National Roundup

Family sues hospital over lost embryos

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio hospital where as many as 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos were damaged by a storage tank malfunction is being sued by a couple who lost two embryos.

The lawsuit was filed Sunday on behalf of Amber and Elliott Ash. Lawyers are seeking class action status, which would require approval from a judge. The suit was filed on the same day The Washington Post reported that a San Francisco fertility clinic said thousands of frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged in a liquid nitrogen failure in a storage tank earlier this month.

The Ashes say they stored two embryos at a University Hospitals fertility clinic in suburban Cleveland after Elliott’s cancer diagnosis in 2003. They say they were told over the weekend that their embryos are no longer viable.

The hospital is still investigating the cause of the problem, which was discovered March 4, the same day the San Francisco clinic suffered a similar failure.

“It’s heartbreaking, just heartbreaking,” Amber Ash told WEWS-TV. “The medical community calls it tissue. I like to think of it as my children.”

The couple has a 2-year-old son conceived through in-vitro fertilization and hoped to bring him a genetic sibling.

An attorney for the Ashes, Mark DiCello, said patients have “too many unanswered questions.”

“With this lawsuit, we will get answers and stop this from happening again,” he said in a news release.

Hospital officials say they are determined to help the patients who lost eggs and embryos, and the lawsuit will not affect an ongoing independent review into the malfunction.

Rhode Island
Citing free speech, Parks house artist pushes forward

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The artist who turned a house where Rosa Parks once lived into an art piece says he’s working to ensure the home is displayed in Rhode Island even after Brown University pulled its support.

Ryan Mendoza says he has a First Amendment right to show the house.

Parks lived in the home for a time after she left the south for Detroit. It was on a demolition list before her niece saved it and worked with Mendoza, who first brought it to Germany.

He worked with Brown to bring it to Providence last month, but the Ivy League school canceled on Thursday , citing an unspecified dispute involving an institute that bears Parks’ name.

The house is about 80 percent assembled. Mendoza hopes to complete it and open it to the public.

Convicted laser swindler pays $637,000 in restitution

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Federal court records show a Rapid City man convicted of running an illegal medical laser scheme has paid $637,000 in restitution so far as he awaits sentencing.

Eighty-two-year-old Larry Lytle pleaded guilty in January to criminal contempt and conspiracy. He has agreed to reimburse all customers who purchased one of his QLaser medical devices. Sales of the handheld devices totaled more than $16 million.

The Rapid City Journal reports Lytle admitted to selling hundreds of QLasers from 2005 through 2015, which were purchased for about $4,000 each. He placed veterinary labels on the handheld devices to evade review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Lytle and his co-conspirators claimed the devices could treat more than 200 medical conditions, including AIDS.

Father and son convicted in hearing aids scam

DALLAS (AP) — A North Texas father and son could each be sentenced to more than 90 years in prison over a nearly $17 million scam involving hearing aids and American Airlines Inc. workers.

Federal prosecutors say 67-year-old Terry Lynn Anderson and 37-year-old Rocky Freeland Anderson were convicted Thursday in Dallas over hearing aids not needed or never dispensed.

Both were convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, plus eight counts of health care fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft. Terry Anderson was also convicted on two additional fraud counts.

Investigators say the father and son, through their family business, submitted bogus or unnecessary insurance claims for some American workers. Many hearing tests, lasting less than 5 minutes, were done in an employee break room at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Teen killed, woman hurt when package explodes at home

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A teenager has died and a woman is seriously injured after a package exploded at a home in Austin, marking the second such explosion this month at a home in Texas’ capital city.

The package detonated early Monday. Police say the teen died at the scene, while the woman was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police say the woman is in her 40s, but they haven’t released any other information.

Authorities are investigating whether the explosion is linked to a similar blast on March 2 that killed a 39-year-old man. Both explosions occurred in the early-morning hours.

Police are investigating that incident as a suspicious death. Investigators haven’t released information about the device or possible suspects.

The FBI is helping Austin police in the investigation.

Judge declines motion to dismiss charge against McGowan

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) — A judge in Virginia has declined a motion to dismiss a charge of cocaine possession against actress Rose McGowan.

McGowan’s lawyers have suggested the drugs may have been planted by agents hired by disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to discredit her for making sex assault accusations against him.

McGowan was charged after authorities said cocaine was found in a wallet she left behind on a flight to Dulles International Airport in January 2017.

McGowan’s lawyer said in court papers that the drugs could have been planted before the wallet was found by a cleaning crew.

At a hearing Monday in Leesburg, Virginia, on McGowan’s motion to dismiss, Chief General District Court Judge Deborah Welsh said the issues could be addressed at a March 21 hearing when live testimony could be presented.