CooperSurgical’s Botched IVF Liquid Destroyed Embryos, Lawsuits Claim

CooperSurgical, a major medical supply company, is facing a wave of lawsuits from patients who claim that one of its products destroyed embryos created with in vitro fertilization.

Fertility clinics across the world used the product, a nutrient-rich liquid that helps fertilized eggs develop into embryos. This week federal regulators made public that the company had recalled three lots of the liquid, which was used by clinics in November and December. The number of affected patients is unclear, although experts estimated that it is in the thousands.

On Thursday, a couple in Virginia filed a lawsuit against the company, the eighth in two months from families around the United States. Collectively, the patients say they lost more than 100 embryos that had bathed in the defective product, known as culture media.

The plaintiffs claim that the three batches of media were missing a key nutrient, magnesium, a defect that stopped their embryos from developing and rendered them unusable.

The company declined to comment on the lawsuits.

The Food and Drug Administration posted a recall notice on Wednesday saying that nearly 1,000 bottles of culture media were affected, about half of which were purchased by clinics in the United States. The filing said that the company had notified affected clinics on Dec. 13, telling them that “performance issues may lead to impaired embryo development” and instructing customers to stop using the product.

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