A motions hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in a lawsuit brought by Jason and Melissa Diaz against Pasadena-based Huntington Reproductive Center Medical Group. The Whittier couple alleges that a doctor at the fertility clinic transferred an embryo with a mutation associated with stomach cancer during their in vitro fertilization treatment in 2018. As a result, they allege, their son was born in 2022 with an 80% chance of developing the disease and might need his stomach removed as a preventive measure.
The Diazes claim that the Huntington Reproductive Center Medical Group was negligent in transferring the embryo and failed to properly inform them of the risks involved. They are seeking damages for emotional distress and the cost of medical care for their son.
In 2018, Jason and Melissa Diaz underwent in vitro fertilization at the Huntington Reproductive Center Medical Group. They hoped to conceive a child after struggling with infertility for years.
The first embryo transfer was free of mutations but resulted in a pregnancy which miscarried.
Then, reportedly with the understanding that one of their male embryos carried only the BRCA1 gene which is linked to less risk for men than for women, the couple opted to move forward with a second embryo transfer.
The couple was overjoyed when they learned Melissa was pregnant with a son.
However, their happiness turned to shock and dismay when they received the results of a genetic test during Melissa’s pregnancy. The test allegedly revealed that the embryo transferred during the in vitro fertilization process likely had a mutation associated with stomach cancer.
The Diazes were informed that their child could develop the disease and would likely need his stomach removed as a precautionary measure.
Despite the devastating news, the Diazes decided to continue with the pregnancy and their son was born in 2022. He now faces the reality of potentially having to undergo major surgery to remove his stomach to prevent the development of cancer.
The couple’s decision to continue with the pregnancy despite the diagnosis put them in a difficult position. They have said they are determined to hold the clinic accountable.
The lawsuit has raised important questions about the responsibility of fertility clinics to inform patients about the risks of genetic testing and the potential consequences of transferring embryos with known mutations. The case outcome could have significant implications for the future of in vitro fertilization and genetic testing.
The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Courts with Jon R. Takasugi presiding. According to LexisNexis, the defendants in the case include Parada Flor and Kolb Bradford A., in addition to Huntington Reproductive Center Medical Group.