TUOL: Minnesota High Court Distinguishes Medical Device From Medical Tool

 SEPTEMBER 5, 2012

“Minnesota High Court Distinguishes Medical Device From Medical ‘Tool'”

Sheldon Toplitt, The Unruly Of Law (TUOL) Blog Spot

Image-Doctor-With-Tool

 The Minnesota Supreme Court yesterday heard oral arguments in David McKee, M.D. v. Dennis Laurion (Case No. A11-1154), a libel case that turns on the question of whether the plaintiff was defamed by a comment by the defendant on a rate-your-physician Web site.

McKee, a neurologist at Northland Neurology and Myology in Duluth, Minnesota, treated the defendant’s father, Kenneth Laurion in April 2010, when the 65-year-old (sic) was hospitalized after suffering a stroke, according to an article in The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The defendant, displeased with the neurologist’s bedside manner, posted the following allegedly defamatory comment on a Web site: “When I mentioned Dr. McKee’s name to a friend who is a nurse, she said, ‘Dr. McKee is a real tool!'”

A trial court dismissed McKee’s defamation claim, but the Minnesota Appeals Court reinstated the case last January. The defendant is asserting Internet free speech rights and arguing that calling someone a “tool” is a statement of opinion not susceptible to a defamatory meaning, a position that the Star-Tribune article suggested found favor with some of the Minnesota Supreme Court justices (and the humble staff of “TUOL”). Plaintiff’s counsel, however, argued the defendant fabricated the purported conversation with a nurse and damaged the doctor’s reputation by portraying him as uncaring and insensitive.

A decision is expected from the High Court within three to five months, according to the Star-Tribune article. Until then, the medical experts at “TUOL” prescribe that the plaintiff take two pills a day until the swelling in his ego goes down.

SOURCE AND READER COMMENTS

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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