GRAND JUNCTION – A Colorado fertility doctor who is being sued for allegedly using his own sperm to impregnate several women said the women don’t have a legal complaint because they requested artificial insemination from an anonymous donor and that’s what they received.
Dr. Paul Jones filed his response to the October lawsuit in late December, The Daily Sentinel reported Saturday. It does not include a denial that he used his own sperm, but argues the two-year statute of limitations for claims of negligence, breach of contract and lack of informed consent has expired.
As many as six families have filed a lawsuit alleging negligence and fraud against Jones for using his own sperm in several successful artificial insemination procedures from 1975 to 1989. The families discovered Jones was the biological father through DNA testing.
The families also sued Women’s Health Care of Western Colorado, which was co-founded by Jones, for negligent misrepresentation, fraud and breach of contract.
The clinic responded that the plaintiffs did not know the identity of the sperm donor for well over 20 years after the procedures were performed, thus the donation remained “anonymous” by definition.
Patrick Fitz-Gerald, attorney for the families named in the lawsuit, found that to be disingenuous.
Anonymity should benefit both parties, with the mother, biological father and any children conceived all unaware of who the biological father is, he said.
“Jones knew these were his children and, in some cases, even treated them,” Fitz-Gerald added.
The statute of limitations for the claims has not expired, Fitz-Gerald said, because the matching DNA wasn’t discovered until very recently. Jones’ response, however, said two of the claims should fail because the DNA results were known more than two years before the lawsuit was filed.
Jones also argued the knowing concealment exception to the statute of limitations doesn’t apply because Jones had “an obligation to conceal” the information because the mothers asked for the identity of the donor to be anonymous and therefore Jones “cannot fraudulently conceal that same information.”
“They admit that they chose ignorance of the facts they now allege were concealed,” his response said.