WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A donor of human eggs has filed a class action complaint in the Northern District of California against the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, and a proposed class of reproductive clinics and agencies. The complaint alleges that those clinics and agencies agreed to fix and suppress the price paid to egg donors as compensation for the time, inconvenience, labor, and discomfort associated with egg donation in violation of federal antitrust law. It has been assigned case number 11-cv-01781.
According to the complaint, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine promulgated rules setting forth maximum prices its members should pay donors, and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology required its member clinics and the agencies serving its member clinics to agree to abide by these rules. The complaint alleges that the prices agreed to were artificially low. While state and federal regulators may have the ability to enact legislation governing the prices clinics and agencies pay for human eggs, a private agreement between competitors to fix prices is illegal under the antitrust laws. At present, the market for egg donation is largely unregulated by the government. Indeed, one commentator has noted that the egg donor price rules were “intended to discourage any possible governmental legislation that would encumber the free practice US doctors now enjoy.”
The complaint seeks an injunction prohibiting clinics and agencies from abiding by the price agreements. It further requests money damages from all clinics and agencies that agreed to abide by the price restrictions on behalf of a class of women donating human eggs to these agencies between April 12, 2007 and the present. The plaintiff is represented by the law firms of Finkelstein Thompson LLP in San Francisco CA and Washington D.C., and Cafferty Faucher LLP in Philadelphia PA.
For additional information, please contact Michael McLellan at Finkelstein Thompson LLP or Bryan Clobes at Cafferty Faucher LLP. Finkelstein Thompson LLP can be reached at 202-337-8000 and Cafferty Faucher LLP can be reached at 215-864-2800.