Lawsuit settled after poppyseed bagel and positive drug test led to baby taken from its mother

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A lawsuit filed by a Lawrence County woman whose newborn child was taken from her following a false-positive drug test because she had eaten a poppyseed bagel is being settled, according to filings in U.S. District Court late Thursday.

Terms were not disclosed.

In 2010, Lawrence County Children and Youth Services took Elizabeth Mort's baby from her following a drug test done by Jameson Health System, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the county and the system.

The finding that she had a tiny amount of opium matabolite in her blood stream was caused by a poppyseed bagel she ate before going into labor, according to the lawsuit.

The ACLU said that the policies of the county and the hospital, which have been the subject of other lawsuits, were resulting in the removal from parents of infants who were in no danger.

Ms. Mort's baby was in foster care for five days before the county realized its mistake and returned the baby to her.

U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone reported the settlement in a docket entry and closed the case.

An ACLU attorney said the organization could not yet disclose terms because they were not finalized.

An attorney for the county could not be immediately reached.

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Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 and on Twitter: @richelord.


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