Paternity Challenged After Child’s Death But Before Wrongful Death Suit

An Orlando man is challenging a years old paternity determination concerning a 16 year old boy shot by a police officer. The man reportedly had little contact with the dead boy during his lifetime.

Another man was present for the boy’s birth, gave the boy his last name, signed his birth certificate, paid support for the boy, raised him and has other children with the boy’s mother. He really has no interest in the DNA test results.

Normally, a Florida court’s initial determination of paternity would be the final word on paternity. In this case, the determination was entered on a default. That is, the man sued for support did not participate in the court proceeding.

Why is paternity being re-visited now? Because the boy’s father shares the legal right with his mother to prosecute a wrongful death suit against the city of Delray Beach.

Damages could run into the millions, so the stakes are very high.

Read more in this Sun Sentinel article.