The highest court of the province of Ontario in Canada confirmed the achievement of an agreement on compensation in the amount of more than 13.3 million Canadian dollars (10.7 million US dollars) to former patients and children of a Canadian doctor who used, among other things, his sperm during the artificial insemination procedure, reports the CBC TV channel.
We are talking about the case of the reproductive doctor Norman Barwin, who used his sperm and the sperm of the wrong donors to fertilize his patients, which is why dozens of children born after this procedure still do not know who their biological fathers are. A class-action lawsuit was filed against Darwin in 2016, involving 226 people, about half of whom are the children of his patients. According to a study conducted as part of the investigation, the biological father of 17 of these children is Barwin himself. The lawsuit deals with claims covering the period from 1973 to 2012. Now Barwin is 82 years old.
According to media reports, the settlement of a case of this kind is the first in the world.
“Although I am aware of several doctors in the world who have done something similar to what Barwin did, I am not aware of any other class action or settlement of this kind anywhere else in the world,” said Peter Cronin, a lawyer representing the families.
According to the TV channel, the agreement on the class action says that the agreement reached as a result of negotiations is not an admission of offenses on the part of Barwin, who “denied and continues to deny all the claims of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.” The court must approve the payment of compensation; a hearing on this case will be held in November.
The funds received as a result of the settlement will have to be distributed among the plaintiffs according to the categories of “damage caused.” More than 60 thousand US dollars will be spent on creating a database of DNA of Barwin’s patients, sperm donors, and children conceived by the doctor’s patients, which will help the born children to find their biological fathers and other relatives.