A Cincinnati woman has filed a lawsuit against a hospital and state investigators who made her life a living hell for two months, during which time she was repeatedly accused of being a heroin addict who was a threat to her newborn and her other children. The woman’s painful and embarrassing ordeal began shortly after she gave birth to a healthy baby on February 9, 2017.
The new mother was preparing for discharge from the hospital along with her baby when she was told by a hospital social worker that a drug test came back positive for opioids. The false positive drug test result led to a cascade of accusations that the woman was a drug addict and that she was a threat to the safety of her newborn as well as her other children.
Shocked by being told that her urine test was positive for opioids, the woman readily agreed to a second urine test as well as testing of the umbilical cord. But before the results of the confirmatory drug testing were available, she was visited in her hospital room by state social workers who questioned her regarding how heroin got into her system. The questioning by the state social workers devolved into intimidating questions regarding here she lived, with whom she lived, and questions regarding her children and where they attended school, according to the woman’s federal lawsuit that was filed on May 4, 2017.
The state social workers told the woman that they intended to run a background check on her and questioned her if they would discover drug charges against her in the past. The woman alleges that state investigators contacted her mother-in-law and questioned her regarding her daughter-in-law’s drug use.
Despite the woman’s continued protestations that she did not use drugs, she alleges in her federal lawsuit that she was told that she would not be allowed around children until the matter was resolved (the woman had previously been a volunteer at her children’s school).
Despite the negative results of the second urine test and umbilical cord testing, the woman alleges that she and her husband were coerced into signing a written plan that prevented her from being alone with her children. The woman alleges that at the bottom of the plan was stamped in capital letters, “Absent effective preventative services, placement in foster care is the planned arrangement for the child.”
The woman’s husband had to stay at home to supervise his wife and newborn, according to the lawsuit. The woman alleges that when her children went to school, they were taken out of class by state social workers and were asked if their mother took prescription medication or if they ever saw her smoke anything (the woman alleges that she was not told in advance that the questioning would happen).
It was not until April 7, 2017 that the woman and her husband allegedly received a letter from Ohio officials that stated that the plan was terminated because the claim of abuse was “unsubstantiated.”
If you or a loved one suffered harm as a result of a false positive drug test in the United States, you should promptly find a local medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your false positive drug test claim for you and file a false positive drug test lawsuit on your behalf, if appropriate.
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