Woman sues Lexington hospital, fertility specialist over claims he used own sperm to impregnate her

Posted at 10:39 AM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 19:13:44-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Kentucky woman is suing a fertility specialist and a local hospital after claims that the specialist used his own sperm to inseminate her without her consent.

The lawsuit filed against Panayiotis Michael Zavos and Baptist Health Lexington states that Diane White, of Paris, was referred to Zavos and visited him in 1988 for an in vitro fertilization procedure.

The lawsuit alleges that Zavos told White that the sperm used in the procedure was from a 24-year-old University of Kentucky medical school student with blond hair, blue eyes, and "Nordic features."

When White became pregnant with her daughter in 1989 after the second fertilization attempt, the baby was born with dark hair, dark eyes, and "no Nordic features."

In 2018, the daughter took a standard ancestry DNA test that confirmed she had no Nordic, Scandinavian, or other light-skinned ancestries, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that it occurred to White after the test that Zavos had many of the same features as her daughter. The lawsuit states that she had not suspected he might be the sperm donor before her daughter's DNA test, and did not consent to Zavos using his own sperm.

A DNA test showed "beyond any reasonable doubt" that Zavos is the father of White's child," according to the lawsuit.

Baptist Health spokeswoman Ruth Ann Childers said Central Baptist Hospital had a contract with Zavos for about 10 years until 1994, at which point his employment was terminated for "failure to abide by the terms of the contract in addition to the policies and procedures of the hospital."

"If the allegations in this complaint are determined to be true, Central Baptist had no knowledge of such conduct nor would the hospital have sanctioned them," Childers said.