SAN FRANCISCO, CA – June 1, 2018 – Victims of the storage tank disaster at Pacific Fertility Center have filed an amended complaint in their class action lawsuit, which provides new information and developments related to the March 2018 tank failure incident. The lawsuit, arising out of the mishandling of thousands of embryos and eggs at Pacific Fertility Center, names Chart Industries, Inc. as a new defendant alongside the previously-named defendants Pacific Fertility Center and Prelude Fertility, Inc. The amended complaint was filed by Interim Class Counsel from the law firms Girard Gibbs LLP, Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane PLC (Peiffer Wolf), and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP (Lieff Cabraser).
Pacific Fertility Center has admitted that embryos and eggs may have been destroyed when Tank 4 failed in March 2018. According to the lawsuit, one month after the tank failure incident, in April 2018, Chart Industries, the manufacturer of the tank, issued a recall of several cryopreservation tanks, citing reports of issues with a “vacuum leak.”
Prelude Fertility owns Pacific Fertility Center, along with an extensive nationwide network of other fertility centers. Neither Pacific Fertility Center nor Prelude have publicly stated whether Pacific Fertility had standard controls such as alarm systems to catch the problem with its Chart tank before its customers’ eggs and embryos were destroyed or placed in jeopardy. Standard controls should have prevented this tragedy.
“Our clients are experiencing emotional turmoil and are forced to make extremely difficult decisions in the wake of this tragedy, ” said Adam Polk of Girard Gibbs. “We are committed to holding responsible all of the entities that should have been safeguarding these eggs and embryos for the irreparable harm they have caused so many people.”
Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane Partner Adam Wolf said: “Pacific Fertility, Prelude, and Chart Industries must take responsibility and explain exactly what happened. Pacific’s customers deserve honesty and prompt action. We speak with clients daily who are understandably confused, scared, and angry. We need answers—now.”
Attorney Sarah R. London, who filed Lieff Cabraser’s complaint on behalf of the plaintiffs, stated: “ Our clients are bringing this class action to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to anyone else. Families all over the world have their eggs and embryos stored in Chart tanks. Chart needs to explain what happened and what it is going to do to fix its tanks before something like this happens again.”
You can find a copy of the Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint here.
About Girard Gibbs
Girard Gibbs LLP is a national litigation firm representing plaintiffs in lawsuits in state and federal courts. The firm serves individuals in cases involving catastrophic personal injury and consumer protection laws. Girard Gibbs has been named a Tier 1 law firm for plaintiffs’ mass tort and class-action litigation by the U.S. News & World Report. Our attorneys have been named among the Best Lawyers in America © for six consecutive years and have been recognized among the Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California.
About Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane
Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane is a national law firm with offices in San Francisco, Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, Missouri, and New Orleans. PW is nationally recognized for its handling of a number of cases involving embryo loss and destruction issues. The firm has put together a sophisticated team of lawyers dedicated to representing families and victims of reckless and negligent fertility clinics, fertility medical centers, and fertility doctors. Collectively, our attorneys are committed to fighting on behalf of victims and their families.
About Lieff Cabraser
Recognized as “one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms” by The American Lawyer, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP is a seventy-plus attorney law firm with offices in San Francisco, New York, Nashville, and Seattle. Since our founding 46 years ago in 1972, Lieff Cabraser has litigated and resolved hundreds of class action lawsuits and thousands of individual cases, including the successful representation of thousands of women across America in individual lawsuits due to the injuries they suffered from defective medical devices and defective prescription drugs.