Father loses £1million claim against fertility clinic after his ex forged his signature to get pregnant using his sperm despite judge saying man is ‘morally vindicated’.
The father, who can only be identified as ARB, took IVF Hammersmith Ltd to court after he said his former partner, known as R in the case, tricked doctors into impregnating her with a frozen egg fertilised by his sperm in October 2010.
He sought damages for the upkeep of the “unwanted” child born the following summer, but he lost his case on Friday.
However, Mr Justice Jay said: “Although he [ARB] has lost this case, my judgment must be seen as a complete personal and moral vindication for ARB.
“The same, of course, cannot be said for R.”
ARB split from R, with who he already had a son by IVF, in May 2010.
In October 2010, R handed the clinic a consent to thaw form, signed by her and purportedly signed by ARB.
As a result, an embryo was thawed and successfully implanted.
ARB alleged that R had forged his signature as the relationship had broken down – a claim denied by the woman.
The judge concluded ARB did not sign the consent to thaw form in October or at all and that his signature was forged by R, but ruled out the clinic bearing any financial responsibility.
He said the woman had “resorted to desperate, dishonest measures”.
Mr Justice Jay also declared that the clinic was “not negligent”.
He said: “I have held that the clinic owed a strict contractual obligation to ARB to obtain his written consent to the procedure, and that the clinic is in breach of that obligation because it did not obtain it.
“I have also held that the clinic was not negligent. The claim fails owing to public policy. I have held that the principles underpinning two House of Lords’ decisions in NHS claims given some 15 years ago apply equally to this contractual claim.”
IVF Hammersmith’s Jude Fleming said he was “pleased” with the result.
In a statement, ARB said: “We welcome this judgment, which has found in our favour in respect of all issues relating to our primary case.
“This claim has never been about money; it is about justice.”
He indicated he would appeal over “the isolated point of principle” up to the Supreme Court if necessary.