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Lawrence Co. Mom Sues CYS For Seizing Child

NEW CASTLE (KDKA) -- A mother is accusing Lawrence County Children and Youth Services of wrongly taking a child because of a positive opiate test.

Eileen Ann Bower claims her positive test results were from eating poppy seeds and not from doing drugs.

Three days after she gave birth to her son, Brandon Brothers, in July of 2009 at Jameson Hospital in New Castle, Lawrence County CYS took the boy away from her, saying she tested positive for drugs.

"I was clueless as to how that even happened, how my drug test even came up with anything in it," Bower said. "I was kind of shocked actually, to say."

Bower said the last thing she'd eaten before giving birth was a salad topped with a dressing that contained poppy seeds. Poppy seeds contain morphine, codeine and can give false drug readings.

She got her son back after 75 days.

Bowers said she hopes the lawsuit will spare other mothers future embarrassment.

"For them to tell you you can only see your son an hour a day, supervised visits at an office – nobody should ever have to go through that," she said.

Lawrence County CYS says they have not seen the lawsuit and will not comment on individual cases.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Friday.


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