(CN) – A woman cannot collect damages for physical discomfort from a fertility clinic that made clerical errors in the handling of her cryogenically frozen embryo, the New York Appellate Division ruled.
Karen Jason decided not to implant the embryo after the New York University School of Medicine discovered an error in the labeling of the embryo and the recording of Jason’s records in its computer system. The embryo did belong to Jason, the investigation concluded.
Jason sued for medical malpractice and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The clinic countered that she could prevail in court only if physical trauma accompanied her emotional harm.
Jason replied that her body was harmed by the medications she took to prepare for the in vitro procedure. This could have been avoided, she argued, if the clinic has discovered its labeling error sooner.
The appeals judges agreed with the trial court’s dismissal of Jason’s complaint.
“The alleged physical discomfort or harm was a necessary component of the procedure which Jason would have suffered even in the absence of any alleged negligence,” the judges wrote.