Georgia parents of teen with 'mental issues' can sue sperm bank after finding donor was schizophrenic criminal
Georgia parents of a teenage boy with mental health issues has been allowed to proceed with a lawsuit against Xytex for providing an incorrect medical and educational history of the donor
Georgia's highest court ruled on Monday, September 28, that a couple can proceed with a lawsuit against a sperm bank that had misrepresented its process for screening donors. The sperm bank had also provided an incorrect medical and educational history of the donor. A Fulton County judge had dismissed all the claims but one in the lawsuit that had been filed by Wendy and Janet Norman in 2017. The lawsuit had been filed against Xytex Corporation and the Georgia Court of Appeals had upheld that ruling, Daily Mail reports.
The Georgia Supreme Court had partially reversed that ruling and had sent back the case to the trial court for some of the claims to be decided. An attorney for the couple, Nancy Hersh, said, "It feels great and it's justice." An attorney for Xytex, Ted Lavender, said that given the trial court had dismissed the case at an early stage, the high court had to rely on "unproven allegations" by the plaintiffs. Lavender had written in an email, "If this case does move forward, Xytex is confident in the actual evidence that exists to refute the allegations."
As per an article which was published in Medium, the Normans had bought sperm from Xytex and Wendy Norman gave birth to her second son in 2002. The couple had given birth to a healthy baby boy who was born in 1998 after being conceived with sperm from another donor at Xytex. When the child grew up, the couple found that he had inherited some serious medical and mental health problems and had required multiple hospitalizations, as per the lawsuit. When the child was a grader-schooler, he had slashed at walls with a knife, rolled around on the floor of the school, threatened to harm his family, and had even jumped off the roof on one occasion.
He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was also given medication for the same. At the age of 14, the child approached his parents and sought out information about the sperm donor. The child had read the extensive file provided by Xytex, the teenager had gone online and found his biological father's mugshot. He also found his biological father's criminal record and comments on battling with schizophrenia.
The couple sued the sperm donor company, the medical director, and an employee. The lawsuit seeks damages alleging fraud, negligent misrepresentation, battery, negligence unfair business practices, false advertising, unjust enrichment, and other wrongdoing. The donor #9623 had been advertised as one of Xytex's best and was shown as a Ph.D. candidate with an IQ of 160, multilingual, and a clean mental health history. They later found out that it was not true.
However, they later discovered that the donor had lied and had actually been hospitalized for many mental health problems including psychotic schizophrenia, as per the lawsuit. He had also been arrested for burglary and other crimes. The donor Chris Aggeles, 43, got candid in an interview last month, six years after his identity was revealed.
Aggeles had started to donate sperm at the age of 23 in 2000 and fathered a total of 36 children. Aggeles apologized to the parents of the children he had helped conceive in the podcast 'Donor 9623'. He said, "I hope that the families involved, and particularly the children involved, can find it in their hearts to forgive me."
"I'm sorry for betraying their trust, it was a s***ty thing and I'm not happy about it. I feel terrible about it, I really do."