Parties agree to mediation in botched paternity test suit

Amelia Flood Jul. 2, 2010, 8:51am


The parties in a suit over a botched paternity test that allegedly kept a man from his child for more than a decade have agreed to mediation.

Plaintiff Gerald Spiller and defendant National Legal Laboratories agreed to the mediation Wednesday, according to the order signed by Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth.

Spiller alleges that the lab's personnel did not follow the proper procedures to prevent the contamination of a paternity test he took in 1997.

That test came back with a false result that showed Spiller was not
the father of a child born to Sara Pate.

A later test in February 2008 showed he was the child's father.

Spiller claims to have lost out on the chance to guide, nurture and love his child.

His suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and costs.

After Spiller filed suit, Pate also sued the lab and its parent company, Orchid Cellmark Inc.

Pate's suit went to federal court before settling.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian recused himself from the suit in April.

Ruth's June 30 order came out of a case management conference.

The parties are to submit the date of their mediation within two weeks.

Spiller is represented by Randall Steele.

National Legal is represented by Dale Weppner.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-519.

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