Deposition of Dennis Laurion By Marshall Tanick On Behalf Of Dr. David McKee – January 6 and 7, 2011

Tendentious Lawyer

Plaintiff Attorney Marshall Tanick

Defendant Dennis Laurion

 

The following text is copied from Exhibit AA-165 and AA-297 – AA-356 of David McKee, MD, V. Dennis K. Laurion.

State of Minnesota District Court

Sixth Judicial District

File # 69DU-CV-10-1706

David McKee, MD, Plaintiff, vs. Dennis K. Laurion, Defendant

Deposition of Dennis K. Laurion, January 6th and 7th, 2011

Carol Danielson Bille, RPR, Danielson Court Reporting, LLC The following is the deposition of Dennis K. Laurion taken before Carol Danielson Bille, RPR, Notary Public, pursuant to Notice of Taking Deposition, at the law offices of Hanft Fride, PA, 1000 U. S. Bank Place, 130 West Superior Street, Duluth, Minnesota, commencing at approximately 1:14 p.m., January 7, 2011.

Appearances

For the Plaintiff:

Marshall H. Tanick, Esq., Mansfield, Tanick, and Cohen, P. A.

1700 U. S. Bank Plaza South, 220 South Sixth Street

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55402-4511

612-339-4295

For the Defendant:

John D. Kelly, Esq.

Nathan N. LaCoursiere, Esq.

Hanft Fride, PA,

1000 U. S. Bank Place, 130 West Superior Street,

Duluth, Minnesota, 55802

218-722-4766

Proceedings

TANICK: Good morning, Mr. Laurion. Would you please state your name?

LAURION: Dennis Laurion.

TANICK: And, Mr. Laurion, my name is Marshall Tanick. As you know, I’m the attorney for the plaintiff in this case,  Dr. David McKee. I’m going to be taking your deposition today and possibly tomorrow, and I’ll be asking you a number of questions. If you don’t understand my question, please ask me to repeat it or clarify it. I’m not trying to confuse you; I’m trying to get information. So if you don’t understand what I’m saying, please ask me to clarify my question or repeat it. Wait till I finish my question, if you – – if you will, and I’ll try to wait till you finish your answer. As you know, we both can’t talk at the same time or the court reporter can’t take it down. If your lawyers, Mr. Kelly or Mr. LaCoursiere, have something to say, we should stop talking so they can put it on the record, but we all can’t talk at the same time. Do you have any questions about the deposition itself, the process that’s about to begin?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: All right. Have you ever had your deposition taken before?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Have you done anything specifically to prepare for this deposition? By that, I mean reviewing documents, talking to people in connection with getting ready for today’s event?

LAURION: I reviewed all the copies of the documents that we supplied to you.

TANICK: Did you do anything else to prepare for the deposition?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Did you speak to anyone other than your attorneys about the deposition?

LAURION: My wife.

TANICK: And did you talk to her about the substance of the deposition or just the fact that it was going to be taken?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Or both?

LAURION: I just talked about the fact that it was going to happen.

TANICK: And she knows she’s going to have her deposition taken tomorrow. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And have you spoken to anyone else in preparation for this deposition?

LAURION: Other than my attorney, no.

TANICK: All right. Have you spoken to anyone else about this case, this legal dispute, with anyone else over the last, let’s say, two months or so?

LAURION: Yes. My family met for thanksgiving, and I mentioned it briefly there. I was asked what the status was.

TANICK: And who asked you that?

LAURION: I don’t recall. One of my siblings.

TANICK: Who?

LAURION: I don’t remember which one. I had three siblings there. It —

TANICK: And — I’m sorry. Go ahead.

LAURION: It was a family gathering of my parents, all of my siblings, and the children of two of my siblings.

TANICK: Was there some discussion at that event — at that family event about the case?

LAURION: What was the status.

TANICK: All right. And what did you tell them the status was?

LAURION: I told them that we hadn’t gotten to depositions yet.

TANICK: Was there anything else discussed about the case other than the status?

LAURION: I don’t believe so.

TANICK: Have you spoken about this case with anyone else over the last few months?

LAURION: Not anyone other than the family members I’ve just mentioned.

TANICK: Have you had any communications with anyone else about the case in a non-oral way, by writing communications, e-mail, Internet, social network? Any kind of communication that you’ve made or that’s been made with you about this case over the last few months?

LAURION: I don’t believe so.

TANICK: Where were you born and raised, sir?

LAURION: That’s two questions.

TANICK: Well, I’ll make it one question. Where were you born?

LAURION: I was born in Ashland, Wisconsin.

TANICK: And where did you go to school, high school?

LAURION: Indiana.

TANICK: And were you raised, then as a youth in Indiana?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Where?

LAURION: Hammond, Indiana.

TANICK: Is that where you graduated from high school?

LAURION: It is.

TANICK: And after that, did you go – – did you get your higher education immediately after high school?

LAURION: No, I entered the Coast Guard.

TANICK: And how long were you in the Coast Guard?

LAURION: Seven years active duty, and a complete, ’66 to ’94, 28 years.

TANICK: I’m sorry. I missed the last part of what you said. You said seven years active duty and then what?

LAURION: And the rest was as a reservist on extended – –

TANICK: In the Reserve?

LAURION: – – active duty.

TANICK: All right. What did you do after you left the Coast Guard?

LAURION: Worked for Social Security.

TANICK: And you worked for Social Security – – the Social Security Administration for your career until you retired?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Did you have other significant remunerative work that you did during the time you worked with the Coast Guard?

LAURION: I had second jobs, yes. I worked as a stock boy in a grocery store while I was in Cape May, New Jersey. I worked on a clam fishing vessel while I was stationed in New Jersey. I worked in a drug store while I was stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington.

TANICK: What was the highest rank you achieved in the Coast Guard?

LAURION: Chief Petty Officer.

TANICK: Did you – – in the Coast Guard or in your other non-Coast Guard work, did you have any work that was – – before you – – well, did you do any work that was related to the medical industry or medical profession of any kind? I know that’s kind of a broad profession, but did you do anything that you would consider to have – – to deal with health care or medical – – or providing medical treatment or services, directly or indirectly?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And what was that?

LAURION: For the greater part of my Coast Guard career, I was a Hospital Corpsman, and at one point, when I was doing more emphasis on recruiting than being a Hospital Corpsman, I switched my rating to Yeoman, retired as a Chief yeoman. While I worked at Social Security, the last three years I worked at Social Security, I worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in Medical Records, and then I stayed there after I retired from Social Security for another four years, long enough to acquire a pension from the Steel Workers Union for my work at St. Mary’s, seven years.

TANICK: You began working at St. Mary’s in about the year 2000. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. I’ll get – – I’ll come back to that. I’m trying to go back chronologically. When you finished your Coast Guard active duty, you began working with the Social Security Administration at around that time?

LAURION: Not immediately, no. There was – –

TANICK: Okay. When did you – – go ahead.

LAURION: There was a gap.

TANICK: When did you begin working with the Social Security Administration, approximately?

LAURION: ’76. 1976.

TANICK: And when did you retire?

LAURION: 2002.

TANICK: 2002. So you worked there 26 years?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And was that a full-time job for you while you worked there?

LAURION: Yes, it was.

TANICK: I take it you had different positions during the years you worked for the Social Security Administration?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Can you describe for us basically – – well, not in great depth, but just give us an overview of what work you did during those 26 years with the Social Security Administration, and where – – and where you did it?

LAURION: I was hired with the title of Social Insurance Representative by the Civil Service commission. Social Security referred to it as a Claims Representative. Then at some point, I was advanced to Claims Specialist by Social Security’s definition. The Civil Service Commission, which was then OPM, called it a Social Insurance Specialist.

TANICK: OPM is the Office of Personnel Management?

LAURION: Yes. And then my last several years, I worked as – – my generic title was still Claims Specialist, but my office referred to me as a Title II Post-Entitlement Disability Specialist.

TANICK: What kind of work did you do in those various capacities?

LAURION: Initially, I interviewed people who were filing for retirement benefits, survivor benefits, disability benefits. I adjudicated those claims to completion, computed the benefit amount, and saw to it that the payment was implemented.

TANICK: Anything else that’s significant in your job duties or description?

LAURION: I determined the need for representative payee if people needed a payee for their check. I held appeals decisions, rendered appeals decisions if somebody was appealing a decision one of my co-workers had made, if the appeal was local in scope rather than national in scope.

TANICK: Did you also do any kind of monitoring of post-entitlement awards? Were you – – is that something you did?

LAURION: That was what I did at the end of my career, yes. I was the office person for keeping track of everybody who was on disability and receiving continuing benefits.

TANICK: And some of your monitoring duties, then, involved ascertaining whether there had been overpayments and return-to-work issues?

LAURION: Yes, exactly.

TANICK: Where did you do this work? Tell us about where – –

LAURION: In this building.

TANICK: Right here in Duluth?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. During your whole career?

LAURION: No, not my whole career. I was – – worked in Hammond, Indiana, initially.

TANICK: When did you come to Duluth, approximately?

