SAN DIEGO -- A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against a San Diego company that promises expectant parents their first chance to get to know their new baby.
SneakPeek early gender test claims to be a way for expecting parents to get the gender of their soon-to-be baby. Its website states the product is designed to be taken in the stress-free environment of your own home, giving you the ability to manage your pregnancy with the unique benefit of knowing the gender of your baby early on.
The test can be taken as early as nine weeks, and the claim is that it is 99 percent accurate.
"I was very excited to find out I was pregnant,” Kristine Main said. “Like any mother, you kind of want to know the gender as soon as possible.”
Main wanted to know what color to paint the baby's room, what clothes to buy and what to name her. So at 14 weeks she took a SneakPeek early gender test.
“I open it up and I’m having a baby girl,” she said.
Kristine Main says there was an immediate emotional attachment. She came up with a name for her daughter, picked out clothes and told her friends.
"Then someone said, ‘oh, I had a gender confirmation today but it was incorrect, SneakPeek was wrong,’” she said.
A few weeks later Main says she went to the doctor for an ultrasound to check for herself. Turns out, she was actually carrying a baby boy.
"At that moment I lost my little girl,” she said. “I gained a boy, but I lost my little girl.”
“This is emotional torture to people, to trick them that their child is going to be a certain gender and it’s not," attorney John Kristensen said.
Kristensen filed a class action lawsuit against SneakPeek on behalf of Main and for what he believes is hundreds of other victims. He argues the company sold them a false bill of goods. The lawsuit alleges the test is not 99 percent accurate, but much closer to the flip of a coin. He calls that fraud.
The lawsuit points out a growing number of online complaints about the test getting it wrong. Kristensen says SneakPeek needs to change the 99-percent accurate label.
"Unless you get a court to stop this kind of behavior, they're going to keep doing it,” he said.
Using the phone number and email address listed on the website, 10News tried to get ahold of SneakPeek. 10News also tried to get ahold of what appears to be a parent company called Gateway Genomics. Neither one responded to our phone calls or emails.
On Thursday evening, the company issued the following statement to 10News:
"The company stands behind its product. It is our company policy to not discuss pending litigation."
On SneakPeek’s website the company doesn't list a physical address, just a P.O. Box in San Diego. Gateway Genomics is registered as a limited liability company out of Delaware.
“It’s not just the money out of someone’s pockets, this is emotional torture to people,” Kristensen said.
In July, Kristine Main gave birth to a baby boy, Brayden. It was love at first sight. But, she still feels the heartache of losing a daughter and wants to make sure no other parent has to live through what she described as gender disappointment.
"If it’s not going to be accurate, don't affect people's emotions,” she said.
SneakPeek doesn't have any negative complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
On its website, in small type, SneakPeek has the following disclaimer:
“SneakPeek is over 99% accurate at detecting typical levels of shared male fetal DNA at 9 weeks of pregnancy or later. (Note: that fetal DNA levels vary from person to person. It is normal for some pregnant females not to have a large amount of fetal DNA circulating in their blood). In laboratory testing, SneakPeek detected shared male fetal DNA in >99% of pregnant women carrying male fetuses at 9 weeks gestational age and later into pregnancy.”