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Fertility Doctors Battle Each Other Over Profits

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On April 12, the Los Angeles Times printed a bizarre and fascinating story about fertility doctors fighting each other over profits.

It started with Dr. Joel Batzofin, who founded the Huntington Reproductive Center in Pasadena, California; it became the largest fertility practice in the West.

By 2001, Batzolin and his five partners shared a yearly profit of more than $5 million. For some reason (dollar signs no doubt), the partners took a secret vote in 2002 and ousted Batzolin from the Center. The result was an incredible amount of litigation. Batzolin filed an arbitration claim against the former partners, and they in turn sued Batzolin and his new partner. Well of course after that, his new partner sued his old partners, and their lawyer to boot.

During all this high drama, private detectives posed as fertility patients, and one woman private eye even submitted to an ultrasound of her uterus and ovaries in an attempt to uncover incriminating evidence.

The whole battle went on for six years. According to the L.A. Times it mainly revolved around whether or not Batzolin was abiding by a settlement agreement not to compete with his former partners when he opened a new practice.

In sum these doctors were fighting over the spoils. The L.A. Times points out, "The clash among fertility titans underscores just how intense the competition has become in the multibillion-dollar business of baby-making."

Barzolin himself has said, "It's a cutthroat business, there is a lot of greed." No truer words could be spoken.

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