LAURION: ’86.

TANICK: And so you were working with the Social Security Administration in Hammond, and then you moved to Duluth or did they move you? Or – –

LAURION: I asked for a transfer.

TANICK: Okay. Why? Why did you do that?

LAURION: Because I’m from Ashland, Wisconsin.

TANICK: So you wanted to come back closer to home?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. And they accommodated you in that?

LAURION: After six years.

TANICK: All right. And since 1986, then, you’ve been living – – you’ve been working and living in Duluth. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: What’s your address?

LAURION: 5402 Juniata Street.

TANICK: In Duluth. And how long have you lived there?

LAURION: I moved in that address in 1990.

TANICK: Is there a neighborhood attached to that? Is there a neighborhood you’re in there?

LAURION: Lester Park.

TANICK: Now at some point you became – – you were working at or out of the St. Mary’s facility. Right? St. Mary’s Medical Center – – or Medical Clinic? Is that what it’s called?

LAURION: I worked at St. Mary’s, yes.

TANICK: Okay. How did that start?

LAURION: I applied for an evening job pulling medical records. The supervisor for that was on maternity leave, so i was interviewed by her manager, and – –

TANICK: Excuse me. That wasn’t related to your Social Security work?

LAURION: I don’t understand the question.

TANICK: That wasn’t part of  your Social Security work? That was a second job you had. Right?

LAURION: Oh, yes.

TANICK: Okay. So you were still doing your Social Security Claims Specialist work, and then you had another job starting in about 2000, you said pulling medical records at St. Mary’s. Right?

LAURION: No. That’s the job I applied for.

TANICK: Okay. All right. What job did you get?

LAURION: They hired me as an Outpatient Medical Records Analyst.

TANICK: And did you perform that job for approximately seven years?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Did – – now, you retired from Social Security in, I think you said, 2002. Did you continue, then, working at the St. Mary’s job after that?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Did you work part-time while you were at Social Security?

LAURION: I don’t understand that question.

TANICK: Did you work the St. Mary’s job part-time while you were at Social Security?

LAURION: Oh, yes.

TANICK: That would have been, like evenings, weekends?

LAURION: Evenings.

TANICK: All right. Evenings.

LAURION: Monday – – Monday through Friday evenings.

TANICK: Then, once you retired from Social Security, did you change – – did the nature of your job at St. Mary’s change at all, your scope or timing?

LAURION: No, it remained 32 hours.

TANICK: All right. And it was the same type of job, then, during those seven years?

LAURION: Yes, it stayed the same.

TANICK: What did you do on a typical day?

LAURION: I received – – I started work in the evening, when most people were ending their day shift. initially, I went to registration and picked up all of the cover sheets for people who had been admitted as outpatients that day and took them to my office. At some point, about eight or ten other people who were leaving the building would bring me their production for the day, so that a nurse from outpatient surgery would come in and drop off the charts that they had had – – well, not the charts, but the – – the records that they had generated, the records that were loose documents. Then I collated that, plus things that I received in the mail, by date of treatment, and then, using a calendar that told me what day I should be analyzing, I went to a specific day in a storage tub, pulled those loose documents, assembled them by medical record number, and then reviewed them to see if they were ready to go to coding and billing. If there was something still missing, if a doctor had not dictated, if a doctor had not signed his dictation, then I would do a computer entry that would make that part of the doctor’s list, so that would generate or would cause their coming in to either dictate or sign records. And then that was it, other than keeping my supervisor apprised of  – –

TANICK: Who – –

LAURION: – – what day I had finished.

TANICK: All right. Who was your supervisor? And it may have been multiple people over that time.

LAURION: Well, initially, it was a lady named Kathy Dexter, and then subsequently it was a gentleman named [ Grehling Smith ] .

TANICK: Do you know if they’re still working there?

LAURION: No, I understand that he has discontinued employment there.

TANICK: How about Ms. Dexter?

LAURION: She took a medical retirement for M.S.

TANICK: Was there – – were you in an assigned department or unit?

LAURION: I was in the medical records department.

TANICK: And as I understand it – – one thing you said, people – – people, and you used the word “nurses” would bring you, among other things, kind of daily records, the production, and productivity reports, and things like that. Would that be the interaction you would have with nurses generally?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: How much interaction did you have with nurses generally there, other than them bringing you records?

LAURION: Just corres – – communication during that time, short conversations. “How’s your husband,” “how’s your evening going,” that kind of thing.

TANICK: Did you get to know some of the nurses there on a personal level?

LAURION: Not to the point that I ever saw them outside of work, no.

TANICK: Did you know their names generally?

LAURION: No, in fact I called them all “Nurse Betty.” The year I was hired, that movie had just come out.

TANICK: Did you have any – – a closer relationship with any of the nurses than others, just from your work relationship? Did you know some of them better than others, just because you worked with them a little bit more or developed friendships with them in the workplace?

LAURION: Some of them might have chatted a little bit more than others.

TANICK: Do you remember the names of any of those nurses with whom you worked?

LAURION: No, I do not.

TANICK: Not a single one?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Do you remember any of their first names?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Do you – – about how many different nurses over that seven-year period would you  have interacted with? Are we talking about a few?

LAURION: I’m not really sure. I received records from maybe six or eight different departments in the course of a day, and they didn’t all have the same shift. So the nurse from outpatient surgery might be one, one night, and a different night it would be a different one. I don’t know how much turnover they had during that seven years.

TANICK: Can you give us an estimate of how many different nurses you think you may have had interaction with during that time period?

LAURION: No, I don’t.

TANICK: Is it more than five?

LAURION: Oh, yes.

TANICK: Is it more than ten?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: Somewhere between five and ten?

LAURION: No, I wouldn’t commit to that either.

TANICK: Was it more than fifty?

KELLY: I think he’s answered the question, Counsel. He told you he can’t give you an estimate.

TANICK: Well, I’m trying to help him. I’m trying to get a range of the – – a range of numbers.

KELLY: Well, this is an exercise that can go on into perpetuity, so – –

TANICK: Well, let’s see what he has to say. Is it more than fifty people or less than fifty?

LAURION: Less than fifty.

TANICK: All right. Do you think it’s more than thirty or less than thirty?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: Were they all women?

LAURION: I worked with a man, but he was a clerk. And there was an administrative nurse who was a male.

TANICK: By and large, most them were women, I take it?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And I think you indicated that you’ve never had any dealings or run into any of them outside of work, in any social settings?

LAURION: Not ordinarily, no. I had a desk plate on my desk, and they would call me by my first name, and I would just say hello.

TANICK: Did they wear badges with their names on them?

LAURION: They wore the identity things. They were generally standing about as far as you are from me. I’m not real good at picking up those names, and if I did, I don’t remember them.

TANICK: Now, you retired, then? Did you retire from St. Mary’s in 2007? Is that the right phrase, “retirement”? It was a part-time job, but did you – –

LAURION: I get a pension from it, yes.

TANICK: Okay. And you were union at that time? The Steel Workers Union?

LAURION: Yes, I was.

TANICK: So you get a pension from St. Mary’s?

LAURION: No, I get a pension from – –

TANICK: From the Steelworkers?

LAURION:  – – the Steelworkers.

TANICK: Okay. And you have two other pensions, as I understand? One from the Coast Guard and one from Social Security. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: During your work with the Coast Guard – – or service with the Coast Guard, did you – – was part of your job duties in any way related to web – – web-type work, web master type work, interaction with the Internet, things like that?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: How about at St. Mary’s. Did you do any kind of Internet-type work?

LAURION: No, I don’t believe so. I accessed databases, but they were internal databases.

TANICK: So were you communicating back and forth on the Internet as far as your job duties?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Have you ever considered yourself or used the term “web master” to describe yourself?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And that’s not related to the Coast Guard work – –

LAURION: No.

TANICK: – – or Coast Guard service or St. Mary’s. Right?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: What’s that related to?

LAURION: My wife and I sell t-shirt images to a t-shirt printing company, for which we get royalties, and I set up the Web sites that allow us to host those images.

TANICK: And does that business have a name to it?

LAURION: It does. It’s called Lincoln Mall.

TANICK: That’s Lincoln Mall. They have t-shirts?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Any other artifacts or items?

LAURION: Coffee mugs, mouse pads, bumper stickers.

TANICK: Is there some type of general theme or insignia to them?

LAURION: They’re mostly military. If somebody asks us to do something else, we do.

TANICK: And where – – do you derive – – do you develop those yourself, or do you get requests from customers to special order, or how does that – – how do the items or artifacts get developed?

LAURION: Sometimes the person will contact our supplier directly, Cafe Press, and they’ll forward the information to us. We have a business e-mail address on the Web page. Some people will write to that.

TANICK: And is that a full-time occupation for you, or livelihood?

LAURION: Oh, no.

TANICK: Is you wife involved in that equally with you?

LAURION: She does all of the images.

TANICK: All right. It that – – are you incorporated or are you an LLC or any kind of business organization?

LAURION: No. We file taxes as a sole proprietorship.

TANICK: And how long have you been doing that, sir, approximately?

