Insure Physicians Blog: Minnesota Supreme Court Rules In Defamation Suit

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January 31, 2013

“Minnesota Supreme Court Rules In Defamation Suit”

Insure Physicians Blog

A ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court has dismissed a defamation lawsuit by a by Dr. David McKee, a Minnesota neurologist, against the son of a former patient. The budding author had posted a scathing online review of the physician including the comment that an unnamed nurse called Dr. McKee “a real tool”.  The final ruling was based on evidence that the postings were based on opinions and not statements of facts.  This matter gained a lot of media attention as websites followed and reported on the case.

The online review came after Dr. David McKee treated an elderly World War II veteran.  The veteran’s son was disappointed in McKee’s lack of bedside manner.  The review pointed out that McKee lacked concern and care for his father both in actions and words.  The defendant posted these comments on a website designed for reviewing physicians and said he was simply exercising his right to free speech.  The court agreed that these comments were not defamation, but simply protected speech.

Dr. McKee was reported as spending over $61,000 in legal bills against the [ son ] of his patient and on services to remove the mention of this event from websites.  When asked about this, McKee said it was money well spent and in five years he wouldn’t even remember spending that much.

Many doctors are faced with online criticism.  It is up to the individual physician to decide how to handle it.  Some may turn to hiring third parties and asking family members to scour the internet in order to intimidate others to remove the mention of a public legal matter.  Others may handle it more graciously.  It is our opinion that a physician should either ignore the matter completely or change their behavior to avoid criticism.  Doctors usually have many reviews placed about them – both favorable and vitriolic.  Paying undue attention to the unfavorable comments or being obsessed with their removal may just backfire, causing others to think that the physician actually does have something to hide.

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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