CHARLESTON - A Clay County woman is suing the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources for separating her from her infant son.

Karen Bowling, the cabinet secretary, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Kelli Eagle is the natural mother and next friend of Lathan Eagle, who was born on March 3, 2011, according to a complaint filed Sept. 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Kelli Eagle claims the WVDHHR, through its agent, Leah Bush, a CPS worker, did make application for emergency removal of the child from the home of his mother, asserting that sexual abuse had occurred against a half-sibling at the hands of the mother.

Subsequent to the application in the Magistrate Court of Clay County, the Circuit Court of Clay County ratified the emergency removal and a formal abuse and neglect petition was filed, according to the suit.

Kelli Eagle claims she was she was separated from Lathan Eagle for a period of 43 days as a direct and proximate result of the false and uninvestigated allegations filed by the WVDHHR.

The defendant intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon Kelli Eagle and Lathan Eagle and violated Kelli Eagle's civil rights.

Kelli Eagle, individually and on behalf of Lathan Eagle, is seeing compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Daniel R. Grindo.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-1665

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