Couple Sues IVF Clinic for Allegedly Destroying Their Embryos: Our 'Dream' Was 'Ripped Away from Us'

"This tragedy was utterly preventable," said an attorney for the couple

Kara Seldin-Howell

A couple from Washington has launched a lawsuit against a Colorado fertility clinic after the facility allegedly destroyed their embryos by accident.

Attorneys for Kara Seldin-Howell and Kolton Howell submitted a complaint on Wednesday, claiming CNY Fertility Colorado was "grossly negligent and reckless" in events leading to the destruction of the couple's embryos last year.

According to court documents, the spouses traveled to Colorado in May 2021 to have Kara's eggs retrieved for in vitro fertilization at CNY Fertility. To Kara and Kolton's delight, embryologists at the facility produced seven embryos from their visit, leading them to believe children might soon be in their future.

But their hopes were dashed just days later, when the clinic broke the news that the embryos were unintentionally destroyed during genetic testing, the couple claims.

A medical director from the clinic allegedly told the couple that a laboratory worker forgot to put an oil medium in the Petri dishes, causing the embryos to die after drying out.

"Within a span of 48 hours, we went from being overjoyed that our dream of starting a family was finally coming true, to having that dream ripped away from us," Kolton said in a press release. "Even after almost a year, I'm still struggling to process what happened."

CNY Fertility did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Kara Seldin-Howell

During a news conference on Wednesday, the couple opened up about the experience.

"I feel robbed of our time and resources," Kara said. "Most of all, we feel robbed of our hopes and dreams."

A representative from CNY Fertility told the couple that staff was at fault for the accident, and assured them the facility would begin "double-checking" embryos to ensure proper culture conditions.

"This tragedy was utterly preventable," Adam Wolf, an attorney for the couple and a partner at Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise, said in a statement. "The fact that CNY Fertility could destroy our clients' embryos and only now promise to start 'double-checking' laboratory work speaks volumes about the lack of oversight of the IVF industry."

"We've represented countless clients in cases involving fertility clinic misconduct, and yet I'm still baffled by this preventable tragedy. CNY Fertility's response of 'Whoops. We'll try harder next time,' should disturb all of us," he added.

RELATED VIDEO: Kourtney Kardashian Opens Up About IVF Complications: 'Hasn't Been the Most Amazing Experience'

The couple's story follows other accidents at IVF facilities. Last year, a Los Angeles couple spoke out after a mixup at an IVF clinic allegedly resulted in them giving birth to and raising another couple's child.

Another couple sued their IVF clinic in 2019 after they allegedly gave birth to a child of a different race who was also not biologically related to them.

Related Articles