California Fertility Clinic Sued For Allegedly Implanting Non-Viable Embryos

(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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Nine couples have filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a California fertility clinic, People reported.

Brooke Berger and Bennett Hardy, an Orange County, California couple, have reportedly filed a lawsuit against IVF provider Ovation Fertility. They are claiming an error during the IVF process destroyed their embryos. The couple is among nine who are suing the clinic over similar allegations, according to People.

The legal complaint reportedly accuses Ovation Fertility of multiple infractions, including negligent hiring and medical battery. The filing also suggests the clinic attempted to resolve the matter quietly by offering the couples a nominal refund, which was refused, People reported.


Berger and Hardy were hopeful as they underwent a procedure to implant two embryos Jan. 2024, according to People. However, they reportedly later learned that their embryos were allegedly exposed to hydrogen peroxide or another dangerous substance instead of a sterile solution, purportedly killing them “instantly.” The lawsuit alleges that the clinic not only used a harmful substance but also attempted to implant these nonviable embryos into patients knowing they were “dead,” People reported. (RELATED: Veterans Affairs Announces It Will Expand IVF Coverage To Unmarried Vets, Same-Sex Couples)

The couple moved to California in 2023, hoping for a fresh start with their transferred frozen embryos after previous IVF failures, according to the outlet. They reportedly described their experience with clinic as physically and emotionally taxing, as well as financially draining, with each IVF cycle costing about $25,000.

“There was no chance at all. We found out that we went through all of this for nothing.  It was really heartbreaking,” Berger told People. The couple’s attorney, Robert H. Marcereau, voiced the couple’s demand for accountability and answers to the outlet.

LA JOLLA, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Embryologist Ric Ross holds a dish with human embryos at the La Jolla IVF Clinic February 28, 2007 in La Jolla, California. The clinic accepts donated embryos from around the country through The Stem Cell resource which are then given to stem cell research labs for research. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

LA JOLLA, CA – FEBRUARY 28: Embryologist Ric Ross holds a dish with human embryos at the La Jolla IVF Clinic February 28, 2007 in La Jolla, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

“The story that came up more often and more consistently — at least three or four times with our clients — getting it secondhand from their doctors, was this notion that somehow hydrogen peroxide had been accidentally introduced into the incubator while the embryos were there, which hydrogen peroxide, it’s basically like battery acid to those embryos,” Marcereau told People.

“They don’t have qualified personnel and protocols to ensure things like this don’t happen,” he alleged to the outlet.

The clinic sent People a statement in response to the lawsuit.

“Ovation Fertility has protocols in place to protect the health and integrity of every embryo under our care. This was an isolated incident related to an unintended laboratory technician error that impacted a very small number of patients,” the spokesperson told People. “As soon as we recognized that pregnancy numbers were lower than our usually high success rates, we immediately initiated an investigation. We have been in close contact with these few impacted patients since the issue was discovered.”