The hospital has promised an investigation
Several cancer patients whose frozen sperm was destroyed when a freezer
broke down at a Bristol hospital are to seek compensation.
The sperm of 28 patients were destroyed in June when one of two long-term storage
tanks malfunctioned at Southmead Hospital.
The tanks held sperm samples which were given by the patients over the past year.
It is not yet known how many of the 28 men affected will now have lost the
chance to become fathers.
Solicitors Foot Anstey Sargent, which represents five of the families,
issued a letter of claim for compensation to North Bristol NHS Trust.
Jonathan Green, solicitor, said: "We sent
the letter of claim last Wednesday and I received a letter of acknowledgement
"The hospital now has three months to investigate and decide on a course of
action, but we are hoping for it to be turned round more quickly than that as
it's been very distressing for all concerned.
"Some of these men had already been rendered infertile by their cancer
treatments, so the sperm being destroyed has shut the door, so to speak, on
being able to have children."
He added that the hospital had offered patients the chance to meet consultants
and discuss their options.
Lack of space and resources were blamed for the accidental destruction of the sperm samples.