A Florida couple has sued a Vermont-based gynecologist, alleging he used his own sperm during an insemination procedure that resulted in him fathering their child.
Per the Rutland Herald, Cheryl and Peter Rousseau accused Dr. John Boyd Coates III of switching out sperm provided by an unnamed medical student resembling Peter and using his own instead. The lawsuit stated that Peter had undergone a vasectomy which was learned was irreversible, leading his wife to undergo the procedure at Central Vermont Hospital (now called Central Vermont Medical Center) in 1977.
The family alleged that they made the startling discovery when their now-41-year-old daughter sought genetic testing to learn more about her background and health history. Using ancestry sites like Ancestry.com and 23 and Me, the woman learned Dr. Coates is her biological father, according to WCAX.
“This could not have been done accidentally,” said Jerry O’Neill, the lawyer representing the Rousseaus. “It was completely news to them. They had no expectation that this would turn up when their daughter did the research with respect to it.”
O’Neill told the news station that the fertility doctor was professional but extremely close to Cheryl during her pregnancy. The lawyer claimed he was insistent upon delivering the baby himself.
“It’s fraud and it’s a question of inserting genetic material in a woman—not of an anonymous donor but rather the physician who is engaging in the conduct itself,” he commented.
According to the Herald, the Rousseaus are suing Dr. Coates and the CMVC for $75,000, alleging medical negligence, failure to obtain informed consent, fraud, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, consumer protection act violation, and negligent supervision.
The doctor and hospital have yet to respond to the allegations.
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