False Positive –                    

March 11, 2020 – It is the second such lawsuit filed against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center since 2014 and one of a few legal actions or ethical complaints filed around the country over false positives on quick-screening urine drug tests that triggered child abuse investigations and turned the joy of giving birth into a nightmare of custody concerns.

Cherell Harrington, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, gave birth to her third child at UPMC’s Magee-Women’s Hospital in November 2017. She says medical staff collected her urine without her consent and tested her for drugs.

An unconfirmed positive result came back for components of marijuana. Hospital staff then tested her newborn son — results were negative — but they still reported the unconfirmed test results to Allegheny County’s Office of Children, Youth and Families.


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