Newspaper article The Canadian Press

U.S. Sperm Bank Sued by Canadian Couple Says It Didn't Verify Donor Information

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

U.S. Sperm Bank Sued by Canadian Couple Says It Didn't Verify Donor Information

Article excerpt

Sperm bank didn't verify donor info

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A U.S. sperm bank said Thursday it did not verify the personal information of a donor recommended to a Canadian couple who allege they were never told the man was a schizophrenic with a criminal record.

In an open letter, the president of Xytex Corp. said a careful review of its records had determined the claims in a lawsuit by the couple "do not reflect" the information the donor provided to the company.

"We stand by the process we followed, and intend to vigorously defend ourselves against the allegations in this lawsuit," Kevin M. O'Brien said in the letter, a copy of which was provided to The Canadian Press.

"In the meantime, we remain committed to providing clients with excellent service and upholding the highest practices and standards in the business."

Port Hope, Ont., residents Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson allege Xytex told them their choice of donor was a healthy man with multiple degrees who was "among their best donors."

In a statement of claim filed with a Georgia court, the couple allege they only accidentally learned the identity of their donor years after their son was born, and through their own research realized the man was a college dropout who had been arrested for burglary at one point and had schizophrenia.

None of the allegations contained in the statement of claim has been proven in court.

The couple is now seeking damages for pain, suffering and financial losses as it alleges Xytex engaged in fraud, misrepresentation, negligence and battery, among other claims.

But Xytex claims it has done nothing wrong.

The company said it wanted to assure the public that claims it misled a client are "simply not true."

"We followed thorough procedures to review the health of the donor. As you may know, this vetting process eliminates 99 per cent of the potential donors who apply to Xytex," O'Brien explained in his letter.

"In this case, the donor underwent a standard medical exam and provided extensive personal and health information."

The donor used by Collins and Hanson reported a "good health history" and stated in his application that he had no physical or medical impairments, O'Brien said. …

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