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A judge in Louisiana dismissed a lawsuit over two frozen pre-embryos filed by Nick Loeb, the ex-fiancé of Sofia Vergara, claiming the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. The dismissal is a huge victory for Vergara.
“The judge said the court had no jurisdiction because the embryos were conceived in California, and neither parent has any permanent ties to the state,” reported TMZ. “In the docs, the judge noted Loeb probably only filed in Louisiana because of its favorable laws pertaining to the rights of unborn children.”
Despite Vergara having filmed a movie in Louisiana in 2014 and Loeb’s claims that the former couple talked about planting roots there, the judge apparently found the Loeb camp’s arguments that the Louisiana courts had jurisdiction over the case as meritless.
“The Judge noted the case could require a Constitutional evaluation and called the embryos ‘citizens of California,’” wrote TMZ.
Vergara and Loeb ended their engagement in 2014. The Modern Family star went on to marry Joe Manganiello in 2015.
When Vergara and Loeb were engaged, they signed a consent form provided by the fertility clinic regarding the pre-embryos at issue. The form indicated that both parties had to give consent before the pre-embryos were ever used for reproduction.
Since the breakup, Loeb has wanted to use the embryos for a surrogacy journey. In 2014 he filed a lawsuit in California demanding custody of the embryos, but the case was dropped last year.
Legal professionals have also pointed out that a court may not see his lawsuit claims as valid since the frozen pre-embryos are not Loeb’s only opportunity to father biological children.
In February 2017, Vergara filed a lawsuit in California asking the courts to block Loeb from using the two frozen embryos without her written consent. It remains to be seen whether Loeb finally gives up his legal battle, or whether he will refile the case in Louisiana.