Layne Hardin, a Louisiana man, has filed a lawsuit against a Houston fertility clinic and his ex-girlfriend Toby Devall, claiming that the clinic failed to take proper precautions to keep his ex-girlfriend Devall from stealing his sperm.
According to ABC News, Layne Hardin claims that the Houston fertility clinic Obstetrical and Gynecological Associates, PLLC, and the affiliated sperm bank facility Texas Andrology Services, LLC, gave his ex-girlfriend Devall, unauthorized access to two vials of his sperm.
The woman allegedly used the baby making material to conceive a child without his permission.
Khou.com reports that Layne Hardin, 44, said he made the sperm donation specifically for another former girlfriend with whom he has a 12-year-old child. He claims that Devall, whom he dated after he broke up with the first girlfriend, "bluffed her way" into the clinic and received two vials o f his sperm.
ABC News writes that in 2002 Layne Hardin, 44, and a previous girlfriend Katherine LeBlanc, 40, agreed to freeze Hardin's sperm after they had a son. Hardin then decided to undergo a vasectomy to prevent him from having other children.
Hardin claims that he and Katherine LeBlanc signed a contract with Texas Andrology Services sperm bank that said that only LeBlanc could have access to Hardin's freeze-dried sperm.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the lawsuit claims the contract stated that in the event of separation, LeBlanc could have access to it.
After Hardin and LeBlanc signed the contract, they broke up in 2006 and Hardin began dating Devall, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Hardin said that in March 2008, before he broke up with Devall, he went to the fertility clinic with her to discuss fertility options for her. Although she was aware he had sperm stored at the facility, he never authorized her access to it.
Hardin said it was after he broke up with Devall in 2009 that she told him she had been inseminated with his sperm and that she was pregnant.
Hardin's lawyer Cade Bernsen accused Devall of bluffing "her way into getting the sperm." He accused her of using the sperm to make a baby without Hardin's consent. He alleged that she did it purposefully "out of vindictiveness and to punish him for breaking up with her."
Hardin said after the clinic gave Devall the sperm, she walked to a doctor's room in the same building and got inseminated with it.
Hardin also alleges that the sperm bank Texas Andrology Services, LLC., and the fertility clinic Obstetrical and Gynecological Associates, PLLC, utterly disregarded "safeguards and protections."
But Khou.com reports Devall claims that Hardin had given her permission to use his sperm for insemination. She also claims that Hardin was aware that she used his sperm. Devall's attorney, Lee Hoffoss, described Hardin as a "money grubber" who wanted to get his hands on the wealth of Devall's family.
The Huffington Post reports that Devall now has a 2-year-old son from the insemination with Hardin's sperm. A DNA test has confirmed that the child is Hardin's. She gave birth to the child in July 2010 and according to the lawsuit, she refuses to allow Hardin to see the boy.
Hardin complains that he could be sued to pay child support for the 2-year-old boy, despite never authorizing the use of his sperm or having met the child. However, he says his greater concern in the situation is the emotional impact. He said: "It don't stop when he's 18. This is forever. This ripple effect affected me and my family. When he gets old enough and realizes how he was brought into this world, then his ripple effect starts." Hardin's attorney Cade Bernsen, said: "At the end of the day, there are more precautions taken giving an 18-year-old a pack of cigarettes and checking their ID than there was for this sperm bank checking the credentials of this lady."
Hardin is demanding damages on the grounds that the fertility clinic breached the contract by allowing unauthorized access to his sperm. Bernsen said the case may break new grounds. He said: "We are taking this question to a jury, what is a human life worth? What a controversial way to come into being. The little child is an innocent victim. It's like a soap opera, but it's real."
According to Khou.com, the doctor in charge of the sperm donation clinic, Dr. George Grunert, declined to comment, saying the case was under litigation.
Hardin and his attorney Bernsen said they hope the case would lead to a law to protect people in similar situation.