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RFK's son sues nurses over maternity ward fight
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A son of the late Robert F. Kennedy who was acquitted of criminal charges in a maternity ward scuffle is suing two nurses who said on TV that he hurt them.
Douglas Kennedy is alleging defamation and malicious prosecution by nurses Cari Luciano and Anna Lane. He says their statements to police and on NBC's "Today" show held him up to "ridicule and scorn" and led to his prosecution.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in White Plains, stems from Kennedy's attempt a year ago to take his newborn son from Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco. He said he wanted the 2-day-old boy, Anthony Boru Kennedy, to get some fresh air.
The nurses objected, however, and tried to block his way, then claimed he hurt them. Luciano said Kennedy kicked her; Lane said he twisted her arm. They testified at his trial, which ended with his acquittal in November on charges of child endangerment and physical harassment.
The judge said that the baby was not in danger -- except from the nurses' actions -- and that Kennedy didn't demonstrate any intent to hurt them.
In addition to the defamation and malicious prosecution charges, Kennedy accuses Luciano of assaulting him. His wife, Molly, accuses the nurses and the hospital of inflicting emotional distress. She also blames the hospital for a breach of the privacy of her medical records. And both Kennedys accuse the hospital of custodial interference.
Kennedy's lawyer, Gary Douglas, said Tuesday, "The spirit and intent of this suit is, in part, to discourage further invasions of privacy and defamatory personal attacks."
The nurses sued Kennedy soon after the acquittal, seeking $200,000 and accusing him of negligence, assault and battery, and causing them emotional and physical distress.
Kennedy's lawsuit does not specify damages.
Elliot Taub, the nurses' lawyer, said the Kennedy suit is "a sham, baseless, and nothing other than his attempt at retaliation. It's his attempt to blame the victims."
Calls to the hospital were not immediately returned.