LAURION: Since 2002.

TANICK: And you make money off that. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. Is there any other kind of sources of income you have, let’s say since 2007 at St. Mary’s – – since you retired from St. Mary’s, other than your retirement income and – –

LAURION: I get Social Security retirement benefits.

TANICK: Any other kind of compensation for services rendered or performed?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: And about how much of your time is devoted to Lincoln Mall on a – – on a typical week?

LAURION: It depends on how I feel. Generally, it could be as little as twenty hours. It could be as much as thirty. It’s been a great deal less since this lawsuit commenced, simply because I don’t feel like doing it.

TANICK: How about your wife? Does she spend about the same amount of time as you, or less, or more, if you know?

LAURION: No, she spends less time because when she develops the image, it takes me longer to work with it than it did her to develop it.

TANICK: Is anyone else affiliated with that organization?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: You spoke briefly about your family, at least you mentioned siblings. I think you said you have three siblings?

LAURION: I have three siblings, yes.

TANICK: One is Duane. Is that right?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: No, no, that’s your uncle. You have a sister Patricia. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And who else?

LAURION: I have a brother Steven – –

TANICK: Mm-hmm.

LAURION: – – and a brother Kevin.

TANICK: Do they live around – – where do they live?

LAURION: Actually, I should correct that. My brother Kevin has legally changed his name to Ken.

TANICK: Okay. Where do they live?

LAURION: My brother Steve lives in a suburb of Milwaukee; my sister Patricia lives in Charlotte, North Carolina; and my brother Ken lives in Belleville, Illinois.

TANICK: And how about children?

LAURION: My children – –

TANICK: Yes, yours.

LAURION: Or their children?

TANICK: No, yours?

LAURION: I have four children, and I have two step-children.

TANICK: All right. Can you tell me their ages and names? Names and ages?

LAURION: Names and ages?

TANICK: Yeah.

LAURION: Damon just turned 33, and Jacob is 31. Sarah is 29, and Margret is 26.

TANICK: Do any of them live in the Duluth – Superior area?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Which ones?

LAURION: My sons.

TANICK: And I didn’t ask you your age. I should have asked you that. I forgot to ask you your date of birth.

LAURION: I’m the same age as you are.

TANICK: Okay. Which is what?

LAURION: 63.

TANICK: What was your birth date?

LAURION: 11-24-46.

TANICK: You talked – – those – – you identified your four children. Did you mention your two step-children? Just names and ages, please.

LAURION: My older stepson is Kevin. I think that he’s 32. He’s between my boys.

TANICK: That’s okay.

LAURION: And my younger stepson is Keith, who is one day different in age from my daughter Margret, so he would be 26 also.

TANICK: Do either of them live in the area?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Parents? Your father Kenneth. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. And he’s how old now?

LAURION: 85.

TANICK: 85. And how about your mother? What’s her name?

LAURION: Lois.

TANICK: And where do they – – where do they live?

LAURION: In Lakeside. Lester Park.

TANICK: And how long have they lived in that area?

LAURION: I’m not sure what year they moved here. It was subsequent to my living where I live. I think – – there was a year that there was a Halloween storm in Duluth. They moved here, I believe, the next year.

TANICK: It was sometime after 1986?

LAURION: Oh, yes. Definitely. It was after – – subsequent to 1990.

TANICK: And were they retired at the time they moved here?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And your father was – – what was his career?

LAURION: He retired as a systems engineer for a steel mill.

TANICK: And how about your mother? Did she work outside the home? Have a job or career?

LAURION: Not after she married, no.

TANICK: What’s  – – what’s their condition, health condition, today, as you know – – to the extent you know?

KELLY: You mean good, bad, or indifferent?

TANICK: Yeah, yeah. Just your father’s condition. I’m not asking you for a medical prognosis or anything. I just want to know, is he – – I know obviously he’s been ill, or was ill. What’s his condition now? Is he – –

LAURION: He’s not as ambulatory as he was before. He used to walk eight blocks a day. Now I take him walking in the mall. He walks very slowly, sits frequently. His family doctor feels that he has Parkinson’s Syndrome. But he is – – he’s capable of caring for himself, fixing his lunch, and so forth. He still drives.

TANICK: How about his mental condition?

LAURION: I would have to say that he’s unimpaired.

TANICK: Unimpaired?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. And how about your mother? What’s her general physical and mental condition?

LAURION: She’s in good health. She has a little difficulty walking. I’m not sure if it’s her legs that bother her or her back bothers her. She takes medication for hypertension and for high cholesterol. She still does housework, does laundry, prepares meals.

TANICK: They live in their own home?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: What was your father’s medical condition or health condition before April of last year, the events giving rise to this litigation. As you know, he was in the hospital. I think he became hospitalized in – – I think it was April 17th.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. So let’s go back to the first quarter of last year, 2010.

LAURION: He was in good health for his age. He walked eight blocks through his neighborhood each day. He drove. He was a volunteer for St. Luke’s Hospice. He attends his church regularly and gets there under his own power. He participated in church activities. He was, I think at one time, the secretary of his congregation.

TANICK: Okay. that’s fine. I understand. What – – what happened to him on or about April 17th?

LAURION: My mother called and said she thought he had the flu, and could my wife and I please drive him to the emergency room. I went up there.  He was vomiting in a waste basket, sitting in a chair clutching a waste basket and vomiting. He – – I said, “Dad, do you think I can help down the stairs to the car,” and he said, “No, the room is spinning.” And then I asked my mother separately, “Is this something that was progressive or did he just suddenly start throwing up?” And she said he was brushing his teeth, and he began vomiting in the sink and complaining that the room was spinning in a circle. So I said, “I don’t think he has the flu, and in any event, if he does have the flu, there’s no way I’m going to get him down the stairs and get him to the hospital in the car. I think you should call the Fire Department.”

TANICK: Was e transported, then, to St. Luke’s Hospital?

LAURION: Yes, he was.

TANICK: All right. And what condition was he diagnosed as?

LAURION: Well, initially, the Emergency Room doctor speculated that his high blood pressure was causing his emesis and vertigo, and then he – – he had a CT scan taken sometime, I think within the first two hours. I’m not real sure of the time span, though, because we were concerned about him and not really looking at the watch. And sometime before midnight he was given a CT scan. The Emergency Room doctor described it to my mother as a small bleed in the back of his skull; told her that he would be admitted; that throughout the night people would wake him up and ask him his name and who’s the president and how old are you and where are you; check his neurological signs; and that ultimately he would be given an MRI to see if the bleeding had stopped.

TANICK: Did you understand at some point during the period he was hospitalized he was diagnosed with having a hemorrhagic stroke?

LAURION: It was referred to as a small bleed.

TANICK: Did – – was “stroke” used at all?

LAURION: No. I think people were being careful with my mother.

TANICK: Was that – – but did somebody convey that to you or anybody that he had a stroke? Somebody from the hospital?

LAURION: Not at that point, no.

TANICK: When did you first learn that there was a stroke involved?

LAURION: I’m not really sure. Sometime – – I think – – I think somebody may have used the word after he was in his regular room.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: That is, not in the ICU.

TANICK: And he was in the ICU, or intensive care unit, for how many – – how long?

LAURION: Two days.

TANICK: And then he was transferred to a regular hospital room?

LAURION: Yes. On April 19th, he was transferred to a regular hospital room about suppertime.

TANICK: So he was – –

LAURION: We were called and told that he was transferred.

TANICK: Did he seem to be better then, than he was when he first came in? Seemed to be improving from your standpoint?

LAURION: I didn’t really know his condition during the two days that  he was in the ICU because we didn’t see him for prolonged periods of time, but he was – – he was articulate while he was in ICU. When we went to see him, we went in response to the phone call that he was – – that he was moved to a regular hospital room. When we went there, the – – the nurse who was assigned to his particular case intercepted us in the hall and said, “He’s still being set up. Can you wait a few minutes?” Within a few moments, she told us to go in. A student nurse brought us a third chair. At that point, my father was sitting up in bed. He was watching television. He had just literally been in the room for a few moments. His nurse came back in and said, “Have you had supper,” and he said no. She offered to find him a tray. She brought him a tray around 6:00 P.M. When he went to eat it, his left arm was trembling to the point that he couldn’t cut his meat. I asked if I could do that for him. It was a very, very pronounced tremor (indicating). And I cut his meat. He ate it by himself, using a fork in one hand. Then he said he wanted to watch FOX News on television. We found that particular station. And at that point, Dr. McKee walked in, and I turned off the television.

TANICK: Okay. Just to back up for a minute, your – – your father was in the ICU unit on April 17th and 18th?

LAURION: It may have been the 18th by the time he was admitted.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: We took him in the 17th. He was in the Emergency Room, and whether his stay in the Emergency Room passed midnight or not, I don’t know.

TANICK: But he spent a couple of days, essentially, in the ICU. Right?

LAURION: Yes. He would have been – –

TANICK: All right. And – – go ahead. Finish your answer.

LAURION: He would have been released sometime shortly before 6:00 o’clock on the 19th.

