A San Diego County woman filed a lawsuit Wednesday, alleging that a local physician she consulted for fertility issues decades ago used his own sperm to artificially inseminate her, only discovering the fact after her adult son took a DNA test.
The suit, which was filed in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of Beverly Willhelm, alleges that Dr. Phillip M. Milgram told her the sperm was from an anonymous colleague of his who was a physician at UC San Diego and a frequent donor whose sperm samples had "been used to successfully achieve pregnancy."
Willhelm's son, James Mallus, now 32, received a 23andMe DNA kit for Christmas and through the test, discovered that Milgram was his biological father, according to the suit.
"They also learned that plaintiff has a half-sister in New York whom defendant fathered through sperm donation," the lawsuit also states.
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Milgram currently has an office in Carlsbad and is also an attending physician at Scripps Memorial Hospital, in La Jolla, according to the Scripps website, which reports that his areas of expertise are addiction medicine, laparoscopic surgery, and obstetrics & gynecology.
Willhelm's attorney, Adam Wolf, filed a similar suit Wednesday in Northern California against another physician, who also allegedly used his own sperm in fertility treatments and is responsible for the Tay-Sachs disease of that plaintiff's daughter.
"Instead of using the sperm of an anonymous donor and a physically and mentally healthy individual, as he promised, Dr. Milgram used the sperm of a drug addict who had serious mental health issues -- his own sperm," Willhelm alleged during a news conference announcing the lawsuit.
"I expected to learn something new and exciting about who I am when I took this test," Mallus said at the news conference. "I learned something that's revolting."
"At this point, it's under litigation," Milgram's attorney, David Rosenberg, told NBC 7. "There's no comment until we get a chance to do discovery. These are serious allegations -- I don’t know the veracity of truth to any of them. We’re going to be diligent and thorough in our defense and try to sort out what the truth is."
A hearing in the suit has tentatively been set for May 7 at the Hall of Justice in San Diego, a spokesman for Wolf's office confirmed.