A Hermosa Beach woman who sued the Transportation Security Administration after she claimed officers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport harassed her four years ago over her son's breast milk said in remarks published today that she has won a tentative legal settlement against the agency.
Stacey Armato sued in federal court in Phoenix after a 2010 incident in which she asked the TSA to provide an alternate form of screening that would not expose her 7-month-old son's breast milk to radiation. During the incident, Armato claimed in court papers, she was forced to wait in a glass enclosure for more than 40 minutes while she was "frequently harassed and abused by the TSA agents."
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, which should become official within the next month, the TSA will take steps to retrain its officers on proper breast milk-screening procedures, Armato told the Daily Breeze.
The agency also will pay her $75,000, which she plans to use for her legal fees and to donate to BreastfeedLA, a group dedicated to promoting breast- feeding across the region.
"Moms can now travel more confidently with their breast milk," Armato told the Breeze. "It's a big day for breast-feeding moms."
Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the TSA, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
But he cited current TSA policies that permit mothers to travel with breast milk in quantities greater than 3 ounces as long as "it is presented for inspection at the security checkpoint."
The milk does not necessarily need to go through the X-ray machine to satisfy the inspection requirement. But Armato told the Breeze that screeners are not always aware of the agency's rules.