IVF Clinic Sued by Couple After Son’s Rare Cancer Gene Diagnosis

Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise

A couple in California is filing a lawsuit against a fertility clinic after their son was born with a rare stomach cancer gene that they went through IVF treatment to avoid.

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The claim is in filed the Los Angeles County Superior Court by Jason and Melissa Diaz. The specifics of their case include an accusation against the HRC Fertility clinic for implanting an embryo carrying the CDH1 mutation that causes rare cancer.

The couple’s child was born in September 2021. He currently has an 80% chance of developing hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. He will need preventative gastrectomy, a surgical operation that removes the stomach.

A Life Story

Courtesy of Jason and Melissa Diaz

When the Diaz’s made the decision to start a family through the IVF process, they went through a genetic screening due to the fact that they both carry risky genetic mutations.

Melissa is a carrier of BRCA-1, which poses a higher risk for things like ovarian and breast cancer. Jason carries the CDH1 malformation that is linked to hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.

Two of Jason’s aunts passed away due to the malformation, and then Jason was diagnosed with gastric cancer in 2018, the same year that Jason and Melissa were married. When chemotherapy treatment proved to be unsuccessful, he had a gastrectomy that left him with several digestive and food issues.

The couple wanted to free their future children from the pain of this disease and sought out IVF as the safest option. HRC Fertility claims that its healthcare providers offer “unparalleled expertise” and “personalized care.”

Further Details

HRC Fertility

In December 2018, Jason and Melissa met with Dr. Bradford Kolb, a reproductive endocrinologist. They expressed their concern over their child being born with the gene. The genetic screening was the safest and most thorough option for them.

According to the lawsuit, the embryo was implanted in January 2022 and Melissa gave birth to their son in September. When they tried for the tender child, they discovered that their first son was carrying both genetic mutations that the parents went through IVF to avoid.

The couple believes that Dr. Kolb misrepresented medical information to them and didn’t transfer an embryo without the genetic mutation. They believe the doctor lied to them about viable embryos; that one didn’t exist.

The company is currently denying all of the couple’s claims as they seek financial compensation for emotional anguish, medical care, and lost wages.

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