Plaintiffs are the first to come forward publicly following CooperSurgical’s tragic failures that have devastated countless families nationwide

SAN FRANCISCO – Kearsten and Zachary Walden today filed a lawsuit against CooperSurgical, Inc. and its parent company, The Cooper Companies, alleging its defective embryo culture media – the solution in which embryos are stored and developed as part of the IVF process – destroyed all their embryos. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit alleges CooperSurgical, a prominent leader in the global infertility treatment market, produced and distributed multiple lots of defective embryo culture media that destroyed prospective parents’ embryos instead of supporting their health. As part of the IVF process, fertilized eggs are submerged in embryo culture media, which plays a pivotal role in the embryos’ development. The solution is developed to mimic the fluids in a woman’s reproductive tract to provide the embryos the same advantages, so the specific nutrients in the solution are vital to their success.

“After more than a decade of struggling with infertility, receiving the news on Thanksgiving morning that none of our embryos had survived was devastating,” said Kearsten Walden. “We immediately questioned what we did wrong, having no idea that all the embryos we had worked so hard for and put so much hope into had been destroyed because of a completely avoidable failure by CooperSurgical.”

The lawsuit further alleges the destruction of the plaintiffs’ embryos and countless others was a direct result of CooperSurgical’s failure to adequately monitor the manufacturing systems and processes associated with the production of its embryo culture media. The company also failed to test or inspect the impacted lots of culture media until after it received numerous complaints from fertility clinics that embryos were dying at drastically elevated rates.

“The combination of lax regulations and huge potential for profit off hopeful parents makes fertility a perfect space for corporations to cut corners and prioritize their shareholders. Unfortunately, the Waldens and too many others are paying the price for CooperSurgical’s focus on profit over safety,” said Sarah R. London, partner at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein. “Our firm has held fertility corporations accountable before, and we look forward to shining a light on CooperSurgical for the irreparable harm and pain they have caused.

“We are sharing our story to raise awareness and help other hopeful parents who have faced this type of failure by fertility companies feel less alone,” said Zachary Walden. “By ensuring companies like CooperSurgical don’t get away with these horrific lapses in safety, we hope to be part of changing the fertility industry for the better.”

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Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein is a leading law firm in the fertility space, representing families injured by IVF supply manufacturers, cryogenic storage facilities, fertility clinics, and genetic testing laboratories nationwide.

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