Nurses Sue Douglas Kennedy for Physical, Emotional Distress in Maternity Ward Scuffle

By Jonathan Dienst
|  Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012  |  Updated 1:55 PM EDT
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This surveillance video from Northern Westchester Hospital shows Douglas Kennedy trying to take his newborn child from the hospital and clashing with hospital staff, according to a lawyer for one of the nurses involved. Kennedy and his wife said the nurses were the ones in the wrong.

This surveillance video from Northern Westchester Hospital shows Douglas Kennedy trying to take his newborn child from the hospital and clashing with hospital staff, according to a lawyer for one of the nurses involved. Kennedy and his wife said the nurses were the ones in the wrong.

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Two maternity ward nurses filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking more than $100,000 in damages from Douglas Kennedy, alleging he attacked them when he tried to take his newborn outside against hospital policy.

Kennedy, a son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was acquitted last week of all counts against him stemming from the scuffle with the nurses at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco last January.

Nurses Anna Margaret Lane and Cari Luciano filed the suit seeking unspecified damages for physical and emotional distress. They accuse Kennedy of kicking one and knocking her to the ground while twisting the arm of the other as the nurses tried to stop him from leaving the maternity ward. Much of the Jan. 7 incident was captured on hospital surveillance cameras.

The nurses' attorney, Elliot Taub, said Kennedy needs to be held accountable for getting violent with the nurses who were doing their jobs trying to protect the newborn.

But Kennedy’s lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, called the filing of a civil suit an “utter disgrace.”  Gottlieb said the nurses “are continuing to abuse our system of justice – for no other reason than to make a quick buck from a Kennedy. Shame on them.”

The lawsuit seeks up to $100,000 in damages for certain counts, up to $25,000 on others.  Taub said a jury will decide.

Last week, Mount Kisco Town Justice John Donohue cleared Kennedy of any criminal wrongdoing and said Kennedy showed no intent of injuring the nurses – accepting the defense's claim that Kennedy’s kick was spontaneous as he tried to protect his newborn from the nurses – one who had apparently reached for the child.

The judge said he was not passing judgment on the actions of the nurses and that “the court is not determining whether the defendant’s behavior was wise or prudent” when he decided to take the baby out of a bassinet to take him outside for some fresh air.

Baby Anthony “Bo” Kennedy turns 1 in January. 

 

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