MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Douglas Kennedy, Fox News commentator and son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, went to court Thursday to fight a motion filed by Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, which is looking to quash his subpoena for 30 pieces of evidence he said he needs to defend himself adequately.
With Judge John Donohue presiding at the Mount Kisco Village Court Thursday afternoon, Kennedy's lawyer Robert Gottlieb presented his argument to subpoena these materials, which include the medical, insurance and personnel records of the nurses involved and extended video of the incident that led to criminal charges being brought.
According to the hospital, nurses Anna Lane and Cari Luciano were following hospital policy on Jan. 7 when they tried to stop Kennedy from taking his newborn son Bo out of the maternity ward. According to reports, Kennedy said he was trying to bring his son outside for some fresh air.
In sworn depositions, Lane said Kennedy twisted her arm and Luciano said he kicked her in an attempt to block them from taking his son.
Kennedy was arrested following the incident on charges of harassment, a violation, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, to which Kennedy has pleaded not guilty. Charges of child abuse were dismissed in April by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.
Gottlieb, citing the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, said the defense needs evidence regarding the nurses’ health in order for the jury to have the information necessary to assess their credibility when it comes to their depositions.
"We're not interested in prying into the nurses' past lives," Gottlieb said.
Hospital attorney David Poppick said, when it comes to medical records, there is the issue of individual privacy and said the list of subpoenaed materials was too broad. Poppick also said the hospital tapes over its surveillance video, so it would be impossible for the defense to get additional footage.
As he stepped out of the courthouse, Kennedy was greeted by nearly 40 nurses from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA).
Erin Silk, NYSNA associate communications director, said the nurses were disappointed that Kennedy had only been charged with a misdemeanor in the first place.
She said it is too late now for the charges to be upgraded, despite the organization’s petition, signed by thousands, to upgrade the charge to a class D felony, which is the highest charge for assaulting a nurse on duty.
“Right now we need to get the word out that it is a law and has been since 2010,” she said.
The next court date will be Aug. 9, by which point Gottlieb said they should know the judge’s ruling.