Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Business

Tampa Bay woman sues after discovering sperm donor is a schizophrenic felon

TAMPA — A Hillsborough County woman is suing an Atlanta sperm bank because she thinks her child's biological father is a schizophrenic felon rather than a genius neuroscientist as the company had promised.

The woman, identified in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe, gave birth to a daughter eight years ago via artificial insemination with sperm she purchased from Xytex Corp.

She is one of 36 women who bore children using that donor's sperm, according to a 2014 company email to another mother, Angie Collins. Collins' story was reported by the Toronto Star.

The Hillsborough County woman's lawsuit is claiming fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligence, liability, warranty breaches, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The woman is worried her daughter will develop schizophrenia, the lawsuit states.

"Xytex looks forward to successfully defending itself from this new lawsuit with the same results as the original case," the company wrote in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. A 2015 lawsuit and subsequent appeal were shut down in Georgia after a judge ruled that the case fell under the category of a wrongful birth. Wrongful birth is unrecognized in that state.

"Xytex markets that their sperm donors are put through a rigorous screening process including medical, physical and psychological history evaluations and … medical tests in order to ensure their donors are healthy in every way possible," the lawsuit states. The woman therefore trusted the company when she paid $1,840 for eight vials of sperm from Donor No. 9623.

An inactive profile posted on the company's website for that donor checks "No" for medical illness history. It also lists him as holding bachelor's and master's degrees with a neuroscience major. The company said he provided copies of those completed degrees.

The donor has been identified as James Christian Aggeles. According to the lawsuit, Aggeles was hospitalized twice for mental health reasons and diagnosed "with psychotic schizophrenia, narcissistic personality disorder and significant grandiose delusions." The lawsuit further claims that a company representative encouraged Aggeles to exaggerate his IQ from 130 to 160 and told him that higher education was a plus.

Aggeles' criminal history, which Xytex did not disclose, included burglary, trespassing, DUI and disorderly conduct.

The plaintiff chose to work with Xytex in 2007. She said a representative told her there was a waiting list for Donor No. 9623 and to buy as much as she could if his sperm became available.

The woman's daughter was born in June 2008.

In response to other lawsuits filed over selling Aggeles' sperm, Xytex president Kevin O'Brien issued a statement standing by the company's business practices.

"This vetting process eliminates 99 percent of the potential donors who apply to Xytex. In this case, the donor underwent a standard medical exam and provided extensive personal and health information. He reported a good health history and stated in his application that he had no physical or medical impairments," O'Brien wrote. Donor recipients were "clearly informed the representations were reported by the donor and were not verified by Xytex."

Contact Alli Knothe at [email protected] Follow @KnotheA.

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