Embryo Litigation

Date of Event



Event Description

The lecture will focus on three unique aspects presented by the recent Cleveland litigation surrounding the loss of eggs and embryos due to an issue with the cryogenic tank:

  • The lack of clear laws or precedent regarding the rights and remedies available under Ohio law. Does the claim fall under a medical malpractice, bailment, irreplaceable loss, breach of contract or a general negligence?
  • The logistical challenges of pursuing a case with potentially 900 plaintiffs and 87 different firms will be discussed.
  • Lastly, the lecture will focus on the structure surrounding resolution of these claims in a way that was fair and equitable to each individual claimant and the unique challenges presented by the damages claims.

Please review these reading materials in advance of the lecture.

Speaker Bios

David J. Elk | Senior Partner | Elk & Elk

David Elk is the senior partner of Elk & Elk in Cleveland. As an Ohio personal injury lawyer, he has represented thousands of medical malpractice, wrongful death and injury victims throughout the state for over 56 years. He has devoted his entire professional life of more than five decades to helping injured people receive the compensation they deserve.

David began his professional career with one of the largest and most prestigious personal injury law firms in Ohio and spent his first seven years under the wing of Ohio’s best. After practicing on his own for several years, his entrepreneurial spirit got the better of him. He ventured into practice with his brother Art and built geographically one of the largest injury practices in Ohio.

David believes that quality legal representation allows all people to level the playing field against the big insurance companies

When David isn’t representing the rights of injury victims, he spends his time being an active husband, father and grandfather to his wife Marilyn, three children, granddaughters Meredith, Madison and Celia, grandson Dylan and granddaughter Skye. He is also a lifelong Cleveland Indians fan and frequently attends games with family and friends.

Jay M. Kelley III | Managing Partner | Elk & Elk

Jay Kelley has been managing partner at Elk & Elk since 2017 and was a partner since 2011. Jay focuses on civil trial work in state and federal courts. His practice areas include medical negligence and/or wrongful death arising from birth injury, maternal death, surgery, oncological, cardiac, trucking, auto and pharmaceutical causes. Jay has presented more than 70 cases to juries, including felony prosecution, criminal defense, civil defense and civil plaintiff cases. He has been lead counsel on cases in more than 30 Ohio counties, as well as appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Jay was appointed court liaison/lead counsel on behalf of all claimants in lawsuits against University Hospitals. He oversaw workup, handling and resolution of Liaison Counsel for all 65 plaintiffs in 2019. The litigation stemmed from a fertility clinic event that left thousands of fertilized embryos and eggs unviable. Jay was awarded “Lawyer of the Year” in 2021 for Medical Malpractice Law in Cleveland. Since 2016, he has been included in The Best Lawyers in America® for Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation.

Subject Headings

Cleveland, OH embryo litigation; medical malpractice; personal injury and embryo destruction


CWRU School of Law Moot Courtroom

Document Type