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New Jersey Woman Receives $140K Settlement Following MRSA-Inducing Urine Test

A New Jersey resident allegedly contracted MRSA after being forced to take a urine sample following her 2012 DUI arrest. She recently received $140,000 to settle her ensuing lawsuit against Ocean City, two police officers, Shore Medical Center, and two nurses. The case alleged illegal search and seizure, due process violations, malicious prosecution, negligence, conspiracy, excessive force, assault, informed consent, and battery.

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In the lawsuit, filed in New Jersey United District Court in July 2014, she claimed she was infected with the antibiotic and bacteria-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in July 2012 after being pulled over for DUI. She claimed that during her arrest, an Ocean City police officer attempted to administer several field sobriety tests. The driver claimed that she fell asleep in the car on the way to the police station, and the officer did not detect any odor of alcohol on her during the investigation or the ride to the police station.

The driver explained that she could not take a Breathalyzer due to her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She was then given 10 cups of water in an attempt to have her complete a urine test, but she was unable to urinate, the lawsuit said. She claimed that after being unable to provide a urine sample, she was taken to Shore Medical, where urine and blood samples were extracted without her consent. For the urine sample, nurses inserted a catheter, from which she claimed she contracted MRSA. An Ocean City police officer assisted with the catheterization procedure, leading to the infection, the case said.

In her lawsuit, she sought punitive and compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees.

In October 2014, the attorneys representing Ocean City and the police officers filed a motion to dismiss. On April 28, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Rodriguez dismissed the counts of negligence, battery, assault, malicious prosecution, conspiracy, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the city and the officers. He also dismissed the count for punitive damages against the city only.

Judge Rodriguez denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss regarding the counts of excessive force and deprivation of rights. The unjustified search and seizure and conspiracy against the city and the police officers counts also stood.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, information regarding the $140,000 settlement amount from Ocean City officials was obtained through an open public records request. The payout was received in March, and the city’s police department admitted no wrongdoing, the report said.

A representative from Ocean City declined to comment on the settlement.

If you have been charged with a DUI offense in Illinois, it is crucial to speak to an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Harvatin Law Offices, PC provides knowledgeable representation to people in Springfield and throughout Illinois. We have considerable experience defending individuals charged with DUI offenses and representing drivers with revoked licenses before the Illinois Secretary of State. To learn more, and to set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-800-829-8513.

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Kansas Supreme Court Holds Officer Lacked Reasonable Suspicion to Stop DUI Defendant Based on “Power Braking,” Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, May 1, 2017.