Italian hospital botched paternity test

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Paternity test photo: Shutterstock
10:38 CEST+02:00
An appeal court in Milan has ordered a hospital in Como to pay €50,000 for the “psychological damage” inflicted on a 14-year-old boy after his ‘father’ abandoned him over a botched paternity test.

But his mother now intends to fight the case in Italy’s Supreme Court in a bid to extract further compensation for the “broken parental bond” her son suffered after a paternity test carried out at the Sant’Anna di Como in 2000 mistakenly identified a former boyfriend as his father, La Repubblica reported.

The newspaper said that the woman fell pregnant in 1999 during an “unsteady” relationship with the man.

After the child’s birth, the man sought a paternity test, which showed with “99.9 percent” certainty that he was the father.

On believing he was the boy’s father, the man is then said to have helped bring the child up, albeit while separated from his mother, for the first three years.

Even though he didn’t live with the child and his mother, he was "a father in all other respects”, La Repubblica said.

The mistake was only discovered in March 2003 when the man, for reasons undisclosed, asked for the test to be done again.

When the second test confirmed that he wasn’t the father, he is said to have abandoned the child.

The mother then pursued the case through the courts, with one civil court finding that the equipment used to carry out the first test was “unsuitable” and that the hospital did not respect the procedure's "protocol".

In comments published in La Repubblica, lawyer Giovanna Petazzi said that for the boy, having had a father until he was three years old, suddenly losing him was "as if he had died".

Lawyers are now preparing to take the case to Italy's highest court, in order to get compensation for the damage caused by the breaking of the paternal bond.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that a blunder at a fertility clinic in Rome led to a woman becoming pregnant with the twins of another couple.

Story continues below…

READ MORE HERE: Italy embryo mix-up: real parents identified

Meanwhile, a woman from Rimini is suing a hospital after she underwent treatment for cancer on the wrong breast.

READ MORE HERE: Cancer doctors treat woman on wrong breast

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