Corboy & Demetrio Representing 52 Patients in Sperm Cryogenics Freezer Mishap
The Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio represents patients and their families in 52 separate lawsuits after patients’ sperm, which was being stored in a cryogenics freezer owned by a major Chicago hospital, was destroyed in the freezer’s malfunction.
The negligence lawsuits alleged that in April of 2012, the cryopreservation and storage procedure at the medical facility failed, causing damage to semen and testicular tissue. The lawsuit further alleges that after it failed, the medical facility failed to adequately monitor and respond when it knew or should have known that its system failed.
“One of our clients is who was a 14-year-old boy with a rare form of cancer at the time he froze his sperm and he will now never be able to have any biological children. All of these men and boys deserved more. We want to send a clear message to other hospitals to prevent this type of failure from happening again,” said Thomas A. Demetrio, Co-founder of Corboy & Demetrio, which represents the families. The patients are also represented by Michael K. Demetrio.
The lawsuits also alleged the medical facility was negligent because it put all samples into one freezer when it had numerous additional freezers available.
The lawsuits were filed in 2013 after a Cook County judge granted Corboy & Demetrio’s Emergency Bill of Discovery, ordering the defendants to preserve and turn over documents relating to the cryogenic freezer machinery. The order allowed Corboy & Demetrio representatives to inspect the cryogenic freezer system that failed, revealing the tank was kept in a utility closet with its door closed.
The identities of the plaintiffs in the 52 cases that are protected due to the sensitive nature of the lawsuits and are filed under John Doe. Among them are a 22-year-old man who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 18 as well as a 26- and 48-year-old man who suffer illnesses that could make them sterile.