TANICK: Okay. And then – – and he was moved into a ward room in the hospital around dinnertime on April 20 – – April – –

LAURION: 19th.

TANICK: – – 19th. Correct?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. Let’s get the day here, so – – That would have been – – he would have come in on Saturday night. Was that when you brought him in?

LAURION: I don’t know. I just know that it was the night of the 17th.

TANICK: And he was there for a couple of days. According to my calendar, the 19th was a Monday, so this – – it was kind of over the weekend he was in the ICU. Do you remember that?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: I just know it was April 17th to 19th.

TANICK: And then they called and you said your father is being moved into a ward room. Is that when you and your wife – –

LAURION: And my mother.

TANICK: Did you pick her up, or was she already there?

LAURION: No, I went and picked her up.

TANICK: All right. So the three of you went down to – – because they wouldn’t let you in the ICU, I take it. Right? Or very – – your access to the ICU was limited, but now that he was in a ward room, you could come down and socialize with him. Right?

LAURION: We knew that he would be moved sometime during the day, and my mother said there was no point in going to see him while he’s in the ICU if we can spend more time with him in his room later.

TANICK: Sure. So the purpose of the three of you going down there was to be with your father.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And you were?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay, and I think you indicated that – – you know, you told us what happened in terms of him eating dinner. Was it the case that Dr. McKee then came into the room about ten minutes after your father was transferred  there?

LAURION: No, it was about ten minutes after he finished eating, and he had – – we had gotten there about ten minutes before, so it was about twenty minutes, perhaps.

TANICK: All right. So were you – – did you get there when he was transferred, or was he already in the room?

LAURION: When we got there, he was being set up.

TANICK: All right. So the transfer was kind of going on at that time; he was being moved into the room when you got there. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And he was in the room, and that – – and he was in that room and – – I’m sorry. Strike that. But he was in the room and you were in the room with him as the transfer took place and he was put in the bed and taken care of. That took about ten minutes. Is that what you’re saying?

LAURION: Approximately.

TANICK: And then the dinner part, where you help cut his food and he ate dinner, that took about ten minutes?

LAURION: Perhaps.

TANICK: And then after he finished his dinner and turned on FOX News, is that about the time Dr. McKee appeared?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: So that would have been about twenty, twenty five minutes into the time he was transferred there?

LAURION: Perhaps. Approximately.

TANICK: So it wouldn’t have been ten minutes. That would be wrong?

LAURION: You mean that he had been in the room for ten minutes?

TANICK: Right. Right. Correct.

LAURION: No, I don’t believe so. I believe he’d been in the room about twenty.

TANICK: Okay. So if someone said that Dr. McKee came into the room ten minutes after your father was transferred, that would be inaccurate. Right? It would just be wrong. Right?

LAURION: From my perception, he came into the room about ten minutes after I came into the room.

TANICK: Okay. But your father had already been in the room for about ten minutes?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: So it had been about twenty minutes after your father was in the room?

LAURION: I said perhaps, yes.

TANICK: Well, is that a reasonable estimate or not? You were there.

LAURION: It was somewhere in that time frame.

TANICK: Okay. Did you have any – – you didn’t know Dr. McKee, I take it? You had never seen him before?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Did you know of Dr. McKee at all? Had you ever heard of his name mentioned, either in the medical field or socially or in the community or anything? Any way at all, did you know that there was a person named Dr. David McKee who lived and worked in Duluth?

LAURION: When I worked at Social Security, we had a list of doctors’ names and addresses, because patients didn’t normally know them, but I don’t know whether I would have ever seen it or not.

TANICK: Okay. And then when he walked in the room, you didn’t know who he was. You knew he was a doctor, I take it, but you didn’t know, Oh, that’s Dr. David McKee?

LAURION: No, I had no idea.

TANICK: Okay. All right. Have you ever had any discussions before April 19th with anybody about a Dr. David McKee?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: And you had never – – you’d never heard from any former patients of his or people that he had dealt with or – –

LAURION: No.

TANICK: And you had never talked to any employees or people – –  colleagues of his or subordinates?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: He didn’t mean anything to you. Right?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: And do you know what purpose Dr. McKee had in coming to see you – – I’m sorry, see your father? Why was he there?

LAURION: Yes, I know that he was referred by a neurosurgeon, but I didn’t know that at the time.

TANICK: All right. Was there to check on him, I take it?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And what was – – where were – – can you tell us where you were and where your mother was and where your wife was and where – – your father was in bed. Right? But where were you in the room there?

LAURION: My father was seated in the bed, and if I were using his head as 12:00 o’clock, I was seated at 3:00 o’clock. I was on his left hand – –

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: – – side of the bed, roughly midway between the bottom and top of the bed, facing the door. My wife was seated at the foot of the bed, at the corner of the bed that would be my father’s left corner.

TANICK: Okay. It would be about 5:00 o’clock?

LAURION: Yes. And – – I did say my wife, did I not?

TANICK: Yes.

LAURION: Okay. And my mother was seated at the other foot of the bed.

TANICK: At the 7:00 o’clock position?

LAURION: About that, yes.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: Turned slightly diagonal so that her back was toward the corner. That would have been to my father’s far right end of the room.

TANICK: Okay. And was this a normal ward room, a normal size for a hospital ward room?

LAURION: It was apparently designed for only one person.

TANICK: That was my next question. He was the only patient in there?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: When Dr. McKee came in, did you – – tell me what happened when he came in.

LAURION: He walked into the room rather briskly, went directly to my father, passing in front of my mother. He did not introduce himself to us.

TANICK: Was he – – excuse me. I just want to kind of keep the chronology.  Was he carrying anything? A chart or papers or anything?

LAURION: I don’t believe so. He had a stethoscope around his neck.

TANICK: That was my next question. He was in hospital garb, I take it? Medical garb?

LAURION: Yes. I believe he was wearing a shirt and tie and white coat.

TANICK: And you don’t recall him carrying anything, a chart or anything?

LAURION: I don’t believe so.

TANICK: Okay. Tell us what happened next.

LAURION: He went to my father and said, “Are you Kenneth Laurion,” and my father said that he was.

TANICK: Go ahead.

LAURION: Did you want me to give the whole chronology?

TANICK: Yeah. I might interrupt you a little bit. I’m not trying to – –

LAURION: Okay.

TANICK: – – I’m not trying to cut you off. But just tell me what happened next.

LAURION: My father said that he was. At that point, Dr. McKee said, “When I couldn’t find you in ICU, I had to find out if you were transferred or died.” And then, I felt in response to our stares at him, he said – –

TANICK: Excuse me. Before – – before you get to that, you said he asked if he was – – did he say, “Are you Kenneth Laurion”?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And your father said, “Yes I am.”

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. So that was the first thing he said? Dr. McKee, that is?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Go ahead.

LAURION: So after he said, “I had to track you down and find out if you were transferred or died,” we were all rather shocked and stared at him, and in a tone of voice that sounded justifying, he said something, for which we all interpret the first half of the sentence differently, but we all agree on the last half. I understood him to say, “Well, 44 percent of all hemorrhagic strokes die within 30 days. I guess this is the better option.” My mother understood him to say, “Some people die before getting out of ICU. I guess this is the better option.” My wife felt that he either said a specific percentage that she didn’t understand or simply “a percentage of hemorrhagic strokes die before they get out of ICU. I guess this is the better option.”

TANICK: All right. Let me stop you there for a minute. I take it the recounting you’ve given us of the three different versions are based upon your discussion with your wife and your mother? That’s what they told you?

LAURION: Yes. We did not have another family discussion until my father had been out of the hospital two days, approximately. He spent the first two days just sleeping in his armchair. So when my father was up and about at home, then my wife and I went to visit, and at that point, I repeated the “44 percent” thing. My mother said, “I don’t know that he said 44 percent; I just know that he said something about how many people die, so I guess this is the better option.” My wife said, “I think I heard the word ‘percentage,’ but I don’t know what the specific number was or if he just said ‘a percentage’ or ‘a large percentage.'”

TANICK: All right. So of the three of you, you’re the only one who remembered hearing him use a specific percentage, that “44 percent of hemorrhagic strokes die with thirty days.” That’s a – –

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: You’re the only one that remembers that?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Did your father – – have you ever talked to your father about what Dr. McKee did or said during that interlude?

LAURION. I have, within the first few days after he got out, yes.

TANICK: What was his recollection or version of what happened? I know we’re not through with the whole incident, but at least up to this point.

LAURION: Well, he told me at great length that he remembered the “Are you Kenneth Laurion” question, because he had been a pharmacist’s mate in the Navy and had been taught “Don’t ever ask anybody a question that can be answered yes or no.” He should have said, “What is your name?” So he recalled that, and he also recalled being told, when he mentioned to Dr. McKee that “Oh, yes, I’m ready for a neurological examination, the nurses, the physical therapists, have all been coming in and pulling my fingers and pushing my feet and asking me my date of birth and so forth,” and Dr. McKee said, “Therapy? You don’t need therapy.” My father felt that that was dismissive. He felt, “He’s telling me I don’t need therapy because he hasn’t ordered it yet.”

