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September 17, 2009 - Couple Sues Fertility Clinic for Error

A couple is suing a San Francisco fertility clinic for destroying embryos mistakenly implanted with the wrong sperm, the complaint said.

Robert and Katie Aschero of El Granada went to the Laurel Fertility Care clinic, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Katie Aschero said she learned seven of 13 viable embryos were inseminated with another man's sperm and the clinic staff destroyed them even though the couple's contract with the clinic specified embryos not be destroyed, the newspaper reported. Three of the six correctly inseminated with Robert Aschero's sperm were implanted but the pregnancy was not successful.

"They were contractually obligated to keep them," the couple's attorney Nancy Hersh said. "In addition to making the mistake, she learned they were destroyed and that caused additional distress."

Katie Aschero said she doesn't know if she would have used the incorrectly inseminated embryos, but would have appreciated a chance to donate them.

The suit names three specialists, Dr. Lee-Chuan Kao, Dr. Collin Smikle and Marlane Angle, the in vitro laboratory director as well as the clinic itself. No one from the clinic would comment, nor would their attorney David Lucchese, the Chronicle said.

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