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Fertility Clinic Patients Awarded $15M After Freezing Tank Failure

Western Journal

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Five patients of a California fertility center have been awarded $15 million collectively due to the failure of a freezing tank, which made more than 3,500 frozen human embryos and eggs unusable.

The awards came after 29 eggs and four frozen human embryos became unviable for five patients.

Both the Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco and Chart Industries, which made the tank, were sued.

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The patients claimed the tank maker knew of a problem that impeded accurate monitoring of temperature. Jurors assigned Chart with 90 percent of the responsibility for the incident, and the clinic the other 10 percent.

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The case is a landmark by being the first in which damages were awarded after the destruction of embryos and eggs, according to The Guardian.

“This verdict should be a wake-up call for fertility centers. The jury’s award shows that when clinics make mistakes they can be devastating,” Adam Wolf, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told The Guardian.

The company claimed that the clinic’s employees were to blame.

However, internal documents were produced to show the company knew about an issue with the equipment controlling temperature as far back as 2012.

Laura and Kevin Parsell, lost four frozen embryos. They will receive $7.2 million. Rosalynn Enfield, 43, who lost 18 eggs, will get $2.6 million; Adrienne Sletten, 43, who lost two eggs, will get $2.075 million. Chloe Poynton, 39, who lost nine eggs will receive $3.1 million.

“It’s really painful to be at a baby shower celebrating someone else’s family being built and knowing inside you’ll never get that,” Poynton said in court.

The plaintiffs had sought $30 million.

“Nothing can bring these eggs and embryos back,” attorney Dena Sharp, representing the families, said during closing arguments last week, according to The Guardian.

“Nothing can turn back that biological clock. Nothing can truly restore what these plaintiffs had taken from them.”

There are about 140 federal lawsuits still facing the tank manufacturer.

Wolf, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said the fertility clinic field, which is not regulated, is prone to problems.

“Tragically we see very serious errors on a daily basis. These are the Wild West days of the American fertility industry. It operates behind closed doors, and under a veil of secrecy. It can do, basically, whatever it likes, and that’s no way for an industry that is so important to operate,” Wolf said.

Naomi Cahn, director of the University of Virginia’s Family Law Center, said the verdict could change that.

“Storage tank breakdowns are one example of problems in this industry. The lack of oversight, ranging from not knowing if the tanks are being appropriately regulated to manufacturing defects to not knowing how many other people may have used the same donor eggs or sperm, is worrying,” she said.

Cahn said the government should “establish one single government entity to oversee the fertility industry and ensure that entity issues appropriate regulations including certification of all aspects of the technology.”

“We don’t want to interfere with the patient-physician relationship, we just want to make sure that when you trust your egg, sperm and embryos to a tank, that tank will not malfunction and there are appropriate procedures in the clinic if it does,” she said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Sheriff's Helicopter Swoops In on People Trapped by Floodwaters, Camera Catches Daring Rescue in First-Person View

Western Journal

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As floodwaters deluged parts of Arizona, a daring helicopter rescue Friday plucked two people from a mobile home that was caught in fast-moving water. Monsoons struck Arizona last week, triggering severe flooding. Drivers who tried to make their way across flooded roads, despite advice to avoid driving, often became stranded. Floodwaters rushed through streets in Flagstaff, Arizona after storms brought heavy rainfall. Weather warnings have been issued to locals residents to warn of more flooding and heavy downpour. pic.twitter.com/X8lHGS8yEK — Newsweek (@Newsweek) July 19, 2021 On Friday, Daisy Mountain Fire and Rescue received a report of a mobile home that was caught in the flooding in New River. The water was too high for any ground units to reach those trapped inside. Authorities reported that water was pouring through the windows of the mobile home, and officials were afraid it would tip over, according to KNXV-TV. That left one option — an air rescue. A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office helicopter flew to the partially submerged vehicle. In a video released by the sheriff’s office, which dramatically shows the extent of the waters rampaging through New River’s streets, the helicopter closes in on a vehicle with two people sitting on it, only a few feet from the rapidly rising water. We are here to provide #safety to our community but please be mindful of the dangers posed by moving water and entering flooded areas. Here’s a video of our MCSO aviation unit rescuing a driver after his vehicle got stuck in a wash. pic.twitter.com/tO3TL12tPw — Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (@mcsoaz) July 24, 2021 “We are here to provide #safety to our community but please be mindful of the dangers posed by moving water and entering flooded areas. Here’s a video of our MCSO aviation unit rescuing a driver after his vehicle…

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Off-Duty Firefighter Jumped by Mob Who Tell Him It's 'Fight Night' Before Brutal Beating

Western Journal

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Asking for a little old-fashioned respect can be the prelude to a beatdown in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s New York City. The New York Post has released video of a Friday night incident in which a rabid mob of teenagers surrounded and then attacked an off-duty firefighter as he walked his dog near his home in the borough of Queens. Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, who founded the civic protection group the Guardian Angels in 1979, posted the video to Twitter. Warning: The following video contains graphic images and language that some readers will find disturbing. Last night in Middle Village a mob of kids attacked a man who asked them to stop blasting fireworks. #NYPD from the 104th precinct were there but did nothing. The community reached out to #NYC Mayoral candidate #CurtisSliwa & the #GuardianAngels to find these vicious teens pic.twitter.com/uVJkBUJ0L1 — Curtis Sliwa for NYC Mayor (@CurtisSliwa) July 24, 2021 The 44-year-old victim, whose name was not released by the Post, said he is among those who have objected to the deterioration of his community,  and taken the dangerous stand of telling teenagers to behave as if rules really mattered. Retribution for preaching civility arrived Friday night. “There were at least 100 kids … I was walking my dog. They just picked me out and approached me,” the firefighter told the Post in a Saturday interview. “One kid took his shirt off and said, ‘it’s fight night!’ He said he was 19 and said, ‘I could fight you.’ Everyone took their cell phones out. There were cell phones everywhere,” the victim said. “They all came at me…A kid came up behind me and hit me in the back of the head with a bottle and I let go of the dog,” he said. With the dog barking…

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