Pubdate: Sat, 15 Mar 2014
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
Copyright: 2014 PG Publishing Co., Inc.
Author: Rich Lord
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


Lawrence County Cys Pays $160,000

Lawrence County Children and Youth Services has settled, for 
$160,000, a lawsuit filed by a woman whose child was taken away 
following a false positive opiate test apparently caused by pasta salad.

In the settlement agreement released Friday following a request under 
the state Right-to-Know law, the county agency admitted no liability 
for what happened to Eileen Ann Bower in 2009. Ms. Bower's attorney 
declined comment, citing a confidentiality clause in the settlement.

When Ms. Bower of New Castle gave birth to Brandon Brothers II at 
Jameson Hospital, she was given a routine urine test, according to 
the complaint she filed in U.S. District Court in 2011. The hospital 
told the agency she tested positive for opiates. The agency took the 
newborn when he was 3 days old and put him in foster care for 75 
days, according to the lawsuit.

A bewildered Ms. Bower realized later that she ate Supreme Pasta 
Salad with poppy seed dressing at a picnic not long before going into 
labor. Poppy seeds contain opium-like compounds. The case isn't 
isolated. In July, Jameson Hospital and Lawrence County Children and 
Youth Services agreed to pay $143,500 to settle a similar lawsuit 
filed by Elizabeth Mort, whose infant was taken by a false positive 
drug test apparently caused by consumption of a poppy seed bagel. Ms. 
Mort's daughter was taken from her family for five days.

The hospital and agency indicated then that they no longer take 
newborns from their parents solely on the basis of maternal drug tests.

On Tuesday, Rachael Devore sued Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, saying 
a false positive drug test apparently spurred by poppy seeds in 
farmer's market bread resulted in an Allegheny County Children Youth 
and Families investigation of her family.

The investigation was eventually dropped. UPMC this week declined comment.
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