PITTSBURGH — A woman who had her newborn taken away because she failed a hospital drug test after she ate a poppy seed bagel has settled a lawsuit over the case.The county figured out within a few days that indeed, she was not a drug user, but a poppy seed bagel user instead. How sensitive are these tests?
Lawrence County’s child welfare agency and Jameson Hospital have paid $143,500 to settle the suit filed on behalf of Elizabeth Mort by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which announced the settlement Tuesday.
The suit argued that Jameson Hospital used a much lower threshold for drug screening than federal guidelines, resulting in more false positives from common foods and medicines. The federal standard is 2,000 nanograms per milliliter, but Jameson Hospital used a reading of 300 nanograms, according to the lawsuit.For those who aren't used to working in nanograms -- that means that there were 300 billionths of a gram of opiate byproducts in a milliliter of some bodily fluid of Ms. Mort.