Retired former Berlin doctor sued over artificial insemination

Local News

A Colorado woman is suing a retired former gynecologist at what is now Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. According to the Times Argus, she accuses him of using his own genetic material when he artificially inseminated her in 1978.

Shirley Brown, who now lives in Boulder County, Colorado, filed a federal lawsuit in Burlington on Monday. She alleges Dr. John Coates III agreed to inseminate her with genetic material from an unnamed medical student but instead used his own.

In 1979, Brown gave birth to a daughter. According to court documents, Coates acknowledged he was the biological father earlier this year during a deposition for a 2018 lawsuit in which a Florida couple makes similar allegations against him. The 2018 suit remains pending.

The journalist who covered this story for the Times Argus reports that Coates declined to comment when reached by phone. VTDigger and the Associated Press also report that Coates’ attorney did not reply to requests for comment that they’ve made.

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