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Jury Awards $15 Million Over Cryogenic Tank Failure

Jury Awards $15 Million Over Cryogenic Tank Failure

On March 4th, 2018, every fertility clinician’s greatest nightmare became a devastating reality.


A cryogenic storage tank at a San Francisco fertility clinic failed. Because the temperature began increasing on a Saturday, the growing calamity went unnoticed. An alarm designed to activate in such a situation had been turned off. The 4,000 eggs and embryos held inside warmed beyond viability; the 950 families who trusted the clinic with the growth of their families, left without recourse.


Recently, the first jury to make a decision about the case granted five of the affected families a hefty sum: $15 million in total. The vast majority of the damages — $14 million — were attributed to pain, suffering and emotional distress.


The first award of its kind, the judgement acted as a clarion call for fertility clinics (and clinics of any kind) to audit their monitoring practices and institute redundant systems wherever possible.


The failure also acted as a stark reminder of the wide-reaching influence of lab operations. LabOps is a field that can possess outsize impact on people’s lives. More often than not, a lab manager’s routine to-do list can have a direct impact on matters of life and death. With such a high calling, the number of fires a lab manager is tasked with fighting must be reduced.


At Elemental Machines, we’re committed to improving both sides of the equation, both easing lab monitoring and empowering lab managers.


A central component of the Elemental Machines Universal Lab Monitoring Platform, our sensor technology provides an instant alert the moment a tank, refrigerator, freezer, or incubator condition falls out of range. Utilization data can yield proactive maintenance recommendations that avert problems before they arise. And by taking many of the routine data collection tasks off of the shoulders of the lab manager, our cloud-connected sensors and universal dashboard free LabOps professionals to spend less time collecting data and fighting fires, and more time satisfying their ultimate duty: improving the lives of others. For more information on the Elemental Machines platform, CONTACT US today.

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