iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) — At least two class-action lawsuits have now been filed against an Ohio hospital following a storage bank malfunction that potentially destroyed as many as 2,000 eggs and embryos.The first class-action lawsuit was filed Sunday on behalf of Ohio couple Amber and Elliott Ash after Amber’s mother alerted the couple last Thursday to news coverage of the malfunction at University Hospital Fertility Center in Cleveland, attorney Robert F. Dicello told ABC News.“They turned on the TV and saw it themselves and thought ‘We have just lost our family’s most valuable treasure,’” DiCello said.The following day, the couple received a letter from the hospital explaining in what DiCello calls “vague terms” that there had been an error with the hospital’s refrigeration system that may have jeopardized their embryo.The Ashes have a 2-year-old son they conceived through in-vitro fertilization at UHFC and were hoping they would be able to have a genetic sibling for the boy, DiCello said. Elliott suffered from cancer at age 23 and became infertile as a result of the chemotherapy. Before undergoing treatment, he froze his sperm and the couple stored their embryos at UHFC, DiCello said.“You put so much faith into the physicians and the medical team and, like I said, to have this taken away — your hopes and dreams destroyed. It’s a tremendous loss,” Amber told ABC affiliate WEWS.The second class-action lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of Pennsylvania couple Laurel and Dustin Clark, who last Monday called UHFC to set an appointment to begin the implantation procedure using their frozen embryos that had been stored at the clinic, lawyer Adam Wolf told ABC News. The clinic called them back later that evening to tell them their embryos had been destroyed. They were hoping to conceive their first child, Wolf said.“They wanted to have children for some time,” Wolf said, but because of the malfunction, that hope might be dashed, as the couple cannot afford another round of expensive treatment, he added.The failure in Cleveland happened the same day as a similar incident at San Francisco’s Pacific Fertility Center that may have destroyed the eggs and embryos of as many as 500 patients.Both the facilities in Cleveland and San Francisco have apologized to their clients and promised in-depth investigations into the malfunctions.“The damage has already been done,” Wolf said. “These embryos are literally irreplaceable.”He added: “We hope there is some further relief for our clients as the result of this lawsuit, but nothing will ever truly make this 100 percent right.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has once again rejected Notre Dame’s request for relief from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring health insurance to cover contraception, the latest setback for the University in a three-year-long legal battle, according to court documents released Wednesday.On March 9, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case to the lower court, asking it to revisit its Feb. 24, 2014 decision that the University does not qualify for an injunction against the mandate that requires all employers to provide contraception to their employees as part of their health care program.In light of the Supreme Court’s June 30, 2014 ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, a for-profit institution also seeking relief from the mandate, the higher court vacated the circuit court’s decision and ordered the case to be reconsidered.In Tuesday’s ruling, the 7th Circuit voted 2-1 against Notre Dame, the same margin of the original decision.Judge Richard Posner wrote the opinion for the majority, which stated the University’s health care providers, Aetna and Meritain, not Notre Dame, were the institutions responsible for providing birth control to employees, and the contract between the University and the companies did not mean Notre Dame was still acting as a “conduit” for contraceptive care.“Although Notre Dame is the final arbiter of its religious beliefs, it is for the courts to determine whether the law actually forces Notre Dame to act in a way that would violate those beliefs,” Posner wrote. “As far as we can determine from the very limited record, the only ‘conduit’ is between the companies and Notre Dame students and staff; the university has stepped aside.”The path forward for the University, which has now had its request for an injunction denied three times, once by the district court and twice by the circuit court, remains unclear.“We are reviewing the 50 pages of opinions and weighing our options,” University spokesperson Paul Browne said in a statement.Tags: 7th circuit court of appeals, HHS Lawsuit, HHS Mandate, U.S. Supreme Court
August 07, 2017 Governor Wolf Touts Economic Opportunities of Almono Site and Hazelwood Business District SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Economy, Innovation, Jobs That Pay, Press Release Pittsburgh, PA – Governor Tom Wolf was joined by state and local leaders today as his Jobs That Pay tour visited the Almono-Hazelwood Mill 19 redevelopment site, part of a massive revitalization of the largest remaining brownfield in Pittsburgh that has been made possible with significant state support, followed by a walking tour of the Hazelwood Business District.“The transformation from brownfield to a new opportunity at Almono will be a shining example of how state government, working with the private sector, non-profits, foundations, higher education and community groups, can lead on rebuilding communities and creating better opportunities for working families,” said Governor Wolf. “Once complete, this project will establish a new standard for urban riverfront property creating jobs and opportunities through high-quality design and sustainability.”The 178-acre LTC Steel Hazelwood site was purchased in 2002 by the Heinz Endowments, and the foundation of Richard King Melon, Benedum, and McCune. The project, named for the Allegheny, Ohio, Monongahela rivers, will transform the site into a vibrant job center with more than two million square feet of new office and research and development space.The cavernous Mill building, formerly Mill 19, is a centerpiece of the redevelopment, with an energy efficient structure constructed within the shell of the former steel mill building to house future research and development for advanced additive manufacturing and robotics research.“We are pleased to have Governor Wolf visit our site today, as we are preparing to launch one of the largest and most ambitious redevelopment projects in Pennsylvania,” said Don Smith, President of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC). “Our plan takes this Mill building which was the home of the last industrial revolution and positions it at the center of the next industrial revolution in robotics and manufacturing. Critical funding from the Commonwealth allows us to reclaim and remediate this vacant industrial landscape and restore the family and community sustaining jobs it once hosted.”Redevelopment of the building is supported by a $2 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, as well as investments through the Department of Community and Economic Development, including a $5 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loan and $562,500 from the Industrial Sites Reuse program.Following the visit to the Mill building, Councilman O’Connor lead a tour of the Hazelwood Business District with stops at several businesses.“Today’s tour is an opportunity to showcase the Hazelwood Business District and small business growth that has spurred from strategic collaboration between the public and private sectors,” said Councilman Corey O’Connor. “The redevelopment of the Almono site and the revitalization happening in the community have reignited excitement and hope throughout the community.”