False Positive Drug Test Incites Removal of Pittsburg Couple’s Baby; ACLU Sues

11/01/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, US // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Pittsburgh, PA—The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against Jameson Hospital and Lawrence County Children and Youth Services after a woman’s newborn was taken due to a faulty drug test reading. The suit, filed on behalf of the infant’s parents, claims a poppy seed bagel was to blame for the false positive, according to an Oct. 28 Pittsburgh Channel report.

Reports indicated Elizabeth Mort responded to Lawrence County-based Jameson Hospital, where she gave birth to her daughter Isabella, in April. Within three days of delivery, however, caseworkers with the Lawrence County CYS department took Isabella to an undisclosed location.

Police later informed Mort that her child was taken after a hospital administered drug test came up positive. “I was devastated. I just cried, and cried, and cried. I didn’t want to let her go. I didn’t. I was heartbroken. I watched them leave the driveway. I ran upstairs,” explained Mort.

Isabella was eventually returned to her mother, only after it was determined that a poppy seed bagel was responsible for the false positive. Nonetheless, the lawsuit claims the threshold for a positive drug screening at Jameson Hospital is lower than federal guidelines, thus increasing chances for a false reading.

The ACLU’s lawsuit also contends there is no federal or state law in place, which requires the hospital to report positive drug screenings to CYS. Additionally, the suit states caseworkers took the child without investigating claims that Mort actually abused drugs.

The extent of damages sought was not made public. An ACLU attorney alleged, “They want to make sure that the nightmare that they experience never happens to another patient.”

While the defendants did not comment on the pending litigation, the case is underway.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan– Legal News for Pennsylvania Civil Rights Lawyers.

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Url: Sandra Quinlan: West Palm Beach Injury News