In yet more weird news from America a woman who sued a sperm bank after she got pregnant by the wrong sample has had her case thrown out of court. The reason she was suing you ask? She was impregnated by an African American man’s sperm instead of a Caucasian man’s sperm.
The white woman in question is going to have to refile the lawsuit after the Illinois judge tossed out her claim against the sperm bank.
Jennifer Cramblett filed suit against Midwest Sperm Bank in 2014 because she was artificially inseminated with sperm from the wrong donor and gave birth to a mixed-race daughter. Not an issue in of itself, but I am sure in the delivery room it would be something of a surprise when instead of a a white baby being born your daughter was mixed race.
The sperm bank apologized and refunded part of the cost to Cramblett and her partner Amanda Zinkon. It appears to be an unusual suit but considering that she had specifically chosen a sample which she felt would make a good child for her and her partner I can understand the reason she was upset. Why the sperm bank did not refund the entirety of the bill is a little beyond me considering it was entirely their error that has caused the suit to be brought in the first place.
Cramblett’s suit alleged that the mistake caused her and her family stress, pain, suffering and medical expenses. Futhrermore, the suit said, in Cramblett’s predominantly white community, she feared that her daughter, Payton, now 3, would grow up feeling like an “outcast.” The fact that the child can be the daughter of a gay couple and that not be the main issue shows at least some progress and yet the fact that the child is mixed race is the reason they will face issues seems to me an odd disconnect.
But DuPage County judge Ronald Sutter threw out the lawsuit this week, agreeing with attorneys for the sperm bank who argued that it lacked legal merit, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Attorneys for the sperm bank had argued that “wrongful birth” suits typically apply to cases where the child is born with a birth defect that doctors should have warned parents about; in this case, the child was healthy. Cramblett had also sought damages for a “breach of warranty.” The judge rejected both claims but said that Cramblett could refile the suit as a “negligence claim,” the Tribune reported. The negligence suit seems far more likely to produce a settlement considering it was negligent in the eyes of the law for the sperm bank to use the incorrect sperm sample to impregnate Cramblett.
At the heart of the lawsuit was Cramblett’s claim that she was unprepared to raise an African American child and that her community and her “unconsciously insensitive” family members might not be accepting of a child of a different race.
“Getting a young daughter’s hair cut is not particularly stressful for most mothers, but to Jennifer it is not a routine matter, because Payton has hair typical of an African American girl,” the lawsuit said. “To get a decent cut, Jennifer must travel to a black neighborhood, far from where she lives, where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome.” The irony here appears to be lost on Cramblett, who has said her child will face stigma, yet she is the one facing it when she takes her daughter for a haircut in a black neighbourhood.
According to the suit, the couple chose sperm from donor No. 380, a white man; instead, they were given sperm from donor No. 330, a black man. They blame a paper records system that allegedly caused an employee to misread the numbers. Which leads to the question of how in 2014 is a sperm bank still operating on a paper system instead of using a computer? Almost all businesses use a computer and yet a health profession isn’t using one?
“Jennifer’s stress and anxiety intensify when she envisions Payton entering an all-white school,” the lawsuit says. “Ironically, Jennifer and Amanda moved to Uniontown from racially diverse Akron, because the schools were better and to be closer to family. Jennifer is well aware of the child psychology research and literature correlating intolerance and racism with reduced academic and psychological well-being of bi-racial children.”
She sought at least $50,000 in damage.