Letter: Nurses in Douglas Kennedy scuffle wanted money, garbage pickup in settlement
GalleriesDouglas Kennedy in Mount Kisco Court
Two Northern Westchester Hospital nurses who accuse Douglas Kennedy of roughing them up during an altercation involving his newborn baby offered to settle the case if Kennedy agreed to apologize to them on national television, pay them money and collect garbage for two weeks.
The "settlement proposal" was dated March 19 by lawyer Elliot Taub on behalf of nurses Cari Luciano and Anna Lane.
Kennedy, 45, the son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy Sr., is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 22 in Mount Kisco Town Court on a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child and two alleged violations of physical harassment of the nurses.
Kennedy, who lives in Chappaqua, got into a scuffle with the nurses Jan. 7 when he tried to take his 3-day-old son, Daniel Boru, out of the hospital. The nurses claimed it was against hospital protocol and tried to stop him.
The settlement offer was turned down.
Kennedy's lawyer, Robert Gottleib, said Wednesday the case will go to trial and declined to comment on the terms of the settlement offer.
"This case is proceeding to trial, and I will not discuss this issue outside the courtroom," Gottleib said. He did, however, hint that the letter might be an issue at the trial.
"Everything will come out at the trial," he said.
A spokesman for Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore also declined to comment, citing the case's proximity to trial.
The nurses' lawyer, Elliot Taub, did not return calls seeking comment.
In the letter, the nurses ask that Kennedy go on NBC's "Today" show and issue his apology to the nurses.
"Mr. Kennedy shall admit his behavior was outrageous, inappropriate and in disregard of hospital policy, procedures and the specific instructions of the nursing staff," the letter states.
The letter also asks Kennedy to admit he "intentionally twisted the arm of one nurse, kicked the other so hard that she became airborne and that he fell backward onto the floor."
The letter asks that Kennedy pay an unspecified "monetary settlement" to each nurse and that they'll keep silent about the amount.
The nurses also want Kennedy to plead guilty to a violation and agree to community service as a penalty.
"Preferably collecting garbage daily in Mount Kisco or Chappaqua for at least two weeks," the letter states.
Douglas Kennedy is not the only Kennedy family member facing legal problems. His older sister Kerry Kennedy is facing a charge in North Castle of driving while under the influence of drugs after the car she was driving sideswiped a tractor-trailer July 13 on Interstate 684. State Police blood tests revealed that Kennedy had the sleep aid Ambien in her system at the time.
In the Jan. 7 incident at Northern Westchester Hospital, Douglas Kennedy got into a fracas with the nurses that was caught on hospital security video after they stopped him with his son. The video showed the nurses blocking Kennedy from getting on an elevator and using a stairwell.
The nurses said Douglas Kennedy did not have written permission to take the baby off the maternity ward -- as required by hospital guidelines.
Douglas Kennedy said one of the nurses tried to snatch the baby from his arms. Luciano told police she was trying to stop him from "violently shaking" the child.
The video shows a woman falling to the floor before security officers prevented Douglas Kennedy from leaving the hospital.
The Office of Children and Family Services determined that the father had not abused the baby.