TANICK: Well, did your father tell you that he remembered Dr. McKee saying something to the effect of “When you weren’t in ICU, I had to spend time finding out if you were transferred or died”?

LAURION: He did remember that, yes.

TANICK: Your father says he remembers him saying that?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And did your father tell you that he remembered Dr. McKee saying anything about a certain percentage or a specific percentage of hemorrhagic stroke patients die within a certain time period?

LAURION: I don’t know if I’ve asked him. I don’t know if we’ve discussed it.

TANICK: You don’t know if he – – you don’t know if he remembers that or not?

LAURION: I don’t.

TANICK: All right. All right. I’ll come back to your father in a minute, but I want to pick up with the narrative of what happened afterwards. After he made the comment, so you say, “about 44 percent of hemorrhagic stroke patients die within thirty days, this is a better option,” what was his demeanor when he said that, from what – – what did you perceive? What was his – – what was Dr. McKee’s attitude or demeanor or – –

LAURION: When he said the part about he “had to find out if you had died or transferred,” I wasn’t really sure whether he was – – my impression was that he was impatient, that he was irritated. When he said, “I guess this is the better option,” I felt his attitude was a very defensive apologetic, kind of like, “Well, what? This is the better option” (indicating).

TANICK: Did you have the impression that he was – – that he was saying this to make either your father or those in the room feel bad? Or – –

LAURION: No, I had the impression that he feels important enough he can say anything he wants to and not care what reaction it has on people.

TANICK: But you don’t think he was saying that directly to you or your father or your relatives there to make you feel bad?

LAURION: I think he didn’t care if we felt bad.

TANICK: Okay. And do you think he was upset because he had to see your father?

LAURION: You’d have to ask him. I don’t know, but – –

TANICK: Well, I’m asking you. I’m asking if you felt that he seemed upset.

LAURION: He seemed irritated, perhaps because it was the time of day. He felt irritated or rushed; I wasn’t sure which.

TANICK: Well, you didn’t feel he felt – – you didn’t – – you didn’t perceive him to be upset, did you?

LAURION: I don’t know. That sounds like the same question I just answered.

TANICK: Well – –

LAURION: I don’t know what he was thinking, but my impression was – –

TANICK: That’s what I asked you.

LAURION: – – that he was irritated or that he was in a hurry, and perhaps he just wanted to get this over and go to supper.

TANICK: Okay. That was your perception or impression of Dr. McKee at that  inter – – at that point. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: It’s not the case that perceived him to be upset, was it?

LAURION: I think that’s a form of upset, yes.

TANICK: All right. So you think he was upset?

LAURION: I think we’re arguing semantics – –

TANICK: Well, I’m asking you – –

LAURION: – – but yes.

TANICK: – – that word. If you can’t answer it, tell me you can’t answer it. I’m just asking if you felt he seemed upset.

LAURION: I thought he did, yes.

TANICK: Okay. Was there anything other than what he said that made you think he was upset? Anything in his body language or countenance, his face, his facial features, other than – – other than the words he used?

LAURION: Yes. He strode into the room very rapidly. I’m accustomed, in previous hospital visits, to having a doctor knock on the door jamb and say, “Excuse me folks. May I come in? I’m Dr. so-and-so.” And then obviously, people say, “Yes, please come in.” But the formality had been dispensed with. He walked straight into my father’s bedside very briskly and it conveyed to me that he was in a hurry.

TANICK: Did that convey to you that he was upset?

LAURION: The tone of his voice did.

TANICK: Was the door open or closed or partially – –

LAURION: The door was open the entire time.

TANICK: All right. Was there anything else about his demeanor, attitude, body language, his facial features that suggested to you that he was upset or irritated about being there, other than what you’ve already told us?

LAURION: Repeat the question, please.

TANICK: Was there anything else about his words, his body language, his attitude, his conduct, his facial features that indicated to you that he was either upset or irritated or disturbed to be having to do this?

LAURION: Through that point or by the end – –

TANICK: Up to – – no, up to the point we’re at now.

LAURION: No, I think that there was his stride, and it was the tone of voice. His face looked a little rigid to me.

TANICK: Anything else?

LAURION: I don’t think so.

TANICK: Did he look like he was serious-minded?

LAURION: I really don’t know how to answer that.

TANICK: What do you mean, his face looked rigid?

LAURION: Kind of like the look he gave me just a moment ago when I made the comment that I thought he was too important to talk to people.

TANICK: How would you describe a rigid face? Facial feature?

LAURION: As a rigid facial feature.

TANICK: Squinting?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Lips pursed?

LAURION: A little bit of a – – a little bit of a tight jaw, grimace.

TANICK: All right. Now you said that your father told you that he remembered Dr. McKee saying something about a therapist. Do you remember that being said too?

LAURION: I do. That, I believe, was the next tone of conversation – –

TANICK: All right. Tell us what happened next.

LAURION: – – when he said, “I have to do a neurological examination. One of the nurses had just previously been in and had been asking my father the whole gamut of “Clutch my finger,” and “push my hand,” and “try to raise your foot,” and so forth. So when he said, “I have to do a neurological examination,” my father, who is quite talkative, said, “Oh yes, I’m familiar with that. I’ve had nurses and physical therapists telling me to raise my hand and squeeze their fingers, and what day is it, and who’s the president,” and so forth, and when he was finished, Dr. McKee said, “Therapy, you don’t need therapy.” I felt the tone of voice was a little dismissive. My father thought that the tone of voice was more emphatically dismissive.

TANICK: Dismissive of whom?

LAURION: Of the concept of therapy.

TANICK: Did your father say that he had been – – he had been seen – – had been seen by therapists? Did he use the word “therapy”?

LAURION: He said, “Oh yes, a neurological exam. I’ve had nurses and therapists,” and then the rest of what I had said about “pull my hand” and so forth.

TANICK: And your recollection is that Dr. McKee said, “You don’t – – I don’t think you need therapy”?

LAURION: He said – – in what I considered just a moderated tone of voice, he said, “Therapy? You don’t need that.” My father thought it was a more emphatic – – and I know it’s diff – – that it’s impossible to record this, but my father’s impression was “Therapy? You don’t need therapy.” So my father thought the sentence was said with more emphasis than I thought it was said with.

TANICK: How about your wife? What does she think about it?

LAURION: She basically – – I don’t know – – You’d have to ask her.

TANICK: Well, I’m asking you if you talked to her about it.

LAURION: My wife thought it was dismissive. She did not think it sounded angry or rebuking.

TANICK: And when – – you didn’t either, did you?

LAURION: No, I didn’t. I thought it was dismissive.

TANICK: And how about your mother? Did she tell you what she thought about that? Did she hear that too?

LAURION: She did. I don’t know if I’ve discussed what her impression was.

TANICK: All right. What happened next?

LAURION: Okay, we’re up to the point of – –

TANICK: Dr. McKee made some comment – –

LAURION: – – therapy and – –

TANICK: – – you say about therapy.

LAURION: Okay. Then he said, “Can you get up and – – can you get up out of bed and walk.” My father said, “I think I can walk, but my gown is not covering me in the back. It’s tied at the neck, but not at the waist.” Dr. McKee said, “That doesn’t matter.”

TANICK: Excuse me. This is like a hospital gown that has you tie it around your neck in the back, and there’s sort of a slit there down the middle of the back?

LAURION: Yes. Yes.

TANICK: The back – – the front is closed?

LAURION: The front was closed, yes.

TANICK: All right. Go ahead.

LAURION: Dr. McKee said, “That doesn’t matter.” He put his hands on his forearms and began lifting him into a sitting position. My father again said he wasn’t getting up and having his back side hang out, and he resisted being pulled up. My wife said, “It matters to us. Can you wait a minute while we leave the room. Daddy, do you want us to leave the room?” And my father said yes. So we got up and filed outside of the room and stood immediately adjacent to the door. We just turned to the right and stepped just far enough that we were not in the doorway.

TANICK: Were you able to – – was the door open or closed?

LAURION: The door was open.

TANICK: Were you able to see inside?

LAURION: No, I did not see the exam after I left the room.

TANICK: And how about your mother and wife? Did they see – –

LAURION: They didn’t see it either.

TANICK: Are you – – am I right – – and correct my understanding. You’re telling us your father was kind of physically resisting  Dr. McKee pulling him up?

LAURION: Yes. From the angle I was seated, I saw – – once my father was sitting up, I could see that he was resisting. My wife, from her angle at the foot of the bed, saw that he gripped the bottom rail – – the middle rail of the safety railing, which now seems to be abbreviated only to at the head of the bed instead of the whole length of the bed. My mother and my wife both said they could see my father grip the bed rail in order not to be pulled up. My wife observed that – – well, I’ve already said that, that he grabbed the bedrail. And initially, when we left after the exam, I started to say something in the hall of the hospital and my wife said, “We’re not talking about this now.”

TANICK: What did you start to say?

LAURION: I started to say that Dr. McKee was a jerk, and my wife said, “We’re not” – – I think I may have said “Did you understand him to say I had to find out if you’re alive or dead?” And my wife cut off all conversation. She said, “We are not discussing this in the hallway of the hospital.”

