Paternity cases can be fraught with anger, confusion, fear, betrayal and a multitude of other emotions. However, for one Southern California couple, the question of paternity arose unnecessarily. Now the woman is seeking damages for what a mistake did to her emotionally and financially.
It all started back in late April of 2011 when the woman gave birth at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. The baby had been conceived by artificial insemination, using the husband’s sperm. At least, that’s what the couple thought. However, shortly after the baby was born, the couple says a nurse told them that according to blood tests, the husband was not the baby’s father.
The couple assumed that the fertility doctor who inseminated the woman had used another man’s sperm. However, “Courthouse News Service,” reports that the information the nurse gave them in the delivery room still caused “tension and hostility” in the couple’s relationship and “extreme emotional distress,” according to the suit. They went through counseling, but ultimately began divorce proceedings.
When the baby was nearly a year old, further tests revealed that the husband was indeed the child’s father. It wasn’t reported exactly what occurred with the first test that caused the nurse to report the faulty information. The hospital is named in the suit, but the nurse is not. However, the suit claims that the nurse “knew or should have known that the information communicated to plaintiff was not true.”
It was not reported how much money the plaintiff is seeking. However, in addition to the emotional distress and loss of consortium reportedly caused by the faulty paternity finding, the suit notes that the couple “expended money in reliance on the statements and misrepresentations.” The plaintiff is seeking both special and general damages.
While this is certainly a unique paternity case, each such case presents its own challenges. These could involve a father attempting to gain parental rights or to be freed of financial responsibility for a child who is not his. There could be any number of factors that need to be determined in a court of law.
Source: UPI, “Hospital sued after wrongly telling man he’s not father of baby” No author given, Feb. 05, 2014