New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

2 false positive tests keep a man in prison 4.5 months too long

On Behalf of | Thursday Dec 5, 2019 | Criminal Defense

If you are arrested and tested for drugs, you expect that test to come back accurately. If you don’t use drugs, it would be an absolute shock to be accused of being drugged.

That’s similar to what happened to this young man. The 34-year-old man was at school in New York’s Willard Correctional Facility at the drug treatment campus when he was asked to take a drug test. He was formerly a heroin user, but he had stayed clean throughout the program. In fact, he had only a month to go before he would get to leave and go home.

That drug test didn’t come back negative, though. It came back saying that he had buprenorphine in his system. This is a drug commonly used to treat opioid dependence. The discovery led him to be kicked out of the program and sent to Five Points Correctional Facility, where he was placed in solitary confinement. He was again tested a month later in April, and the test came back positive a second time.

It wasn’t until mid-September that it was found that there had been a significant mistake made: The test results were both false positives. It’s not clear why the tests were not coming back accurately, but false positives didn’t just affect this one person.

Today, he’s suing for $5 million, attempting to hold Microgenics and the state accountable for the time he had to spend in prison, and the false accusations he faced. It’s a perfect example of how important it is to speak up and defend yourself when something isn’t right.