Judge rules on lawsuit against sperm bank

CHICAGO — A DuPage County judge has dismissed a lawsuit against an Illinois sperm bank accused of mistakenly providing sperm from a black donor to a white Uniontown, Ohio woman.

The Chicago Tribune reports Judge Ronald Sutter tossed the lawsuit Thursday. But he ruled Jennifer Cramblett could refile her lawsuit against Midwest Sperm Bank under a negligence claim.

Cramblett became pregnant in December 2011 through artificial insemination, but the sperm bank used sperm donated by a black man instead of the white donor whom she and her partner selected. The bank later issued an apology and a partial refund.

Cramblett, who is white, said she loves her 3-year-old daughter, Payton. But she claimed “limited cultural competency” around African-Americans, and said she was worried about how Payton would be treated in their predominantly white community and by her “all-white, and often unconsciously insensitive family.”

CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said a wrongful birth lawsuit is more commonly filed if a child had a congenital birth defect or other kind of abnormality that a doctor should have known and warned the parents about.

“I think it’s an unfortunate labeling,” Kliemann told “CBS This Morning” when the suit was filed last fall. “So is breach of warranty, which is a second count because breach of warranty sounds like a commodity – you bought a car and it was defective.”

The sperm bank’s attorney, Bob Summers, argued Cramblett’s claim of “wrongful birth” could not be legally sustained in a case where a healthy child was born.