MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. ‒ Douglas Kennedy and his wife, Molly, filed a lawsuit Friday against Northern Westchester Hospital, nurses Anna Lane and Cari Luciano and Luciano's husband, Steve.
The Chappaqua couple's suit follows Kennedy's acquittal of child endangerment and harassment charges stemming from an altercation at the hospital last year. Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is a reporter for Fox News.
On Jan. 7, 2012, Kennedy attempted to leave the hospital's maternity ward with 2-day-old son Bo after telling hospital staff he wanted to take the baby outside for "fresh air." Nurses Luciano and Lane attempted to prevent him from doing so.
The couples' 44-page lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Westchester County, alleges that Cari Luciano assaulted him. It says she "aggressively lunged at [Kennedy] with her arms extended in an aggressive posture causing a forceful and violent encounter with [Kennedy's] body."
In testimony during the October criminal trial and subsequent civil lawsuit, the nurses claimed Kennedy twisted Lane’s arm as she held the doorknob to a stairwell and kicked Luciano in the groin as she reached toward the baby.
The Kennedys are seeking unspecified damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress. They also charge the three defendants with defamation of character, and hold the hospital vicariously liable for these allegations.
Kennedy claims he has been "irreparably injured in his reputation in the community in which he lives, held up to ridicule and scorn in his profession, and [is subject to] potential loss of employment and employment opportunities" by way of the three individuals' various statements to hospital staff, the New York Daily News, Mount Kisco police and NBC’s “Today" show.
The suit also alleges that hospital officials told the Kennedys that Molly Kennedy’s HIPAA-protected health information, including her medical records, her infant son’s medical records and a video surveillance tape, were inappropriately disclosed to Cari Luciano, Anna Lane and lawyer Elliott Taub. Other charges include malicious prosecution and breach of confidentiality.
Kennedy is currently defending himself against a civil suit brought by the nurses following his acquittal in criminal court on Nov. 20. The nurses' suit seeks $200,000 in damages for two counts each of negligence, assault, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The nurses' complaint states they have “and will continue to suffer physical and psychological injuries with pain and suffering of both body and mind."