Nurses Lane And Luciano Take Heat In Kennedy Trial

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A friend (in purple) leads Northern Westchester Hospital nurse Cari Luciano (black shirt) out of the Mount Kisco courthouse Tuesday after Luciano gave her testimony in he trial of Douglas Kennedy.
A friend (in purple) leads Northern Westchester Hospital nurse Cari Luciano (black shirt) out of the Mount Kisco courthouse Tuesday after Luciano gave her testimony in he trial of Douglas Kennedy. Photo Credit: Liz Button

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Northern Westchester Hospital nurses Anna Lane and Cari Luciano underwent intense cross-examination Tuesday on the second day of Douglas Kennedy’s trial at Mount Kisco Justice Court.

The son of the late Robert F. Kennedy has pleaded not guilty to two counts of harassment and misdemeanor endangerment of a child stemming from the Jan. 7 incident in which he decided to take his newborn son, Bo, out of Mount Kisco hospital’s maternity ward for some "fresh air."

Lane and Luciano said they attempted to prevent Kennedy from leaving the unit with the baby, whose head was “bobbing around” as Kennedy tried to go through the door to the stairs. Lane said Kennedy twisted her arm as she held the doorknob to the stairwell, and Luciano said he kicked her in the pelvic area as she reached out toward the baby.

Continuing her testimony from Monday, Lane quoted the hospital’s infant transport policy, which says babies must not be taken off the floor by unauthorized people before discharge.

Authorization means the person has received a written order from the child’s treating pediatrician, and completed several other measures, such as having the child’s electronic ID bracelet removed, she said.

“Are you saying that the father is an unauthorized person?” Kennedy’s lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, said.

Gottlieb said the issue at hand was not whether hospital policy was violated, which was not a crime in itself.

When questioned, both Lane and Luciano admitted there was no policy specifically prohibiting a father from taking his child from the maternity unit for fresh air.

Gottlieb also asked the nurses why they hired a personal injury lawyer, if not to pressure the police to file criminal charges, which would improve their outlook in a lawsuit later on.

When the nurses each became emotional during testimony, Gottlieb asked why, if they were so averse to reliving these painful moments in the courtroom, they went on the "Today Show" in February to talk about the incident.

“I felt that my reputation was being defamed,” Luciano said, “that I had done something that was wrong or horrible. I needed to know I did the right thing.”

Gottlieb also accused Luciano of leaking the video she obtained from hospital security to the media, and focused in on Luciano’s 2002 conviction for driving while impaired, which she disclosed in her initial examination by prosecution. Gottlieb maintained that the arrest was relevant because it spoke to the credibility of the witness.

Also called as a witness Tuesday was maternity nurse Marian Williams.

The trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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Comments (15)

That's a complicated case, being a judge really is a tough job, you get see a lot of crazy people in your lifetime. I would never get my kid out of the hospital against doctor's orders, I could put his life to risk. It was hard for me to accept not long ago that my kid needs a teleradiology but I complied with it and it was a good call, my son's condition was caught early and he has good chances of recovery. The hospital rules and the protocol are there for a reason, we should all be able to see that without fighting back.

The charges are not breaking the hospital rules, ct3408. The charges are two counts of harassment and misdemeanor endangerment of a child. "Harrassment" is defined under NYS Penal law as: § 240.26 Harassment in the second degree: A person is guilty of harassment in the second degree when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person: 1. He or she strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects such other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same....

The hospital rules and medical protocol are being used by the defense to prove Kennedy's affirmative defense to the charges. The video shows the harrassment clearly I understand, so the defense is left with trying to show an affirmative defense of justification (for which he has the burden of proof) for the use of force by Kennedy - to show that the nurses had no reason to go up to him and tell him to not take the baby ourside and/or reach for the baby.

nurses were following protocol, doctor with god complex cannot authorize what he said, and doctor stating she he tried to stop her with his foot is ridiculous. This is assault, doctor is either stupid and perjured himself or is on the payroll, now lets see if the judge is.

The duty of a nurse is a skilled duty. Far more skilled than a lawyer or a Kennedy. God Bless our nurses and maybe God might save a Kennedy. May the Nurses leave with their heads held high! They have done their job!!!!

Heroic -- for trying to stop a father and child when they are doing nothing wrong? Hmmmm.

Jackie65 has it exactly right. The nurses are not privy to the personal dynamics of the family. Babies on the maternity floor may not be removed and are subject to the protocols of that floor until discharged, plain and simple. If the baby suffered any harm off the floor, you know the Kennedys would have started major litigation against the hospital for lack of vigilance. Rules are rules, especially when they stand to protect the other babies as well! Babies exposed to other environments, such as babies born on the way to the hospital, may not be admitted to the maternity ward. They go to the pediatrics department.

Both these nurses are professionals who take their patient's safety seriously. They were protecting an infant from harm. How could they be sure that was the infant's father and that this wasn't an abduction taking place? They put themselves in harms way to protect their patient. The father was acting recklessly and put his child in danger by not stopping and getting proper clearance before taking his child off the floor and on top of that, he assaulted the nurses. I think the facts support the nurses and it's obsurd to call them anything but heroic for their actions.

Regardless of parental rights, there is a protocol to be followed, which is there to protect the parents and child. You area required to sign documents when you are first admitted acknowledging these policies.

Of course we sign documents -- that say the hospital takes no responsibility if we don't follow them. We do not sign documents that say we give up our rights as humans, parents, and citizens. Even voluntarily signing into a mental health ward does not strip away our rights. These nurses tried to physically restrain a father and child -- unacceptable. They should care more about the health care workers who don't do their medical jobs.

I completely agree that the KEnnedys act entitled all the time and that the "authorities" generally let them do what they want, especially in New York -- BUT, in this case, I don't see that a parent is acting entitled with his own child! "Oh, and holding a person or persons against their will is a felony" - and if someone did that to me, I would most certainly feel entitled to protect myself and to move them out of my way. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is all I had to hear to know what this case is really about. I only wish that Northern Westchester was so careful about "rules" and healthcare when it came to my own family.

The sense of entitlement is sickening.

Kennedys do what ever they want because they were raised that way and have been told they can get away with murder, which they have. I hope this judge will make an impartial decision.

Infants must be transported in bassinets not carried around in someone's arms... even if those arms are a parents. If an infant needs to leave unit for testing there must be a physicians order and baby must be accompanied by a nurse. Maternity units exist for a reason... to protect the infant and mother. No newborn needs to be taken out for "fresh air" and incidentally traditionally Roman Catholic babies are not taken anywhere but home until after the baptism... traditionally. Oh...and assaulting a nurse is a felony.

Not only is an infant not allowed off the unit without a physicians order,the infant must be accompanied by a nurse... for example if the infant is being taken for tests. Infants must be transported in bassinets not carried around in someone's arms.....even if those arms are a parents. Mr. Kennedy is wrong any way you look at it. Oh,and assaulting a nurse is a felony.

Being arrested for breaking hospital rules? I would think the father and mother are more authorized than anyone, regardless of the "rules." Further erosion of parental rights. These people seem like gold diggers.