Poppy seed drug test lawsuit settled

07/03/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Pittsburgh, Pa – A Pennsylvania mother whose child was taken from her over a failed drug test linked to a poppy seed bagel has settled her lawsuit against a welfare agency and hospital. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the settlement of the suit filed on behalf of Elizabeth Mort by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania was announced on Tuesday.

Mort reportedly failed a drug test after eating a poppy seed bagel leading to a positive test for opiates, which led to her 3-day-old daughter having a seizure. Her baby was subsequently taken from her home by a child welfare caseworker. According to the lawsuit, Mort was never told about the failed test while in the hospital nor asked if anything she had eaten could have had an affect on the results of the test.

Lawrence County’s child welfare agency and Jameson Hospital reportedly paid $143,500 to settle the case.

Pennsylvania ACLU staff attorney Sara Rose is quoted by the AP as stating of the settlement, “We hope that this case will encourage hospitals that routinely test pregnant women for drug use to reconsider that practice due to the harm that can result from false positives.”

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