On Mother's Day weekend, UH files motion to dismiss fertility clinic lawsuit

CLEVELAND - On Mother's Day weekend, and less than 24 hours before a memorial celebration that is scheduled to take place for the eggs and embryos that were lost, University Hospitals has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against it for the fertility clinic disaster that resulted in the loss of thousands of eggs and embryos for more than 900 patients.

According to the motion, UH claims one of the hundreds of lawsuits filed against it lacked an affidavit of merit. That means the lawsuit lacks the opinions and findings of an expert, which means the case wouldn't necessarily hold up in court. 

There have been around 45 lawsuits filed against University Hospitals.

RELATED: University Hospitals facing 117 lawsuits after fertility clinic malfunction

Tom Merriman, an attorney representing a number of patients affected by the disaster, said it appears the hospital is trying to have the case thrown out so it can be sued for medical malpractice instead.

It's not common for a hospital to ask to be sued for medical malpractice, but it is likely doing so because that could put a cap on damages, Merriman said.  

While the motion is only for one specific case, Merriman said he believes it will also be applied to the rest of the lawsuits UH is facing.

University Hospitals released the following statement: 

“University Hospitals continues to offer clinical and emotional support to patients affected by this difficult situation. With regard to the legal proceeding you reference, when a lawsuit is filed, Ohio law requires that all medical claims be accompanied by an affidavit of merit. In this matter, the plaintiffs’ attorneys did not file the necessary documentation. So we have asked the court to dismiss the claims that were not properly supported when filed – in keeping with Ohio law.”

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