Kennedy suing Nurses - pg.2 | allnurses

Kennedy suing Nurses - page 2

Douglas Kennedy sues Northern Westchester Hospital, nurses in newborn incident Less than two months after being acquitted on charges of endangering his 2-day-old son and harassing nurses who... Read More

  1. Visit  Patti_RN profile page
    2
    There are various legal issues here, the civil cases (Kennedy accusing the nurses of unlawful restraint, the nurses accusing Kennedy of physical harm) and criminal charges against Kennedy (which were dropped), and even criminal charges against the nurses (which were never filed). While it's obvious the nurses were trying to protect the infant, they clearly overstepped their legal bounds and probably their employer's rules when they attempted to physically stop Kennedy from taking his baby outside. (This is similar to retailers' policies that employees are to never confront or physically stop or restrain a shoplifter.) The nurses should have simply called security.

    Had the nurses not confronted him, none would have been kicked or pushed, so they have little argument for their claims of injury. On the other hand, the hospital violated the patient's privacy by sharing details of her medical condition with the media. These are all separate legal issues, some having little to do with others, and some very entwined with other issues.

    I doubt there was any special consideration given to Kennedy because of his family name. If anything, the prosecutors could have charged the nurses with unlawful restraint. Breaking a hospital rule (and it's not clear that there actually was a rule against a parent taking their child outside) is different than breaking a law. But, either way, the nurses are nurses, not security officers or the police. If the hospital demanded that nurses become security officers we'd all be livid saying that isn't our job, nor should we take on those risks or responsibilities. It simply is not part of a nurses' duty to physically interfere with others--we're not trained to do so, nor are we expected to do so--nor do I want to be the police. We have enough to do with nursing duties.
    Orange Tree and elkpark like this.
  2. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    9
    Quote from Patti_RN
    There are various legal issues here, the civil cases (Kennedy accusing the nurses of unlawful restraint, the nurses accusing Kennedy of physical harm) and criminal charges against Kennedy (which were dropped), and even criminal charges against the nurses (which were never filed). While it's obvious the nurses were trying to protect the infant, they clearly overstepped their legal bounds and probably their employer's rules when they attempted to physically stop Kennedy from taking his baby outside. (This is similar to retailers' policies that employees are to never confront or physically stop or restrain a shoplifter.) The nurses should have simply called security.

    Had the nurses not confronted him, none would have been kicked or pushed, so they have little argument for their claims of injury. On the other hand, the hospital violated the patient's privacy by sharing details of her medical condition with the media. These are all separate legal issues, some having little to do with others, and some very entwined with other issues.

    I doubt there was any special consideration given to Kennedy because of his family name. If anything, the prosecutors could have charged the nurses with unlawful restraint. Breaking a hospital rule (and it's not clear that there actually was a rule against a parent taking their child outside) is different than breaking a law. But, either way, the nurses are nurses, not security officers or the police. If the hospital demanded that nurses become security officers we'd all be livid saying that isn't our job, nor should we take on those risks or responsibilities. It simply is not part of a nurses' duty to physically interfere with others--we're not trained to do so, nor are we expected to do so--nor do I want to be the police. We have enough to do with nursing duties.
    Kennedy was never charged with assault....but of child endangerment. A fact that still baffles me to this very day. However...I know hospital are reluctant to charge assault of visitors and patients...it bad PR. I have been administration and I've heard them say those exact words. If those nurses were in a store and he kicked and shoved them like that.....and was Joe the Plumber....he'd be in jail. Why is it because we a nurses that it makes it of to be pushed and shoved...hit, spit and bitten...had obscenities spewed at us...and it's ok.

    I have worked in hospitals a long time....and it is the expectation that the nurses stop the removal of an infant from the secured area. Of course they don't encourage you to throw yourself in front of a bullet....but asking a "rational" adult to return to the room with his newborn son as it is against the rule....should NEVER be met with the second attempt to dash down the stairs because his newborn son needed fresh air....in JANUARY!

    If those nurses let him walk..and that baby died of hypothermia/sepsis/PNA....don't you think there would be hell to pay that they "let him leave" without stopping him? "Isn't it their job to protect the baby? why didn't they stop him???" I could hear it now.

    When you work in certain specialty areas of the hospital there are different responsibilities....if I know a patient in the ED is suicidal and homicidal.....they...can't leave. They will be restrained. They will be detained. You tackle them in the hallway...they may not leave. You ARE responsible. It is your job. Now they have a gun....ok...duck and call 911.

    But this is a baby ward....a nice dressed educated (supposedly) reasonable (supposedly) man who was asked to return to the room because it was policy that the babies not leave the area.....even for a breath of fresh air.....why didn't he just say.....h I'm sorry....and return to the room. What was soooo important that he had to leave that floor right then and there...to me that is automatically suspicion that something isn't right.

