Family sues Ohio doctor in an alleged sperm mix-up 30 years ago

For the past 28 years, Jessica thought Harvey was her real biological father. She went for DNA test in a mission to search for her relatives but the results were quite shocking. Jessica and her dad had no similar genes. Instead, Jessica’s father was the man she had never met before and her parents hadn’t met him as well.

The news got the parents shocked as well and now the Harvey family is suing. They claim Jessica’s mother fertility procedure was messed up and got impregnated by the wrong semen. On Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed by the Cuyahoga Falls family in Summit County Common Pleas Court against Summa Health, Dr. Nicholas Spirtos, the doctor who performed the intrauterine insemination, and the fertility company Spirtos Akron.

Jeanine Harvey during an online news conference said “By sharing our story, we hope that we might be able to help others and prevent this from happening to them,” Jessica Harvey Galloway despite DNA outcome, said she doesn’t believe about what she has known about her heritage. She said that the outcome has changed the way she feel about the people who raised her. “No matter what, you are my parents” Jessica said getting gagged up.

Mike and Jeanine Harvey during an online news conference

Through the spokesperson at Summa health, Mike Bernstein, the hospital is aware of the claims by the family but has not yet met with them or conducted test of its own. Bernstein said “Given the very limited information that we have and the amount of time that has passed, it remains our hope that the attorneys representing the family will work with us to make that next step a priority,”

Mike Bernstein also noted that the hospital takes the allegation seriously and the impact this has placed the family into. They are giving the allegation a serious attention it deserves. The law firm representing the Harveys said that they are the current victims of the unregulated fertility industry . He then called on the lawyers to implement an oversight of this multi-billion dollar industry. He said “As consumers, we think of fertility clinics as professional organizations,” . “The truth is: Nail salons are subject to far tighter controls than labs in fertility clinics.” he added.

The law firm represented another Ohio family in a lawsuit similar to this one filed in 2019. In the case, the woman who was 24 years through a DNA test found out that she was not related to her father biologically. The Cartellone family sue that fertility clinic, lab and the hospital according to the Columbus Dispatch. The lawsuit was settled though details about settlement of the agreement were not provided.

A fertility procedure that changed everything in 1991

Jeanine Harvey and John Harvey known by the name Mike went for help in getting pregnant at the IVF center from Spirtos at Summa Akron City Hospital in the year 1991. On the same year August 12th, Intrauterine insemination was done for Jeanine whereby a genetic material is inserted by the doctor into the uterus. John Harvey provided semen sample for use in the procedure that morning of 12th in a move by the lab technician to perform washing process in order to determine healthy sperm for fertilization.

Out of their pockets, the couple paid for the process. John Harvey had children from his previous marriage which made the couple think that Jeanine could pregnant after using his sperm. Jeanine got pregnant and Jessica was born in the following year 1992.

In the Harvey family, girls were rare. Jeanine was super excited after she learned about her baby’s gender, screamed on top of her voice and scared the doctors. The family went through normal life here and there going for vacations and any other celebrations. They celebrated Mike Harvey’s Italian heritage Jessica.

DNA test provides alarming result

Jessica and her husband were planning to go on a trip to Europe and thought of asking Jessica’s parents for Ancestry.com kit for Christmas in 2020.

Their motive was informed by the thought that it would be fun to track the distant relatives during their vacations. Instead, they received worrying news in early 2021. The results at Ancetry.com indicated that Jessica had no Italian roots unlike John Harvey. Jessica shared the DNA results with the parents who were disturbed and concerned at the same time. A paternity test and another DNA test was performed and the results showed that wasn’t her biological father.

Through social media and genealogy research records, Jessica discovered that her biological father was a man who, together with his wife was undergoing fertility treatment by Spirtos at the same time just like the Harveys. The same washing procedure was used for the wife’s procedure just like what was done for Jeanine.

Family sues Ohio doctor in an alleged sperm mix-up 30 years ago
Jeanine, Jessica and Mike Harvey during Jessica’s graduation

One of the Harveys attorney, Sletvold said “The wife of Jessica’s biological father didn’t become pregnant as a result of her fertility procedure”

Harvey family and their attorneys reached out to Summa Health and Spirtos in July providing them with medical records of the tests done as well as statements from Jessica’s biological father with his former wife. Sletvold said “They have offered no explanation for how Jessica was conceived,” “We were left with no choice but to take this dispute to court.”

Harvey family said that they have suffered emotional distress due to sperm mix-up. Mike Harvey took a gratitude of the two women in his life and said that Jessica and Jeanine are the two most important women in his life and will always be. He described the experience as “waking up in someone else’s life.”

Family sues Ohio doctor in an alleged sperm mix-up 30 years ago
Jessica Harvey Galloway speaking during a news conference about her family’s lawsuit

Jessica said that she and her biological father has been texting each other messages like :Happy birthday” and “Happy new year” but not sure what is next for them.

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