Mich. court takes case of frozen sperm, benefits

Associated Press Modified: November 14, 2012 at 12:20 am •  Published: November 13, 2012
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Pam Mattison subsequently went through in-vitro fertilization with her late husband's sperm, and the twins, now 11, were born in 2001, nine months after Jeff Mattison's death. He had signed a legal document in 1998 allowing his wife to take "any and all action" with sperm that had been frozen and stored.

Pam Mattison, 48, didn't return a phone message seeking comment.

Marlaine Teahan, a Lansing lawyer who specializes in estate law, predicts the federal government will prevail.

"Michigan statutes talk about a surviving person. You have to survive the decedent" to be an heir, she said.

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Social Security Administration in a similar case from Florida, although that decision is not binding on the state Supreme Court. This case specifically focuses on a Michigan law.

Bland said the children, Mallory and Michael, might be eligible for $200 to $500 a month, retroactive to their birth.

"She had some life insurance from her husband, but this would help. They're middle-class people," Bland said of the Mattison family.