Armstrong Teasdale Prevails on Appeal in IVF Services Dispute

April 18, 2024 Firm News

The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District upheld summary judgment in favor of the firm’s client, a regional hospital system, in a case where the plaintiffs alleged that the genetic material used for the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process belonged to another man.

In 2009, a physician holding privileges at the hospital created an embryo using a semen sample provided by the wife and implanted it into a surrogate for a then-married couple. Unbeknownst to the physician, the sample did not belong to the husband but rather a man with whom the wife was having an affair. When this fact later emerged, the husband and surrogate filed suit against the client, the doctor and the fertility clinic.

The St. Louis County Circuit Court granted summary judgment on behalf of the defendants, and plaintiffs appealed.

Health care litigation Partners Maureen Bryan, Timothy Gearin and Nicolas Cejas convinced the appellate court that the husband had multiple opportunities to realize that the genetic material used to create the embryo transferred to the surrogate could not have been his, thereby negating the damages element of plaintiffs’ claim. Accordingly, the Eastern District affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in all respects.

Bryan is a partner and the General Counsel of Armstrong Teasdale. She has tried cases in several jurisdictions and is responsible in part for many of Missouri’s top-ranking defense verdicts. She represents some of the nation’s largest hospital corporations, Fortune 500 companies, physician groups, medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies in a broad range of claims involving medical malpractice, product liability and complex health care-related litigation. In addition, she represents clients in matters involving the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and breaches of protected health information including in class action litigation arising from data and privacy breaches.

Gearin leads the firm’s award-winning Mass Tort and Catastrophic Loss practice area and is one of the most sought-after defense litigators in the Midwest. He has broad experience representing clients primarily in the health care, agribusiness and manufacturing industries. A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Gearin has tried more than 75 cases throughout the United States, and his successful defense verdicts have ranked among Missouri’s highest for more than 15 years.

Cejas is the leader of Armstrong Teasdale’s Health Care and Life Sciences industry team. He represents clients faced with government investigations and litigation concerning the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute and other fraud and abuse laws. He also defends health care systems, Fortune 500 companies and physician groups  in a variety of matters, including medical malpractice, product liability, health care payor-provider disputes and other commercial actions.

Contact Us
  • Worldwide
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Edwardsville, IL
  • Jefferson City, MO
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • London, England
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Orange County, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wilmington, DE
abstract image of world map
Boston, MA
800 Boylston St.
30th Floor
Boston, MA 02199
Google Maps
Boston, Massachusetts
Chicago, IL
100 North Riverside Plaza
Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60606-1520
Google Maps
Chicago, Illinois
Denver, CO
4643 S. Ulster St.
Suite 800
Denver, CO 80237
Google Maps
Denver, Colorado
Dublin, Ireland
Fitzwilliam Hall, Fitzwilliam Place
Dublin 2, Ireland
Google Maps
Edwardsville, IL
115 N. Second St.
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Google Maps
Edwardsville, Illinois
Jefferson City, MO
101 E. High St.
First Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Google Maps
Jefferson City, Missouri
Kansas City, MO
2345 Grand Blvd.
Suite 1500
Kansas City, MO 64108
Google Maps
Kansas City, Missouri
Las Vegas, NV
7160 Rafael Rivera Way
Suite 320
Las Vegas, NV 89113
Google Maps
Las Vegas, Nevada
London, England
Royal College of Surgeons of England
38-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3PE
Google Maps
Miami, FL
355 Alhambra Circle
Suite 1200
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Google Maps
Photo of Miami, Florida
New York, NY
7 Times Square, 44th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Google Maps
New York City skyline
Orange County, CA
19800 MacArthur Boulevard
Suite 300
Irvine, CA 92612
Google Maps
Philadelphia, PA
2005 Market Street
29th Floor, One Commerce Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Google Maps
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Princeton, NJ
100 Overlook Center
Second Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540
Google Maps
Princeton, New Jersey
Salt Lake City, UT
222 South Main St.
Suite 1830
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Google Maps
Salt Lake City, Utah
St. Louis, MO
7700 Forsyth Blvd.
Suite 1800
St. Louis, MO 63105
Google Maps
St. Louis, Missouri
Washington, D.C.
1717 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
Google Maps
Photo of Washington, D.C. with the Capitol in the foreground and Washington Monument in the background.
Wilmington, DE
1007 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Google Maps
Wilmington, Delaware