was the cause of the tank failure. The jury placed the bulk of the blame on Chart.
Hundreds of people sued the clinic and the manufacturing company, but the group’s case was the first to go to a jury.
“We are pleased that the jury understood how devastating this has been for the plaintiffs,” said Adam Wolf, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs. “Nothing can ever help matters … but it should be a wake-up call for fertility clinics across the country.”
The prize – nearly $ 15 million for suffering, pain and emotional distress – will be distributed to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit in total, with each person receiving around $ 2-3 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Annie Vainshtein is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @annievain
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