Does Washington Recognize a Cause of Action for Interference with the Right to an Accurate Determination of Paternity?

The Washington Court of Appeals in yesterday’s Reynolds v. Hendrix declined to decide this, because it concluded that the plaintiffs — a former member of Earth, Wind & Fire and his son — didn’t properly raise the claim.

The defendant (Jimi Hendrix’s sister) was married to Reynolds when he got the paternity test results revealing that he was the father; but Reynolds “could not understand [the results] and asked Hendrix for help.” Reynolds claimed Hendrix falsely told him the results showed that he was not the father; Hendrix says she said the results were confusing, and that he should follow up the lab (which he didn’t). Reynolds eventually learned the son was indeed his son, and sued Hendrix, after the two had separated.

Incidentally, Reynolds originally “did not believe [the child’s mother] for several reasons, including the fact that she had unsuccessfully sued another musician for paternity of another child.” Also, “Reynolds claims to have relied on Hendrix because, during their marriage, Hendrix was involved in two paternity suits against the Jimi Hendrix estate that involved DNA tests.”