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First Nurse Testifies in Kennedy Trial

Anna Lane, holding back tears, testified about alleged altercation

The opening day of Douglas Kennedy's Mount Kisco trial was marked by teary testimony from Anna Lane, one of the two Northern Westchester Hospital nurses involved in the scuffle over moving his newborn son, Bo, out of the maternity ward.

At the non-jury bench trial, Lane portrayed Kennedy as reckless and aggressive when confronted, recalling the alleged altercation between the two that started when she got involved in his request to move the baby. She described how she wanted Kennedy to put the baby in a bassinet, which is what the hospital's policy states is required for moving infants around the hallway.

"He refused to put the baby down," she claimed. 

Lane also described her concern for the baby's wellbeing.

"I kept the baby in my sight at all times," she said while being cross-examined by Assistant District Attorney Amy Puerto, one of two prosecutors handling the case.

The nurse, who has 10 years of experience at NWH, kept composed at first but sobbed as she described her claim of the alleged altercation after he tried to leave the floor. She claimed that she first tried to keep Kennedy from going down the elevator, successfully, by pressing the open button, but he then headed for a stairwell door, which Lane said she tried to hold in place by putting her left hand on the knob.

"Then he grabbed me," she said, claiming that Kennedy twisted her left arm to force her hand off of the knob, before proceeding through the door.

"His motion was backwards through the doorway," she said.

Lane then described an alleged scuffle between Kennedy and another nurse, Cari Luciano, claiming that he kicked her to move her away from him. The two, she tesified, fell on opposite sides.

"I saw her flying in the other direction," she said. 

Security camera footage of the hallway by the door that was played during the trial shows Luciano falling to the floor in a direction away from the door but does not show what Kennedy did.

Lane, in her testimony, described Kennedy as someone who would not listen or care. She claimed that he said something to the effect of he was going to do what he wanted, and raised his voice during their argument at the elevator. Lane also said Kennedy refused her overture, shortly after meeting, to get a pediatrician involved to consider his request to take Bo outside for fresh air.

Lane stated in her testimony that she could not permit Kennedy's request because she was not authorized to do so. 

Angela Adamo, a fellow nurse, was  a likeminded witness. On her shift at the same time on Jan. 7, Adamo, who said in her testimony that she talked to Kennedy before Lane, said she worried for the baby's safety.

"I was trying to do anything so they would not leave the unit," she said.

Kennedy's attorneys assailed Lane's credibility, with claims that she and Luciano overreacted, were liars and were motivated by financial gain from the situation.

Celia Gordon, one of Kennedy's lawyers, described Lane as "an abrasive, confrontational nurse," arguing that she changed the tone of Kennedy's conversation about moving Bo.

Lane, Gordon argued, was overreacting "from the very first moment." She argued that she asked for calls for codes pink and purple, which respectively deal with child abduction and an individual's conduct, just shortly after seeing Kennedy.

Lane entered into the discussion with Kennedy after he made his request at a nurses' station, accompanied by Dr. Timothy Haydock, who was in charge of emergency room matters at the hospital and followed Kennedy in scrubs. Multiple witnesses, including Lane, testified that they did not readily know who Haydock was.

When Robert Gottlieb, Kennedy's other attorney, got a chance to cross examine Lane he assailed her credibility.

Gottlieb asked Lane whether she did not want to relive the event in her testimony, which she agreed with.

"I would rather not," she replied.

However, he then noted that she did a "Today Show" interview on Feb. 26, which he said was "with a heck of a lot more people," than in the court room. He then asked Lane whether anyone forced her to appear on the show.

"No," Lane replied.

Kennedy's attorneys also attacked a proposed settlement in March that was worked on by Elliot Taub, whom Lane and Luciano hired shortly after the date of the incident. When Gottlieb asked whether a monetary payment to the nurses was part of the proposal, Lane acknowledged it was.

While the settlement was worked on by Taub on the nurses' behalf, Lane adamently denied that she was out to get money, saying that she was "offended by even talks of settlement."

Gottlieb's examination was cut short around 5 p.m. by Mount Kisco Village Justice John Donohue, with the end of the trial day cited. The trial will enter its second day on Tuesday morning, starting at 9:30 a.m. and with Lane expected to continue her testimony.

Marie Sweeney October 23, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Attacking a nurse is against the law! In NYS, it's a Felony D punishable by up to 21/2 to 7yrs in prison. Mr. Kennedy is not above the law. It's a shame that he would not listen to these nurses before he decided to attack them. If he did, he may not be in the predicament he is in today. Mr. Kennedy, their are consequences to your behavior. You sir, are not the victim here. The two nurses are. They are not your personal punching bag because you do not like the rules.
s.j. nickerson October 23, 2012 at 05:27 AM
I am not sure the nurses are quite credible and a bit odd. The Kennedy's had been tthere a couple of days. So my guess is that they knew exactly who they were. I think they are in it for the money. Odd they didn't know the doctor. He asked for permission and was told okay by one nurse and then two women are trying to take the baby from his arms. My reaction would have been much worse.
nyackagain October 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM
My wife delivered both our children at NWH...the hospital and its staff were great. It is clearly stated that you CANNOT BRING YOU BABY OUT OF THE AREA. Even if a Doctor is with Mr. Kennedy, he too is not above the law. Mr. Kennedy was wrong..period !!
Living in Tarrytown October 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Hay MR high and mighty, there is a reason for YEARS not to take a baby off the infant floor, and bringing them back to the nursery or the floor,What IF when you went in that elavator there was someone with a contagious diseases, Babies leave the floor and go out side when it's time to go home, and the baby is than the responsibility of the parents and not the hosptial. when ever a baby is brought from the nursery to the parents room the child is transported by a bassinet, and when discharged the child is safley secured in a car seat, NEVER in the parents arms (that was at least 30 years ago. You might be a Kennedy, But I'm sorry ALL familes have there arguements and family secrets, HOW was the staff to know your personal buisness if you were in the middle of a family crisis and you were going to leave with the baby, IT happens Every day! And Mr Lawyer do you know Every Lawyer that walks into a court room? how do you want Nurses to know EVERYONE on Staff, even being there for 10 years They are on their floor and don't always have to deal with alot of Doctors, and in an Emergency, Police end up shooting their own! YOU were at fault so just take the punishment and go be with your child, it was a beautiful day yesterday, you should have been with him and NOT in court.
The Merm October 23, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I hope Mr. Kennedy is punished to the fullest extent of the law, just to show him that even though he's a Kennedy, rules DO apply to him too. His behavior was reckless, dangerous and contemptuous. He was probably in such a hurry to go outside because he had his girlfriend, a bottle of scotch, and a baggie of coke waiting for him out in the car.
Sadiespeaks October 23, 2012 at 04:50 PM
And as for the ER doc, he's since been fired and was totally in the wrong to suggest that the nurses did not control the unit and what is allowed to happen on it. He merely had priviledges at the hospital and was NOT the authority here.
Yvonne Stahl October 24, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Hospitals are places where babies can get sick from all the infectious people. Some fresh air is a good thing for a baby, and babies never died from a few minutes in cold weather with a blanket!! Maybe the hospital was doing something wrong, and Kennedy wanted to get his baby out of there. The sooner you get your baby out of a hospital, the better -and there's no risk of a doctor skinning your babies privates if you leave quickly!!!
nyackagain October 25, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Yvonne...your ignorance speaks volumes !! I see you know nothing about the health field.
Ned Merrill October 25, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Keep your eyes on the Kennedys, even mediocre offspring, that's paramount. Not much else going on in the world. Fools.

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