A fertility clinic must pay $108,000 for the care of a man’s 7-year-old daughter, who jurors said was born because the clinic impregnated the child’s mother without his consent.
Jurors Friday found that Boston IVF breached its contract with Richard Gladu and ordered the clinic to pay him $98,000 -- the estimated cost of raising his daughter. They awarded him $10,000 more for emotional distress.
Gladu sued the clinic and two doctors in 1998 for $3 million in damages for breach of contract, negligence and emotional distress, saying his wife was impregnated without his knowledge.
“The industry now knows if they’re going to create a man’s child without his consent, they’re going to be spending money to raise his child,” said Gladu’s lawyer, Lisa Arrowood.
Boston IVF spokeswoman Connie Jaroway said the clinic was disappointed by the ruling and would appeal.
The jury cleared two doctors of negligence: Dr. Selwyn Oskowitz, a fertility physician, and Dr. Merle Berger, who implanted the embryo that impregnated Gladu’s wife, Meredith McLeod, in 1995.
Gladu’s lawyer had said it was absurd to think a consent form that Gladu signed before his wife’s first in vitro pregnancy would cover a second one two years later.
But clinic spokeswoman Jaroway said the decision could have negative consequences for the industry because, for the first time, it interprets consent forms as contracts.
That could mean other doctor-patient communications, such as conversations, could be seen as contracts and subject to lawsuits, she said.