Lawsuit over newborn taken from mother settled

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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 is being settled, according to filings in U.S. District Court late Thursday. Terms were not disclosed.

In 2010 Elizabeth Mort's baby was taken from her by Lawrence County Children and Youth Services 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. Their finding that she had a tiny amount of opium metabolite in her blood stream was caused by a poppy seed bagel she ate before going into labor, it said.

The ACLU said that the policies of the county and the hospital, which have been the subject of other suits, resulted in the removal from parents of infants who were in no danger. Ms. Mort's newborn was in foster care for five days before the county returned the baby to her.

U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone reported the settlement on the docket and closed the case. An ACLU attorney said she could not yet disclose terms because they were not finalized. An attorney for the county could not be immediately reached.

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