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A US woman has won a massive settlement payment after she lost custody of her newborn baby due to a positive test to opiates because she ate a poppy seed bagel before giving birth.

Elizabeth Mort has been paid $143,000 (£94,500) by child welfare officials and Jameson Hospital in Pennsylvania who removed her daughter Isabella from her custody for five days in April 2010.

The hospital’s threshold for testing opiates is said to have been more sensitive than the standard tests.

According to Gawker, the lawsuit stated: "Elizabeth Mort never imagined that the last thing she ate before giving birth to her daughter - a poppy seed bagel - would lead to the loss of her newborn, but that is exactly what happened after the Jameson Health System failed to account for the possibility that her positive urine drug screen was due to her ingestion of poppy seeds.”

The test was taken either just before or just after Mort gave birth to Isabella, and child welfare officers enforced an emergency protective custody order the day after she arrived home from hospital.

The baby was returned after no evidence was found to prove Mort had taken illegal drugs.

A lawsuit was filed on her behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"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," ACLU lawyer Sara Rose.said.

Image via Wikicommons


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Woman wins lawsuit after eating poppy seed bagel leads to her losing custody of her newborn baby
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