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UH lawsuit filed by couple over whether or not frozen embryos were living people dismissed

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Posted at 3:09 PM, Jul 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-13 15:09:05-04

CLEVELAND — The lawsuit against University Hospitals that was filed by a couple who claimed their frozen embryos lost in a hospital freezer malfunction should have been treated as people and not property has been dismissed, according to Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas records.

Court documents don't have any specifics regarding the reason for dismissal or if a settlement was reached.

In May, an Ohio appellate court ruled against Wendy and Rick Penniman, who were among 950 families impacted when a storage tank malfunction at University Hospitals destroyed 4,000 eggs and embryos in 2018.

The Penniman family lost three embryos. The couple argued that the embryos were human beings.

The counter-argument made by University Hospitals’ attorneys claimed that Ohio law does not see embryos as human beings and doing so would lead down a problematic path.

The ruling stated that embryos that cannot live outside of the womb are not people. After that ruling, the Penniman family had planned to take the case all the way to Ohio's Supreme Court.

RELATED: Court rules that embryos are not people

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