Fertility doctor used his own sperm to inseminate woman, lawsuit says
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/Gray News) – When Susan Crowder’s daughter completed an Ancestry.com testing kit, the family discovered something shocking about her parentage: her father was retired University of Louisville Health fertility doctor Marvin Yussman, a new lawsuit says.
Crowder’s lawyer said Thursday that Crowder is now suing both Yussman and the University of Louisville Health under Kentucky’s new fertility fraud lawsuit, which provides criminal and civil penalties for “fraudulent assisted reproduction.” It is a law Crowder herself fought for after she made the discovery three years ago.
The lawsuit alleges that in 1975, Crowder and her then-husband were struggling to conceive, so they sought treatment from Yussman.
After consultation, Yussman told Crowder that an anonymous medical student would donate the sperm sample. The lawsuit alleges that Yussman indicated a donor “who had the same build as her then-husband and who had similar features, such as hair and eye color,” would be providing a sperm sample for Crowder’s insemination. The lawsuit alleges that Yussman provided the sample himself without Crowder’s knowledge or consent.
According to the lawsuit, in April 2019, Crowder’s daughter completed an Ancestry.com genetic test and uploaded her results to the online database. At that point, a woman who was listed on the database as Crowder’s daughter’s half-sibling contacted her and said they had the same biological father as a sperm donor.
“This woman indicated that the donor father was Dr. Yussman,” states the lawsuit, “that she had been in contact with him, and that he had admitted to her that he was her biological father.”
Crowder brought these issues to the attention of the University of Louisville, “where Dr. Yussman was still a member of the faculty, only to be told that he had retired.” Crowder then filed a complaint with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure but said she was told that there was “insufficient evidence that Dr. Yussman violated the Kentucky Medical Practice Act.”
Crowder’s attorney, Amy R. Wheatley of Stein Law Office, stated in a news release, “After being rebuffed by the medical licensing board, Susan Crowder advocated for the passage of Kentucky’s Fraudulent Assisted Reproduction Law. This law allows her and other victims to hold rogue physicians liable for their unlawful conduct.”
The law office is asking others who believe they may be a victim of Yussman to contact the attorney here.
This isn’t the first time a fertility doctor has been accused of using his own sperm to inseminate patients. Disgraced Indianapolis doctor Donald Cline is accused of inseminating dozens of women with his own sperm without their knowledge or consent during the 1970s and 1980s.
It wasn’t until 2015 when some of his biological children began taking at-home DNA tests, that Cline’s covert insemination of the women over his 40-year career was uncovered. He had an estimated 94 children and was recently the center of a popular Netflix documentary, “Our Father.”
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