HEALTHCARE BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY Discusses David McKee MD V. Dennis K. Laurion

MAY 10, 2011

“DOCTOR SUES PATIENT’S FAMILY, AND EVERYBODY LOSES”
Karol Katarsky, HEALTHCARE BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY

A recipe for disaster: Patient’s son complains about a doctor’s bedside manner online. Doctor sues patient’s family for defamation. And nobody wins.

Dr. David McKee, a neurologist with Northland Neurology and Myology, Duluth, Minnesota, filed a lawsuit against Dennis Laurion, alleging he had made untrue and defamatory statements about the doctor’s treatment of Laurion’s father at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth.

Laurion had filed complaints about McKee with several organizations, including St. Luke’s Hospital, the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Advisory Committee, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, as well as other local health care professionals. The complaints were lodged with a total of 19 different agencies, regulatory bodies and health-related websites. McKee claimed that many of the comments were made by Laurion using false names, or attributing the complaints to third-parties.

Laurion’s complaints about McKee included that he:

•    acted angry after Laurion’s father was transferred from intensive care to another unit
told the family that he had to spend time finding out if Laurion’s father had been transferred or died

•    said 44% of hemorrhagic stroke victims die within 30 days, and

•    was unconcerned that the patient’s gown at one point was hanging in such a way that his rear was exposed.

In his response to the suit, Laurion claimed the statements were true, and therefore, not defamatory.

A judge tossed the case, saying there wasn’t enough objective information available to ask a jury to weigh whether the accusations were defamatory. He noted that while the issues raised were driven by emotion, patients and their families are entitled to take to the web and other media to air their complaints.

At the time of publication, McKee said he hadn’t decided if he would appeal.

SOURCE

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Web Posting

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply To Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Cease And Desist Letter To Defendant Dennis Laurion

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Complaint To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint To Sixth Judicial District Duluth Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Response To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Answer To Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Motion For Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Deposition Extracts

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances Before Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances After Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony In Response To Questions By Marshall Tanick

Affidavits By Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Parents

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Supplemental Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Motion To Oppose Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Memo In Support Of Motion For Summary Judgment

Sixth Judicial District Court’s Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Appeal Of Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Order To Strike Portion Of Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Announces Decision

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Petition For Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Opposition To Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Minnesota Supreme Court Decision On David McKee MD V. Dennis K. Laurion

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2010

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2011

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2012

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2013

McKee V Laurion Is A Textbook Case

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