Court rules frozen embryos not people in hospital lawsuit

Legal actions grow after loss of frozen embryos
Posted at 12:58 PM, May 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-04 12:58:00-04

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that frozen embryos are not people in a lawsuit filed after more than 4,000 eggs and embryos were destroyed inside a malfunctioning storage tank at a hospital fertility clinic.

The Plain Dealer reports the 8th District Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision released Thursday ruled that Ohio law says an embryo is considered a person only if it can survive outside the womb.

An attorney for the couple who filed the lawsuit, Rick and Wendy Penniman, of Broadview Heights, said he will appeal Thursday's ruling to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The Pennimans are among more than 100 families that have sued University Hospitals after a storage tank's temperature fluctuated in March 2018, destroying eggs and embryos.