A Florida woman won a $5.25 million federal judges award this week after a doctor used his sperm to get her pregnant in 1977.
Cheryl Rousseau and her husband only learned the truth when their now grown daughter, conceived via artificial insemination, took a DNA test and found that Dr. John Boyd Coates III was her father.
Coates, now 80 and retired, has been ordered to pay $250,000 in damages and $5 million in penalties, according to a Vermont jury verdict.
Cheryl and Peter Rousseau, who now live in Florida, were looking for a donor because he had undergone an irreversible vasectomy.
The couple chose Coates to perform their assisted reproduction procedure, thinking they would get a medical student donor.
Her attorney, Celeste Laramie, said Wednesday the jury’s verdict was fair.
“The jury sent a message through their punitive damages verdict to any doctor who might consider lying to their patients or using their own semen to inseminate their patients,” she said. “Such behavior will have serious consequences.”
Coates, who initially denied paternity, faces a similar pending lawsuit from a Colorado woman who also accused him of wrongfully inseminating her instead of an approved donor.
Shirley Brown of Boulder claims that prior to her procedure in 1978, Coates claimed her donor was also a medical student.
Like Cheryl Rousseau, Brown only found out about the alleged deception after her daughter took a DNA test.
“We were surprised and disappointed by the verdict,” said defense attorney Peter Joslin.
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/03/31/woman-awarded-5-25m-after-doctor-used-own-sperm-to-impregnate-her/ Woman Received $5.25M After Doctor Impregnated Her With Own Sperm