A group of men from the Taunton area in the south-western county of Somerset have won the right to seek compensation after sperm samples they gave were damaged.
During a recent hearing, it was ruled that the samples were the donors' property and the claimants therefore have the right to fight for a payout.
The men were all cancer patients who were at risk of infertility as a result of the chemotherapy they were undergoing.
Their samples were being stored by the North Bristol NHS Trust when they were damaged as a result of being allowed to thaw.
Chris Thorne, one of the men affected by the accident, said: "The impact on each man varied significantly - from mild psychological distress to significant psychological injury and, of course, the inability to father children, although fortunately, in some cases, members of this group regained their fertility."
It was he who initiated legal proceedings.