Company who made storage tank for eggs, embryos at UH says equipment didn't malfunction

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Custom BioGenic Systems of Michigan is speaking out on the University Hospitals embryo crisis.

CBS is the manufacturer of the storage tank used at UH where a problem led to either the destruction or damage of nearly 4,000 eggs and embryos.

CBS said in an email to Cleveland 19 that "based upon our initial investigation, we have concluded that our equipment did not malfunction."

The email goes on to say, "the early stages of our investigation into this unfortunate incident indicate it was the result of human error."

The email also outlines three points in their investigation: "the CBS unit did not malfunction and the unit was undergoing preventative maintenance at the time of the incident."

Another point: "the remote alarm system on the CBS tank was off."

And, "UH takes responsibility for these failures that caused such a devastating loss to its patients."

Meanwhile, last month, a Cuyahoga County judge signed a replacement court order  that says University Hospitals officials cannot speak with patients affected by the embryo crisis regarding their pending litigation.

This new order replaces one signed by a judge earlier, and is an agreement between the hospital system, the patients and their counsel.

Attorney Eric Zagrans, who is representing one couple, told Cleveland 19 that the hospital is allowed to contact patients, but can only speak with them regarding their medical care and cannot discuss any settlements or other legal aspects.

Staff can discuss certain aspects of the care, including new rounds of in vitro, a reimbursement of past storage fees and waiver of new storage fees.

Staff cannot engage in any civil discussion with the affected patients, unless those not using a lawyer would like to speak on that issue.

The hospital can speak with the patient's lawyers.

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