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Hot Off the Press - News

Sperm recognized as property in B.C. case; donors win $6.2M settlement

May 20, 2015 - Article courtesy of http://www.nationalpost.com.

Vancouver - The University of B.C. has agreed to compensate hundreds of cancer victims whose sperm was inadvertently destroyed, in a settlement that recognizes for the first time sperm as property.  The $6.2-million settlement was reached by both sides in April after years of wrangling in B.C. courts.  Sandy Kovacs, lawyer for the donors, hailed the settlement.  It provides fair compensation for men who have suffered the loss of ability to have children of their own," said Kovacs on Tuesday.

About 400 men, mostly cancer patients who wanted their sperm preserved for future procreation before undergoing radiation treatment, stored samples with the UBC Andrology Lab for a fee.  In 2002, the freezer had a power interruption, which damaged or destroyed the samples.

The long-running class action suit was first filed nearly 12 years ago, but B.C. Supreme Court denied certification. The plaintiffs appealed and in 2011 the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the decision and certified the suit.

According to court documents, UBC based its defence on a facility agreement signed by donors waiving UBC's liability in the event of damage to the sperm because of equipment malfunction.

The case turned on whether sperm is considered property under Canadian warehousing law, which does not allow the warehouse owners to insert a clause in an agreement exempting themselves from liability.

In 2013, the judge concluded that the lab was similar to a warehouse, storing goods for a fee, and that sperm is property and falls under the definition of goods under the Warehouse Receipt Act — a precedent-setting decision in Canada, said Kovacs.  UBC appealed, but the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld the decision in a ruling in January.

Click here to read the full story.

Universtity of Minnesota to close fertility clinic

May 5, 2015 - A pioneering fertility clinic at the University of Minnesota has recently announced its decision to close it’s practice on June 30, 2015. The clinic, the first in Minnesota to provide in vitro fertilization, reached this decision after learning that three of their physicians would be leaving to join the growing number of private IVF practices in the state. 

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Fertility Preservation Network Welcomes Mid-Iowa Fertility

March 13, 2015 - ReproTech, Ltd., the leading cryobank specializing in long-term storage of human reproductive tissue (sperm, eggs, embryos and ovarian and testicular tissue), has reached an agreement with Mid-Iowa Fertility. 

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ReproTech Announces Partnership with Fertility Within Reach to Offer Financial Assistance

March 2, 2015 - Program extends access to Fertility Preservation services by offering financial assistance.

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Fertility Preservation Network Welcomes Family Fertility Center at Texas Children's Hospital

February 26, 2015 - Family Fertility Center at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women joins the more than 100 facilities incuded in ReproTech's Fertility Preservation Network. 

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Fertility Preservation Network Welcomes Sound Fertility Care, in Seattle

February 11, 2015 - Sound Fertility Care, located in Seattle, joins the more than 100 facilities included in ReproTech’s Fertility Preservation Network.

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