TANICK: All right. Were other people walking by that could have heard something?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And did you say, “I think he’s a jerk”  or – –

LAURION: No, I did not say that.

TANICK: You were thinking that, but you didn’t say that?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Right?

LAURION: I simply said, “Can you believe” – – my opening comment was “Can you believe that he just walked in there and said, I don’t know if you’re alive or dead’?” And my wife said, “We are not discussing this here.” Then we took my mother to supper at Perkins.

TANICK: We’ll get to supper in a minute.

LAURION: Okay.

TANICK: You just – – you used the word “jerk” a minute ago. You said you were about to say – –

LAURION: I said I was about to – –

TANICK: – – he was a jerk?

LAURION: opine that he was a jerk.

TANICK: But you didn’t?

LAURION: No, I didn’t.

TANICK: All right. And what made you think at that point that he was a jerk? Was it because he asked that question about being – – he didn’t know if you were alive or dead? Is that what made you think he was a jerk, or was it everything that did at that point?

LAURION: It was all parts of what we observed.

TANICK: Okay. How long – – how long passed from the time Dr. McKee came into the room until the time you and your wife and mother left the room?

LAURION: The amount of time it took for the conversations that I’ve just related. I would approximate three or four minutes.

TANICK: All right. Was there anything else said? Because what you told us wouldn’t, I don’t think, take three or four minutes, unless there was something else said.

LAURION: That’s why I said possibly no more than three or four minutes.

TANICK: Was there anything – – was there anything else that was said or done or – –

LAURION: Yes. Yes.

TANICK: Excuse me. – – that you recall during that three or – – possibly three or four minutes before you – –

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: – – left the room? Go ahead.

LAURION: When Dr. McKee said that he had to do a neurological exam, and then my father talked about therapists, and he had said, “You don’t need therapy,” then he asked “Have you been nauseated? Has the nausea continued?” And my father said, “No, I haven’t been nauseated since I got here.” And up until that point, I didn’t want to interrupt, because I know that when a doctor is talking to a patient, he’s not looking just for the answers, but he’s looking for the ability to answer. And so, up until the point, none of the rest of us had said anything.  But when he asked if my father was nauseated and my father said, “No, it’s been stopped since I’ve been here,” I said at that point, “Excuse me, Dad,” and then I turned to Dr. McKee and I said, “I don’t want to interrupt, but I just want to make sure.” “Dad, do you mean that you were nauseated until you got here in this room or until here at the hospital, because you were nauseated yet in the ICU.” And he said, “Oh, yes. Here in the room.” And Dr. McKee turned and looked at me and said, “And you are who?” And I said, “I’m his son.” And with that, he turned back to my father and made no acknowledgment of the fact that I had mentioned that the nausea had lasted longer than when he got to the hospital.

TANICK: What did he do then, when he turned to your father? Was this when the gown incident happened?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. Have you ever told anyone before about this discussion about nausea?

LAURION: I don’t recall. I don’t know.

TANICK: I’ve read numerous accounts by you of this incident, different forms and different venues and to different people, and I hadn’t seen any reference to this discussion about nausea. I’m not a witness here, so you don’t have to take my word for it. I’m just telling you that’s my recollection. I just wanted to ask you if you remember ever communicating this portion of the dialogue about nausea, because I hadn’t seen it before.

LAURION: Okay. I want to correct your statement that there were several venues.

KELLY: Just a minute. Just a minute. Answer his question.

LAURION: What was the question again?

TANICK: Well, I prefaced my question by asking by saying that I’ve read several different accounts that you’ve made of this incident, and I used the word “venue.” If you don’t like the word “venue,” I’ll take that out. I’ve read different – – certain accounts – – I’ve read several accounts, Mr. Laurion, of your discussion of this incident with Dr. McKee, and I don’t recall seeing anything about a reference to a discussion about nausea. Now, I’m not a witness, so I’m not testifying. I’m giving you a chance to tell me if you remember in any of the writings, blogs, reports – –

LAURION: I don’t believe – –

TANICK: complaints that – –

LAURION: I don’t believe – –

KELLY: Just a minute, both of you. You have to wait until he finishes his question so that she can get the question down. Okay?

LAURION: I’m sorry.

TANICK: That’s fine.

LAURION: I thought he had.

TANICK: Oh, that’s okay.

KELLY: It’s not fine for her, though.

TANICK: All right. My question was, had you ever mentioned in any of the communications you’ve made to any entity or person in writing or e-mail, electronically or blogs or Web site, anything about nausea?

LAURION: No, I don’t believe so.

TANICK: Have you ever told anyone about that, other than your lawyers?

LAURION: My family members.

TANICK: Okay. Was there some reason that you didn’t put that into any of your communications – – written communications or electronic communications?

LAURION: When I wrote and posted on two doctor Web sites, I’d just gotten home. I was upset. i did it relatively quickly, and it was probably just an error of omission. I did make note at a different, in response to some question about why I hadn’t contacted Dr. McKee directly, I said he didn’t strike me as somebody who was interested in my opinion, and that was based on my observation about the “Have you been nauseated” on interrupting. But no, I don’t – – I did not mention it in the – – in the – – in the on-line comments, and I don’t believe I mentioned it two days later when I wrote to St. Luke’s.

TANICK: And you wrote other communications as well about this later than that, did you not?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: How about your complaint to the board – – medical board?

LAURION: That was the same initial complaint. I wrote one letter that included , as an addressee, St. Luke’s Hospital and the board. It was, word for word, the same.

TANICK: All right.

LAURION: And it was sent to other entities, like the St. Louis County Social Services and things of that nature. It was, word for word, the same letter – –

TANICK: Okay. And those – –

LAURION: – – cut and pasted.

TANICK: And those were all prepared about two days after this incident?

LAURION: Four days, because I wrote the – – I wrote the “Rate your doctor” site and comments on the 22nd. I sent the letters on the 24th, I believe.

TANICK: Okay. Fair enough. And so all those communications  that you made occurred within five – – four or five – – five days of this incident. Right?

LAURION: Well, the incident was the 19th. I posted on the 22nd, and I wrote the letters on the 24th.

TANICK: So I’m right; it was within five days?

LAURION: Okay. Five days.

TANICK: Right. I just want – – and you’re saying the reason – – and I take it you tried to be as complete and detailed as possible in those postings and the complaints?

LAURION: No, I was trying to convey that he had behaved rather shabbily to my father, and I was not trying to give an exact word-for-word account of – –

TANICK: But you decided – – excuse me. Finish your answer.

LAURION: I think I did finish it.

TANICK: Okay. But I take it, then, that you were – – you were selective, then, in what you put in the blogs, and in your report – – in the complaints? You picked out certain things. You weren’t trying to – –

LAURION: I haven’t posted on any blogs.

TANICK: Just let me finish. You were selective in what you decided to put on the  – – on the Web site and what you told other people? By that, I mean you weren’t trying to give a verbatim account; you were trying to distill this and – – and give certain information, but not all the information. Right?

LAURION: I think my intent was to give all the information of what happened, and I think I simply omitted the – –

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: :Excuse me for interrupting.

TANICK: So the fact that this – – the dialogue about the nausea was not included previously in any of your communications was a matter of oversight on your part. Is that what you’re saying? You just forgot about that?

LAURION: I think so, yes.

TANICK: Was there anything – –

LAURION: But I’ve never gone back and tried to add that either.

TANICK: I didn’t ask you that. Was there any – – anything inappropriate that Dr. McKee did or said or didn’t do in connection with that nausea interaction?

LAURION: I thought that he blew off a comment that might have been important to him. He asked how long my father had nausea. My father gave him the wrong answer. I corrected the answer, and then he ignored me and went on with his examination.

TANICK: What do you mean “blew off”?

LAURION: Ignored. I told him that my father’s nausea had persisted longer than my father had said, and his only response to it was to ask me what my relationship was.

TANICK: How do you know he ignored it?

LAURION: He didn’t acknowledge it.

TANICK: Do you know whether he heard it or not?

LAURION: No, I don’t know. I’m sure he did.

TANICK: What were you expecting him to say?

LAURION: “Thank you.”

TANICK: Anything else?

LAURION: Pardon me?

TANICK: Anything else?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Was there anything else now that you recall occurred during the incident during the – – you said perhaps three to four minutes before you stepped out of the room?

LAURION: I don’t believe so.

TANICK: Okay. Now you – – then you and your mother and wife left the room, and you were outside the room while Dr. McKee was doing whatever he did, presumably examining your father, but you don’t know what he did there?

LAURION: No. I could hear him asking some questions.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: And approximately three or four minutes later, he came out and looked at us, turned his head to the right as he walked past us, and said, “You can go back in now” – –

TANICK: I take it no one – –

LAURION: – – but he kept walking.

TANICK: I take it no one recorded any of this? There was no – – you didn’t record this in any kind of machine, did you?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: All right. And nor did your wife or your mother, I take it. Right.

LAURION: No.

