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Nurses' Suit: Kennedy's Acts 'Intentionally Evil'

A week after Douglas Kennedy was acquitted in criminal trial, Northern Westchester Hospital nurses take him to court. Kennedy hits back and accuses nurses of greed.

MOUNT KISCO, NY  -- The Northern Westchester Hospital nurses involved in the alleged scuffle with Douglas Kennedy over his movement of newborn son, Bo through the maternity ward have filed a civil suit, just a week after Kennedy was acquitted in a related criminal trial.

The complaint, obtained by Patch, was filed in state supreme court Tuesday. It accuses Kennedy, a Chappaqua resident and son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, of assault, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress against the nurses, Anna Lane and Cari Luciano.

The 21-page complaint, submitted by personal injury lawyer Elliot Taub, comes with blistering language against Kennedy, accusing him of ignoring calls not to move Bo, intentionally twisting Lane's arm when she tried to keep a stairwell door on the ward shut as he left with the baby, and of intentionally kicking Luciano at the doorway when she reached for the infant. It also claims that Kennedy caused physical and psychological injuries to the nurses.

The lawsuit claims that Kennedy's actions of twisting Lane's arm and kicking Luciano, “exhibited evidence of a high degree of moral turpitude, a gross violation of standards of moral conduct, vileness, such that the act involved was intentionally evil, and a crime under New York State penal law...”

Kennedy's side has adamantly denied that he intentionally harmed the nurses, calling his contact with Luciano as an instinctive response to protect his baby, and denying that he twisted Lane's arm.

The nurses are suing Kennedy for $200,000 ($100,000 each) in punitive damages, unspecified amounts for the civil allegations, and legal fees.

The civil suit is the latest chapter in a nearly 11-month-old saga. In connection with the disputes, Kennedy was charged with, and acquitted of, one misdemeanor count of child endangerment and two non-criminal violation counts of harassment.

The disputes occured on Jan. 7, two days after Bo was born, and Kennedy was charged in late February. A bench trial took place for five days in late October - including tearful testimonies from Luciano and Lane - and Mount Kisco Village Justice John Donohue rendered his not-guilty verdicts on Nov. 20, arguing that Kennedy's actions were not intentional and siding with the defendent.

Responding to news of the lawsuit, Kennedy and his wife, Molly, blasted the nurses in a statement.

"It is disturbing to us that Northern Westchester Hospital would employee people like this. We are horrified that we ever trusted NWH or these nurses to care for our newborn babies. Cari Luciano and Anna Lane lied on January 7th to cover up their bizarre and inappropriate behavior, including violently trying to grab our son. They were exposed as liars at the trial last month. They are now shamefully continuing their lies in order to extort money from our family. Just as we did at the trial, we will resist this gross display of greed, and not cede any ground to liars and extortionists."

Kennedy's side has been pre-emptively raising and attacking the prospect of a lawsuit for months. Robert Gottlieb, one of his lawyers, has repeatedly accused Luciano and Lane of being out for Kennedy's money. In a recent press conference, Gottlieb described the criminal trial as being to “bolster their chances in a civil lawsuit.”

Taub, the nurses' attorney, could not be reached for comment.

A copy of the nurses' lawsuit is attached as a PDF file.

Beach Lover November 27, 2012 at 06:42 PM
It's disturbing to me, Mr Kennedy that you and judge donohue have set a precedence. that its OK to throw the rules out the window, And physically assaulting women is also OK. I still stand strong behind these nurses as they were following hospital policy regardless of your big last name. I ask again, if this was mr & mrs average joe would this have even gone this far? I think not, they would have been hailed as heroes for protecting that baby. Mr Donohue, Mr Kenenndy, you should be ashamed of yourselves for this mess your created.
Blaue Vogel November 27, 2012 at 07:32 PM
These gals should just stop already. Emotional distress? Sounds like a normal day at the hospital grind to me.
Bongaloo November 27, 2012 at 08:49 PM
If they were truly afraid that the child were being kidnapped they should have called hospital security. We don't need nurses throwing themselves at patients or family members. Security officers could have stopped him in the stairwell or the lobby. It is very disappointing if they got hurt and that should not be overlooked. But "negligence and emotional distress" -- could that be fueld by the nurses' union?
aph47 November 27, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Tom - Please post the complaint. Thanks.
aph47 November 27, 2012 at 08:52 PM
The nurses are going to lose this lawsuit and Kennedy will slap them with a countersuit for interfering with his custodial rights. This is just dumb.
Tom Auchterlonie (Editor) November 27, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Having covered the trial last month, from what I recall, there was no talk from the nurses' in their testimonies about kidnapping per se as a concern. However, codes pink and purple were called, with the former code pertaining to infant abductions. The concern given on the part of the nurses was a claim that he was not compliant.
eatingdogfood November 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM
These two are looking for a book deal or a Life Time movie.
Bongaloo November 27, 2012 at 09:37 PM
there was obviously a lot of miscommunication. the nurses may have overreacted and so did he. the judge said it might not have been smart, but it wasn't intentional and it wasn't a crime. Their argument: If he weren't a Kennedy, he wouldn't have acted above the rules. His argument: If he weren't a Kennedy, they wouldn't be suing for 6-figures.
aph47 November 28, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Thanks for attaching the PDF, Tom.
Harry One November 28, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Road rage kennedy careful
Harry One November 28, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Was Kennedy drug tested kerry patrick Tteddy all abusers
Renee V November 28, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I so agree.... If it was Mr. & Mrs. Average they would have been charged with a felony. I would have sued for millions..obviously by their low amount it is not about the money..it seems to be a matter of principal. No one is above the law and its just ironic that some people have the connections to always get away with things. This is a disgrace to the legal system.
Chappaqua Dad November 28, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Having not been there it is obvioulsy hard to know exactly what happened however these two nurses are incredibly hard working, diligent, and knowledgable. Over a period of six weeks they took wonderful care of our children and it is hard to imagine they would do anything but try to protect the health and safety of a patient.
dita von struedel van trappyodel November 28, 2012 at 06:50 PM
There can be no doubt that he was guilty. A petulant, self-important, arrogant little p___k. I hope nurses win big $$$ from this bully. The Kennedies are pure trash - all of them. Always have been always will be.
tired in katonah November 29, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Hey Beach lover, Rules? Hospital released video to the nurses in violation of federal privacy act. The front desk gave Mr. Kennedy permission as did his doctor. Those wacked nurses came from the ward on the other side of the floor. If you watch the video, they are the ones that assaulted him. Everyone has the right to defend themselves against anyone, regardless of their sex. And if that had been me, I would not be able to afford to fight this baseless lawsuit and would be financially ruined. I hope he wins and counter sues the idiot nurses and the hospital.
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j January 09, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Should the nurses not have tried to protect their patient (the infant) from being taken out of the safe,controlled environment of the hospital? Should they just let any husband walk out of the hopital with infant in arm? Or are the rules different for Kennedy s
Harry One January 09, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Anyone else would be in jail and u kennedy people know it

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