Lab Owes Party Duty of Care for Accurate DNA Testing

The Supreme Court of Oklahoma held that a defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff to perform accurate DNA testing for purposes of determining the paternity of her children, thereby reversing and remanding the case for trial. The court stated, “The importance of reliable and accurate DNA test results cannot be overstated. This type of forensic evidence is becoming part of our jurisprudence, and this trend is not likely to end. Much stands in the balance of the lives of those relying on such test results to protect their legal rights in a court of law. Inaccurate results could deal a devastating blow to those who otherwise have no ability to prove their cases on their own. Without recourse against a negligent defendant, a plaintiff has no remedy.” The plaintiff was in a similar position because inaccurate results proved fatal to her case in her Oklahoma Department of Human Services proceeding to determine paternity and to collect child support. She was forced to pursue further legal action at her own expense.


See:Berman v. Laboratory Corp. of America, 2011 WL 6382027, 2011 OK 106 (Okla. Dec 20, 2011) (not designated for publication).