Kennedy suing Nurses - page 2

by Esme12 8,455 Views | 46 Comments Senior Moderator

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 attempted to stop him from taking... Read More


  1. 8
    If I were the nurses I'd sue too!

    To watch the video I find it difficult to believe that anyone would find him innocent. Why would any reasonable father want to take their newborn son out for fresh air in JANUARY! Really??? I would have stopped him as well.. as reasonable human being would say Oh I didn't realize I'm sorry and return to the room. But this guy thought I'm a Kennedy and I''ll do what I want and went to escape with a new born down the back stairs. These babies are monitored and alarmed.....you don't leave the post partum floor with a newborn for fresh air in January....

    He kicked that nurse...you see her fall on the floor and his foot in the door. That is a reasonable response? He didn't have a criminal trial he had a bench trial. They only one to "judge him was the judge.

    I cry foul!
    jadelpn, wooh, imintrouble, and 5 others like this.
  2. 7
    I saw the video too........and if it were almost ANYONE else but a Kennedy who assaulted those nurses, this story would have had a very different ending.

    What I have to say about this is not suitable for a professional website, so I will leave it at that.
    wooh, imintrouble, sapphire18, and 4 others like this.
  3. 11
    He got off, because he was not charged with assaulting the nurses. He was charged with trying to leave the hospital with the baby.

    My educated guess, is the the DA was TOLD not to charge him with assault, a charge that would have stuck, given the video of him kicking the nurse.

    He was charged with something that his lawyer KNEW, would guarantee him an aquittal, especially with a judge,who was undoudedly in the Kennedy pocket. The whole trial was a sham. They had to do something, because it was caught on tape. But the whole thing was fixed from start to finish.

    JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW
    jadelpn, morte, Red35, and 8 others like this.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 0
    Wow. . .
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.


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