    If this entire scenario played out with Joe the Plumber....Good ole Joe'd been put in jail
    jadelpn, wooh, Spidey's mom, and 6 others like this.
  3. Visit  BrandonLPN profile page
    1
    Quote from elkpark
    Ummm, none of us were there (if someone was, please feel free to speak up! ), and he was acquitted of all the charges in a criminal trial. Maybe it's just possible that, in spite of his being a Kennedy (which so many people seem to assume isproof of guilt of something),just this once, he's right and the people accusing him are wrong ...I certainly don't know and have no opinion either way,but it's always interesting to see how many people immediately take the "other side"whenever a situation involves a Kennedy.
    Well, this is a nursing message board, so it's to be expected most would side with the nurses. With that said, I totally agree with the sentiment that, unless we were there, we don't know the full story. Theres a distinct "guilty until proven innocent" mentality in this country that i find disturbing. From what I read, it sounds just as likely that the two nurses were trying to cash in on Kennedy, hoping he would just settle out of court. I mean, come on, the nurses wanted to sue him first for $200k. For what? Both the nurse and Kennedy fell to the ground as he tried to force past her and she lunged at him. Sounds like a mutual lapse of judgement to me. No one was hurt. How was this "physical and emotional damage" entitling the nurse to $200k??
    Last edit by BrandonLPN on Jan 10, '13
    elkpark likes this.
  4. Visit  samadams8 profile page
    0
    Wow. . .
  5. Visit  BrandonLPN profile page
    5
    Ok, didn't know there was a video. Just watched it, and Kennedy clearly attacked the nurse. The written story made it sound like they collided against each other and both fell down. That's what I was basing my above comment on. This was clearly assault and paints a different picture.
    Esme12, JBudd, wooh, and 2 others like this.
  6. Visit  funfunfun550 profile page
    2
    People break rules all the time. Let it go people...I am not stopping a parent unless I thought the childs life was in mortal danger.I have seen plenty parents do and we have to just allow them to do what they want or we are reported by the family and the next thing you know you have no job.This is what it has come too. Family dictated care....no one follows rules unless they like them. Some people just plain old like a power struggle. Many have lost alot of choices while stuck in a hospital...so they act out. I would have stepped aside and let him go where he wanted.
    jadelpn and lindarn like this.
  7. Visit  funfunfun550 profile page
    2
    I see Joe the plumber and his wife all the time..smoking in front of their children..etc and they are not supposed to but we cant stop them. Families do what they want or they scream someone is ******* them off and administrations are way intune to keeping family complaints down. Its because insurance has tied reimbursement to patient satisfaction scores. ARe hands are tied....way too many crazy family.patients out there that can drag the scores down...some hospitals expect to have no bad complaints or ratings...VERY unrealistic but it is the reality we as nurses are living..
    jadelpn and lindarn like this.
  8. Visit  imintrouble profile page
    1
    I'll bet the hospital is wishing they'd pushed assault charges when they had the chance. Appeasement doesn't usually work with the privileged.

    My thoughts are with the nurses. I would have done the same thing.
    lindarn likes this.
  9. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    3
    Quote from funfunfun550
    People break rules all the time. Let it go people...I am not stopping a parent unless I thought the childs life was in mortal danger.I have seen plenty parents do and we have to just allow them to do what they want or we are reported by the family and the next thing you know you have no job.This is what it has come too. Family dictated care....no one follows rules unless they like them. Some people just plain old like a power struggle. Many have lost alot of choices while stuck in a hospital...so they act out. I would have stepped aside and let him go where he wanted.
    My only time on a maternity ward (other than my early infancy of course ) was my rotation on the unit during nursing school. All I can say is that there was no breaking of the rules. If a parent was trying to take a baby off the unit in a 'unauthorized' manner, every staff member on duty would come running to the unit door. There was a proper procedure for taking a baby out of the unit and it was followed 100% of the time. Now, I'm sure this is not how it is handled on all maternity units; however, I think it's a cop out to just say "ah, people break rules, just let them go ahead." We'll see where that attitude goes when a baby is abducted or otherwise harmed when taken outside.
    imintrouble, Altra, and lindarn like this.
  10. Visit  klone profile page
    2
    Quote from psu_213
    My only time on a maternity ward (other than my early infancy of course ) was my rotation on the unit during nursing school. All I can say is that there was no breaking of the rules. If a parent was trying to take a baby off the unit in a 'unauthorized' manner, every staff member on duty would come running to the unit door. There was a proper procedure for taking a baby out of the unit and it was followed 100% of the time. Now, I'm sure this is not how it is handled on all maternity units; however, I think it's a cop out to just say "ah, people break rules, just let them go ahead." We'll see where that attitude goes when a baby is abducted or otherwise harmed when taken outside.
    Yep, that's about how it is. You just don't take a baby outside unless you've been discharged.
    imintrouble and lindarn like this.
  11. Visit  elkpark profile page
    0
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    Ok, didn't know there was a video. Just watched it, and Kennedy clearly attacked the nurse. The written story made it sound like they collided against each other and both fell down. That's what I was basing my above comment on. This was clearly assault and paints a different picture.
    Yeah, and Terry Schiavo's parents had a video that made it look like she was reacting and responding to her parents talking and gesturing to her. I'm not defending Kennedy -- I have no idea what really happened and no opinion either way; I'm just surprised that so many people are so sure they do know what happened.
  12. Visit  macawake profile page
    1
    I find this entire incident a bit confusing. As I understand it a father attempted to take his two-day-old baby outside the hospital for a breath of fresh air. Unless there was a raging blizzard outside or the baby had a medical condition that required that he or she received constant medical attention I don't see why a properly clad baby wouldn't benefit from a brief outdoors visit.

    Were the nurses not aware that the man trying to leave with the baby was the father? If they thought it was a stranger I can certainly understand why they'd attempt to physically stop him (in addition to alerting security/the police), if they knew it was the father then I can not. I don't know the specifics of this case and I certainly wasn't there when it took place so I'm only speculating about the facts. Was it against hospital policy to leave before discharge? Was it illegal to do so? If it was against hospital policy but not against the law were staff in order to enforce hospital policy encouraged to or required to physically restrain a parent about to leave with his or her baby?
    If that was the case then I believe that the nurses and other staff were put in an untenable situation.
    Orange Tree likes this.
  13. Visit  1wellnessnurse profile page
    0
    I agree with klone, you don't take a baby off the floor unless discharged. Isn't it normal hospital protocol to put alarms on the baby to prevent kidnapping? And this alarm only comes off upon discharge?
    Last edit by 1wellnessnurse on Jan 10, '13 : Reason: formatting issue


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