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Ex-girlfriend countersues Sulphur man over stolen sperm claim

Last Modified: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 7:08 PM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

A Sulphur man is suing a fertility clinic and an ex-girlfriend, claiming the sperm bank gave two vials of his sperm to the woman, who conceived a 2-year-old boy. But the woman is countersuing, claiming she had permission to be inseminated with the sperm.

According to court documents, in 2002 Layne Hardin and Katherine LeBlanc, his then girlfriend with whom he also has a child, went to Texas Andrology in Houston to store Hardin’s sperm before he had a vasectomy.

Cade Bernsen, Hardin’s attorney, said when the sperm was stored, Hardin and LeBlanc entered into a legal contract with the clinic with “binding directions.”

Bernsen said according to the contract, LeBlanc, who is also listed as a plaintiff, has ownership of the sperm in the event of Hardin’s death or if the couple separated, which they did in 2006.

Hardin’s attorney said in October 2009, Tobie Devall — a woman who had an “on-again, off-again” relationship with Hardin — went to the fertility clinic and “basically walked in and said, ‘Hey, give me some sperm from Mr. Hardin,’ and the sperm bank didn’t check the contract, didn’t check her ID, they didn’t do any kind of safety protocol.”

Bernsen said the clinic “handed Tobie Devall a brown paper bag with two vials of sperm. Then she walked out and went next door and got inseminated.”

“This has been a nightmare for him; a nightmare for his family, knowing there’s a boy out there,” Bernsen told the American Press. “(Devall) hasn’t allowed (Hardin) to see him.”

Bernsen said Hardin and Devall had been separated for about a year when she was inseminated.

Bernsen said according to Louisiana law, Hardin is “technically on the hook” for child support if Devall pursued action for it.

Hardin and LeBlanc are suing the clinic for breach of contract, violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices, ordinary negligence, gross negligence and conversion. They are suing Devall for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Devall’s attorney, J. Lee Hoffoss, said Devall is countersuing Hardin for his “fraudulent and intentional misrepresentations” to her.

According to court documents submitted by the defense, LeBlanc was never granted “decisional authority” over Hardin’s sperm because “at no time after this claimed end of Layne Hardin’s relationship with Katherine LeBlanc did Layne Hardin or Katherine LeBlanc ever contact (Texas Andrology) to inform it or its staff that there was a dissolution of couple.”

The document also states that in 2005, “Layne Hardin began a relationship with Tobie Devall while continuing to have a relationship with Katherine LeBlanc.”

“Layne Hardin and Katherine LeBlanc never ceased having a sexual relationship, and continued having a sexual relationship while he was in a relationship with Tobie Devall,” the document states. “There was no dissolution of the couple ... decisional authority over (Hardin’s sperm) never transferred to Katherine LeBlanc ... .”

The document says that during Hardin and Devall’s relationship, they had discussed having children but Hardin had already had a vasectomy. “Layne Hardin informed Tobie Devall that he had sperm stored in Houston, and that she could use the sperm to attempt to become pregnant,” the defense contends.

The document also states that Hardin and Devall had a consultation about Devall being inseminated.

Hoffoss provided the following statement to the American Press on Devall’s behalf: “This case involves the life of one innocent child. Soon, 12 men and women will see all of the evidence and make a decision based upon the true facts of the case. It is not fair to the family, nor the justice system, to try this case in the media. The truth will come out at trial and will be reflected in the jury’s verdict. We are looking forward to allowing our jury system to work ... .”

The story recently gained national attention when it appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The trial is scheduled for April 22 in Houston.

Posted By: SF On: 3/9/2013

Title: REALLY!!!!!

It's upsetting that such ignorance is allowed to waste taxpayers money in our court system. Mindless idiots!!!!

Posted By: Get Real On: 3/7/2013

Title: Yeah Right

Anything to make the news..................how about reporting something that's worthwhile and not all of the drama three "groupies".

Posted By: claude On: 3/7/2013

Title: " the woman, who conceived a 2-year-old boy."

How can someone conceive a 2-year old? Wouldn't it take 2 years and 9 months to have a 2-year old?

Posted By: DH On: 3/7/2013

Title: Wow

Wow, this sounds like something out of Florida

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