A retired Idaho Falls gynecologist is being sued for allegedly inseminating a woman and fathering her child more than 30 years ago.
Dr. Gerald E. Mortimer and his former employer, Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates of Idaho Falls, have been accused of medical negligence, battery, fraud and breach of contract. The case against them was filed in Idaho federal court on Friday, reports KMTV.
The civil suit was filed by Kelli Rowlette, a Washington resident, and her divorced parents Sally Ashby and Howard Fowler.
The accusations came to light after the 36-year-old Rowlette received an unexpected result from a DNA test sent to Ancestry.com in July 2017. If users opt in, Ancestry.com can link them to others with similar DNA.
The Ancestry.com results predicted a parent-child relationship between Mortimer and Rowlette, according to the complaint.
At the time, Rowlette thought the results were wrong. She had no idea who Mortimer was, nor did she know her parents had used a medical procedure to help them conceive.
But after speaking with her parents, details eventually began piecing themselves together, according to the lawsuit.
Rowlette and her parents allege that neither the donor sperm, nor Fowler’s sperm, were used during the procedure. Instead, Mortimer allegedly inseminated Ashby with his own semen and then intentionally concealed that fact from the parents.
The lawsuit claims that had the parents known Mortimer was going to use his own semen, they would not have consented to the procedure.
Mortimer is accused of knowing Rowlette was his daughter and concealing it even when the family moved to Washington. Court documents claim Mortimer cried when Ashby told him they were moving.
Court documents show Rowlette learned who Mortimer was after her parents told her about the procedure and Mortimer’s role as her mother’s obstetrician. Rowlette also later discovered that her birth certificate had been signed by Mortimer.
All three plaintiffs say they are “devastated” by Mortimer’s alleged actions, according to court documents.
The family is suing for medical negligence, failure to obtain consent, fraud, battery, infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract and engaging in deceptive trade practices.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
April 5th, 2018