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Meyer-Conley v. Addiction Counseling and Educational Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 14, 2018

HEATHER MEYER-CONLEY and E.T. a minor, through her guardian ad litem, Heather Meyer-Conely, Plaintiffs,
v.
ADDICTION COUNSELING AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, INC., dba EMERGENCE ADDICTION AND BEHAVIORAL THERAPIES and MOLLY NEWMAN, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL MCSHANE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Heather Meyer-Conley brings claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendant Addiction Counseling and Educational Services, Inc. (“Addiction Counseling” or “Emergence”) for injuries Meyer-Conley suffered after defendant provided inaccurate results to the court as part of Meyer-Conley's court ordered drug testing.[1] Although Meyer-Conley brings state negligence claims against Addiction Counseling, those claims are not relevant to this opinion. Addiction Counseling moves to dismiss the § 1983 claims for failure to state a claim. As discussed below, the motion to dismiss, ECF NO. 15, is GRANTED because the complaint fails to allege Addiction Counseling was deliberately indifferent to Meyer-Conley's constitutional rights. Meyer-Conley's request for oral argument is denied as unnecessary.

         BACKGROUND[2]

         Addiction Counseling contracted with Lane County Circuit Court's Drug Court as the exclusive provider of drug testing for drug court participants. First Am. Compl. ¶ 6. On October 28, 2015, Meyer-Conley went to Addiction Counseling's office to provide a urine sample (“UA”) as part of the drug court requirements. During that time period, Meyer-Conley breast fed E.T., her one-month old daughter. An employee of Addiction Counseling administered the UA.

13. Plaintiff Meyer-Conley was informed that her UA result came back positive for opiates.
14. Long after the alleged positive result, Emergence disclosed that the UA that was tested with Meyer-Conley's name did not contain methadone, which her other UA tests before and after clearly demonstrated she had in her system; and Emergence's Director therefore concluded that the UA which was submitted to the testing lab was not Meyer-Conley's urinalysis specimen.
15. Emergence also stated in that letter that defendant Newman had stated that she followed the Chain of Custody policy; but that Emergence's policy of collecting one UA at a time had been violated when Newman allowed two samples to be submitted at the same time.
16. Because of the erroneous UA result, plaintiff Meyer-Conley was arrested and jailed for three days; and her newborn child, plaintiff E.T., was removed to foster care.
17. At the time of her arrest plaintiff Meyer-Conley was on methadone, which was legal and approved by the drug court.
18. At the time of plaintiff Meyer-Conley's arrest, newborn E.T.'s nourishment was provided by her mother's breast milk.
19. While in jail, Meyer-Conley was unable to nurse or to express breast milk; and was not able to take her methadone.
20. Because Meyer-Conley could not breast-feed E.T. while E.T. was in foster care (for nearly a week), E.T. went through severe methadone withdrawals; Meyer-Conley suffered severe pain in her breasts; and her milk dried up, permanently depriving both her and E.T. of the emotional and physical benefits of breast-feeding, which were especially crucial for E.T., who had been born premature.

First Am. Compl. (internal citation omitted).

         As noted, Meyer-Conley brings claims against Addiction Counseling under § 1983. Addiction ...


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