Judge Tosses Case of White Women Who Sued Over Black Donor Sperm

By Kenrya Rankin Sep 08, 2015

As families across the nation geared up to celebrate Labor Day, an Illinois judge ruled that a woman who sued a sperm bank for giving her a sample from a black man by mistake had no case.

Jennifer Cramblett, a white woman who lives in Uniontown, Ohio, filed suit against Midwest Sperm Bank in September 2014 after her daughter, Payton, proved to have African-American ancestry. Cramblett and her partner bought sperm that was supposed to be from Donor No. 380, a blond-haired, blue-eyed white man. But the bank mistakenly sent them a sample from Donor No. 330, a black man. The company apologized for the mix-up and gave the couple a partial refund. 

Cramblett’s lawsuit alleged "wrongful birth" and breach of warranty and asked for damages of at least $100,000 to help her relocate to a more racially diverse area. From the suit:

Jennifer bonded with Payton easily, and she and Amanda love her very much. Even so, Jennifer admits that she was raised around stereotypical attitudes about people other than those in her all-white environment. Family members, one uncle in particular, speaks openly and derisively about persons of color. She did not know African Americans until her college days at the University of Akron. Because of this background and upbringing, Jennifer acknowledges her limited cultural competency relative to African Americans, and steep learning curve, particularly in small, homogeneous, Uniontown, which she regards as too racially intolerant. …

As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s breaches of duty, Jennifer Cramblett has suffered personal injuries, medical expense, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and other economic and no-economic losses, and will do so in the future.

Judge Ronald Sutter ruled that the case lacked legal merit, as wrongful birth doesn’t apply when a healthy child is born, and breach of warranty only applies to cases where companies provide defective tissue or blood. He did say that Cramblett can re-file the suit with a negligence claim.

(H/t Chicago Tribune