The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reached a settlement with Stacey Armato, a mom who was detained for an hour at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on Jan. 25, 2010 over her breast milk.
Armato claims she was harassed by TSA agents because she refused to allow her breast milk to be X-rayed (video below).
“We brought this lawsuit for one reason, to bring clarity and policy change for breastfeeding mothers traveling with breast milk,” Armato told CBS Los Angeles. “Hopefully what I experienced at the Phoenix Airport in 2010 will never happen to another mother traveling with her breast milk.”
The TSA has tentatively agreed to give Armato $75,000, update its website on breast milk and train TSA officers on the new policies.
Armato says she was first detained by the TSA for over 40 minutes while TSA agents researched the TSA policy on breast milk on Jan. 18, 2010. After filing a complaint with the TSA's website, Armato was told by the TSA to print out the TSA policy on breast milk and educate TSA agents on the TSA policy the next time she flew.
On Jan. 25, 2010, Armato was flying again. The mom claims she was harassed by TSA agents who refused to allow the breast milk or allow Armato to show them the TSA policy.
"He [TSA officer] looked at me and said, 'Not today,'" Armato told KPHO. "And I had a choice: dump my milk or put it through the X-ray."
Surveillance video confirms that Armato was placed in a glass enclosure by TSA agents who then called the Phoenix police. TSA agents refused to screen the breast milk because the breast milk bottles were full.
Armato and the TSA reached the settlement agreement last Friday, but the TSA refused to acknowledge the case. The TSA told CBS Los Angeles, “When carrying breast milk through security checkpoints it is treated in the same manner as liquid medication.”
Armato says the $75,000 will go to her legal fees and to a non-profit organization that promotes breastfeeding.