TANICK: And no one took notes at the time, did they?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Did anyone write – – to your knowledge, did you or your mother or your wife or father write any notes on this at some point – – at some point contemporaneous or relatively contemporaneous with this occurring?

LAURION: Yes. I wrote on two doctor rate your – – rate-your-doctor sites.

TANICK: But did you write any notes?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Did you write anything down on a piece of paper to remember it or anything like that?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: And neither did your wife or mother or father, to your knowledge?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: All right. Now you say that it was about three or four minutes before Dr. McKee strode out of the room. Is that right?

LAURION: Three to five, perhaps. My left knee bothers me, and I was standing in the hallway. Had it been any more length of time, I’d have had to ask for a chair to sit down on.

TANICK: And you said you were able to hear, though, what was going on in the room?

LAURION: No. I said I could hear him asking questions.

TANICK: All right. Could you hear the answers?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: All right. Was there some reason you couldn’t hear the answer?

LAURION: Because my father was being soft-spoken and because I was standing around the side of the doorway.

TANICK: What – – tell us what – – to the best of your recollection, what you heard Dr. McKee’s questions to be.

LAURION: I didn’t hear what they were. I could just hear from his tone of voice that it sounded like he was asking questions.

TANICK: Did his tone of voice sound unusual in any way?

LAURION: No. It just sounded like he was asking questions.

TANICK: You couldn’t hear what he said?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: How do you know he was asking questions?

LAURION: From the tone of his voice.

TANICK: How can you tell from the tone of voice whether someone is asking questions or not?

LAURION: It sounded like an interrogative tone of voice.

TANICK: And then you say Dr. McKee left the room?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: The three of you were standing outside of the room, and he walked out?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. And what – – tell us what your description of his departure was like.

LAURION: He was walking out the door, and we were immediately to the right of the door as you would go out of it. He turned his head 90 degrees and said, “You can go in now,” and then he continued walking over to the nurse’s station. There was a nurse sitting next to a large tub. I assumed she was a nurse. She might have been a HUC or a ward clerk or something of that nature. There was a woman in scrubs, in any event. And he went and stood directly behind her.

TANICK: How far away from you?

LAURION: I don’t know. I would – – I really don’t know. I was standing in the doorway. He went to the – – to the far left region of the nursing station, and I don’t know how large the nursing station is at St. Luke’s.

TANICK: Did you see him, what he did at the nursing station?

LAURION: Only long enough to see that he went and stood behind the nurse for a moment, and then I turned and went back into my father’s room.

TANICK: Did you hear anything he said to the nurse – –

LAURION: No, I did not.

TANICK: – – or she said? Then did the three – – did the three of you go back in the room together?

LAURION: We started to go back into the room. My wife was in the lead, I was behind her, and my mother was behind me. As we were going into the door, my wife stopped so abruptly that I bumped into her. She turned, and over her shoulder, she whispered, “Dennis, go cover your dad up.” Then she stepped around me and pushed my mother back into the hallway. I turned and looked at my father. He was lying on top of the covers. He was turned in a position that was not on his back, but not on his side. It was like somebody on their back had turned 45 degrees toward making a 90 degree turn. He had his hands gripping the bed rail – – both hands were gripping the bed rail. His face was pushed up against the bed rail. Had the bed rail not been there, it’s my impression that he would have rolled off the bed onto the floor. He was on top of the covers. There were no sheets or blankets over him. His gown was up around his knees, and I could see his testicles.

TANICK: So did you go in and cover him in some way?

LAURION: So I walked over and said, “Dad? Dad?” And at that point, he sounded like he was just waking up, and he said, “What?” And I said, “Dad, can I get you back in bed,” and he said something to the effect of, “Oh, yes.” So I pulled the covers down, got – –

TANICK: He was in bed?

LAURION: He was on the bed, not in the bed. I construe “in the bed” as being covered up, if that makes a difference. But anyway, he was on top of his covers, and I asked if I get him back into bed. I pulled the covers down around him, got him covered up, cranked the bed up a little bit so that he was in a seated – – in a semi-seated position. My mother and my wife came in at that point, and my mother said – – my wife said – – I think it was my wife, said, “Are you tired, Dad?” Do you want to just rest now? Should we leave?” And he said, he wanted to rest. So at that point, we left and took my mother to the restaurant for dinner.

TANICK: Okay. Did you have any further interaction with anyone at the hospital that day?

LAURION: I went up to the nursing station and I asked the young lady who was seated at the part of the nursing station at that point facing my dad’s room, and I said, “Who was that doctor who just saw my father?” And she gave me his name, and I said, “Who does he work for?” And the she said Northland Myology – – Neurology and Myology.

TANICK: What else?

LAURION: And then we left.

TANICK: You didn’t see Dr. McKee as you left at all?

LAURION: No. He was no longer there.

TANICK: Why did you ask for his name?

LAURION: Because I wanted to write to somebody to complain about him.

TANICK: Did you consider writing to Dr. McKee?

LAURION: No, for the reasons I’ve already mentioned.

TANICK: Because you thought he would ignore you or – –

LAURION: Yes, exactly.

TANICK: Did you think about calling and talking to him about this.

LAURION: No, I did not. I dismissed that concept.

TANICK: Why not?

LAURION: Because, first of all, I’d never have reached him, and for the second reason, I don’t think that he would have paid attention or even continued the conversation.

TANICK: Why do you say that?

LAURION: Because of his ignoring my comment about my father’s nausea.

TANICK: When you went back in the room, what was the condition or status of your father’s gown?

LAURION: It was at his knees.

TANICK: The bottom was at his knees or the top?

LAURION: Oh, no, the – – the bottom was at his knees, and his legs were open.

TANICK: Was the gown tied in the back?

LAURION: Only around the neck, the same as it had been before.

TANICK: [ Comment is absent from this display because it discusses an assertion never made in public. ]

LAURION: I did, because I don’t think – –

TANICK: Pardon?

LAURION: [ Comment is absent from this display because it discusses an assertion never made in public. ]

TANICK: You indicated that when Dr. McKee then left the room, did you – – that he said to you and, I take it, your wife and mother – – you were all kind of together there. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: He said, “You can go in now.” Right.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: So it’s not the case that he didn’t talk to you at all. Right? That’s not true.

LAURION: No, I said that on the rate-your-doctor site that he didn’t talk to us, and I realized later that, by my interpretation, he did not stop and give us any information about how the exam went or what my father’s condition was. I construed that as he didn’t talk to us. My intent in saying that  he didn’t talk to us was he didn’t have a conversation with us?

TANICK: But he did talk to you?

LAURION: In the sense that he said, “You can go in the room,” yes.

TANICK: Well, that’s talking, isn’t it?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. Did you and your wife and your mother have any discussion about this incident, then, that evening? I know you talked about when your father got home, but, you know, that evening right away you went to – – I mean, right after leaving the hospital, you all went out to dinner. Did you talk about this?

LAURION: Once I took my mother home, yes.

TANICK: You didn’t talk about it while your mother was present?

LAURION: I’m sorry. What?

TANICK: You didn’t talk about it when your mother was present?

LAURION: No, I talked to her in my mother’s home, but we didn’t discuss it at any great length.

TANICK: Well, what is it you did discuss that evening?

LAURION: Just a general sense that that this had not been a desirable hospital experience. We did not stay to discuss anything at great length, though, until two days after my father was home.

TANICK: All right. So you didn’t have any significant discussion with your mother, your wife, or your father until he came back home from the hospital – –

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: – – And you’ve told us everything that happened during that discussion. Right?

LAURION: I believe so.

TANICK: Did you have any discussions with – – strike that. John, I want to go for maybe about five, ten more minutes, and then we’ll take a break. Is that all right with you?

KELLY: That’s going to coincide just about exactly with my tolerance here.

TANICK: Well, we can – – we can take a break now if you want.

KELLY: Five, ten minutes will be fine.

TANICK: I think we’ll just finish this up in five or ten minutes, this portion of it.

TANICK: What you’ve told us up to now, Mr. Laurion, represents, to the best of your recollection, everything you can remember about the incident with Dr. McKee on April 29th – I’m sorry, April 19th, 2010, with your father in the hospital. Right?

LAURION: I think so, up to that point.

TANICK: Okay. And what you’ve given us and what you’ve told us are factual recitations of what you remember occurring. Right?

LAURION: They are my recollection of what happened.

TANICK: Well, they are the facts as you remember them. Right?

LAURION: Okay. Yes.

TANICK: All right. And did you have – – when was the next time that you had a discussion or communication – – and when I’m saying “communication,” I’m talking about any kind of Internet, blogs, Web sites, smoke signals, e-mails, any kind of communication in writing, orally, electronically, or otherwise with anybody else concerning this – – concerning Dr. McKee and what happened or what happened with your father, other than the conversation you said you had with your mother, your wife, and when your father was present when he got out of the hospital.

LAURION: I think it was approximately April 22nd.

TANICK: All right. That was the day after your father – – incidentally, your father got out of the hospital, I think, on April 21st.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. Which was a Wednesday?

