Trial Judge Preserves $15 Million Verdict in IVF Tank Failure Trial
In June 2021, a jury found in favor of five Pacific Fertility Center patients, holding Chart Industries Inc.—which manufactured the cryogenic tank that failed, damaging plaintiffs’ frozen eggs and embryos—liable on all claims. Girard Sharp served as co-lead trial counsel for the plaintiffs.
The trial judge, Hon. Jacqueline Scott Corley, refused this week to overturn that verdict, denying Chart's motion for a new trial and its motion for judgment as a matter of law. Chart had asked the court for a redo of the trial after a jury awarded damages totaling nearly $15 million. In denying that request, the court concluded that the jury’s verdict was supported by the evidence at trial and dismissed Chart’s complaints about certain evidentiary rulings and arguments made by counsel. While Chart also argued that the damages awarded to each plaintiff were excessive, the court noted that “[e]ach Plaintiff testified at length regarding the trauma and anguish they experienced as a result of the incident,” and “[t]here is no basis for questioning the jury’s valuation of this suffering.”
Trial counsel Adam Polk said, “We are pleased with the court’s decision to deny Chart’s request for a new trial, which brings our clients one step closer to recovering for their losses. Plaintiffs remain thankful for the court and jury’s time and attention to these important cases.”
Trials for the more than 100 other families whose frozen eggs and embryos were damaged in the failure of Chart’s tank have not yet occurred; the next trial is set to begin in January 2022.