LAURION: Yes. And the following day, he was still pretty much sleeping in his chair all day. On, I think it was April 22nd, I went to the Lakeside Post Office to get stamps. While I was still on the sidewalk, a woman approached from the other direction. , and I knew she was vaguely familiar. She called me by name, and I was embarrassed that I couldn’t remember her name. And then she said something – –

TANICK: Excuse me. Let me just stop you. Where were you in the Lakeside Post Office? Inside?

LAURION: I wasn’t in – – no, I was in front of the doorway, on the sidewalk.

TANICK: Coming in or leaving or standing in line or what?

LAURION: Getting ready to go in.

TANICK: So you were about to enter the building?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And you saw a woman approaching you?

LAURION: A woman facing from the other direction on the sidewalk, and she – –

TANICK: Was anyone with you?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: What were you going there for?

LAURION: Stamps.

TANICK: Go ahead.

LAURION: She – – she called me by my first name.

TANICK: What time of day was this, approximately?

LAURION: I think it was approaching 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

TANICK: Go ahead.

LAURION: And she – – she commented – – she asked how my retirement was, how I was enjoying my retirement from St. Mary’s – –

TANICK: Excuse me. Did you know who she was as she approached you?

LAURION: I knew she looked vaguely familiar. When she called me by my name and mentioned St. Mary’s, then I realized she was one of the ladies that would bring me material from outpatient surgery.

TANICK: Did you – – excuse me. Did you recognize her at that point  as “Oh, yeah, she’s one of the ladies who brought me records?”

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Go ahead.

LAURION: Okay. I don’t recall – – oh, so anyway, she commented that this was the first time she had seen me in blue jeans, because I always wore dress trousers and a tie.

TANICK: What was she wearing?

LAURION: I think she had on some kind of a zipper jacket, blue jeans, and some kind of slip-on shoes, like moccasin-type shoes, or the kind that don’t have shoe strings.

TANICK: Okay. Go ahead.

LAURION: And she asked how I was enjoying my retirement, and I commented that it was great, and I said something about “And how about you?” And she said, “I don’t work at St. Mary’s anymore.”

TANICK: What – – why did you say, “How about you”? What – – do you mean she was retired?

LAURION: No, I was just asking how have things been with you, or something of that nature. “How have you been,” it might have been.

TANICK: Sure.

LAURION: And – –

TANICK: She said, “I don’t work at St. Mary’s anymore”?

LAURION: Right. “I’m not there anymore.”

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: And I said then that – – something to that effect – – oh, and she had also commented that I was wearing a baseball hat, because I used to wear a fedora to work, and it would sit in an area near my desk. And then I commented that – – I said, “I was at St. Luke’s Hospital recently; my father had a stroke.” And I said, “He was visited by a doctor who should probably get the worst bedside manner in the world award.” And she said, “St. Luke’s. Dr. McKee?” And I said, “Why would you guess that,” or “how would you know to guess that?” And she said, “He’s a real tool.” At that point, I glanced into the Post Office, saw that there was nobody in front of the lady clerk there, and I – – we said goodbye, and I went inside and bought stamps.

TANICK: What did the woman do?

LAURION: I don’t know. I don’t know whether she had been visiting the store next to the Post Office or the – – there was a physical fitness on the other side of the Post Office.

TANICK: So you lost sight of her? She didn’t walk in the Post Office with you?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Have you seen her since?

LAURION: I’m sorry. What?

TANICK: Have you seen her since?

LAURION: Oh, no.

TANICK: Have you talked to her since?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Why is it you brought up St. Luke’s and that you had an encounter with a doctor with the worst bedside manner? What caused you to bring it up?

LAURION: I was upset about it. Blowing off steam. I felt that, as a nurse, she was a kindred spirit; that she was familiar with people telling horror stories about doctors.

TANICK: Is that what you consider it? A horror story?

LAURION: I consider it a very uncomfortable episode in my life.

TANICK: You consider what you told her to be very unfavorable of Dr. McKee, didn’t you?

LAURION: I said, and you can draw your own conclusions, that my father had a stroke and was at St. Luke’s, and he had an encounter with a doctor who should get the worst bedside manner award.

TANICK: Would you consider that to be an unfavorable comment?

LAURION: I would, yes.

TANICK: Would you consider that to be a deprecatory comment?

LAURION: I would, but I didn’t say the name of the person that I was saying it about.

TANICK: And would you consider that to be disparaging?

LAURION: I would.

TANICK: Would you consider it to be harmful to someone’s reputation?

LAURION: Only if I said his name.

TANICK: And did she, then, say, “Oh, you mean Dr. McKee”?

LAURION: She did.

TANICK: And what did you say?

LAURION: I said, “Why would you guess that,” or “how would you know to guess that?”

TANICK: And what did she say?

LAURION: She said, “He’s a real tool.”

TANICK: What did you say?

LAURION: I think I said, “I see my opening. I’m going in now. It was nice seeing you.”

TANICK: Did you acknowledge that she had – – that Dr. McKee was the doctor that had seen your father or not?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Pardon?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: You didn’t acknowledge that?

LAURION: (Shaking head)

TANICK: All right. Do you want to take a break? We’ve been going at it for an hour and a half.

KELLY: Yeah, that’s fine. It’s a good time to do it.

TANICK: Why don’t we take about a ten minute break here.

KELLY: All right. It works for me.

TANICK: Ready to resume?

KELLY: Ready to go.

TANICK: Okay, Mr. Laurion, we just took a short break. I want to ask you if there’s anything that you thought of during the break here that you want to change in your testimony, either amend or delete or add to, to make it full and complete.

LAURION: No, I didn’t think about my testimony during the break.

TANICK: Well, think about it for a minute now. I want – – I want to know if there’s anything different you want to add to what you said earlier this morning – – earlier this afternoon.

LAURION: To the best of my recollection, no.

TANICK: Okay. I think we finished up here by you talking about running into this nurse, or someone you know as a nurse from your days at St. Mary’s. Would you classify her as a friend?

LAURION: An acquaintance. A work friend.

TANICK: And do you remember how often that you interacted or saw her when she was working at St. Mary’s?

LAURION: No, I don’t know. I’m not even sure which department she was from, but each of the departments sent different women throughout the week. There might be two or three of them that were covering the day shift during the particular week.

TANICK: Do you have any recollection of how – – the frequency with which you saw her? I know you weren’t keeping track, but was this someone that you saw often, or see her once or twice a week, or is this something – – someone you saw infrequently?

LAURION: I don’t know. I saw one person from each department each work night.

TANICK: This woman, you’ve described in part and told us what she was wearing. She said that Dr. McKee is a “real tool”? Was that her words to the best of your recollection?

LAURION: Or “He’s a real tool.”

TANICK: Do you remember which one it was?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: But she did identify – – she did use the name Dr. McKee?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And what did you understand that to mean, if anything?

LAURION: I don’t know. Maybe he was a tool of medical help. I don’t use that term ordinarily, and I assumed it was a pejorative, but – –

TANICK: Was that the last thing she said to you, other than goodbye?

LAURION: Yes, I think so.

TANICK: And did you respond at all to what she said?

LAURION: No. That’s when I excused myself to go in the Post Office.

TANICK: How long did your interaction with her take?

LAURION: I don’t really know. Just a moment.

TANICK: Wasn’t she, in fact, leaving the Post Office as you approached the Post Office?

LAURION: I may have made that assuming. I saw her on the sidewalk. I don’t really know where she came from.

TANICK: Was she coming toward you or you toward her?

LAURION: We met at the door to the Post Office on the sidewalk.

TANICK: So wasn’t it the fact that you saw her coming out of Post Office?

LAURION: I parked near the Post – – almost in front of the Post Office, got out of my car, and then encountered her on the sidewalk as I was heading toward the door. I assumed that she was coming out of the Post Office although I didn’t ask her, and she didn’t tell me.

TANICK: Have you ever seen that woman before outside of the hospital setting? Have you ever seen her socially or in a grocery store or on the street or at any community events or anything?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: When you were working at St. Mary’s during that seven year span, did you work a particular time period or shift or did it end in a change? That’s a multiple question, but – –

LAURION: It was always an evening shift.

TANICK: It was evening?

LAURION: The hours were defined as be here after 4:30. I worked nights only, because all of the desks were occupied during the day. So I would come in any time after 4:30. When I worked at Social Security, I of course came in at 4:30. Later, when I wasn’t working there, I started gravitating toward 5:00 o’clock, 5:30, 6:00.

TANICK: Were there other people that you knew by name who worked with you or in close conjunction with you?

LAURION: Yes, there – –

TANICK: You mentioned your two supervisors consecutively. Who else were people who worked with you?

LAURION: In the inside of the medical records department, there were young people who wore a pager to take records to the emergency room or to the wards, and there were some people who assembled inpatient records. So on any given night, there might have generally only one or two people; sometimes as many as four, if their assembly – –

TANICK: Do you know – –

LAURION: – – was behind.

TANICK: – – the names of any of those people?

LAURION: I know people by their first name, yes – –

TANICK: Do you – –

LAURION: – – because I worked with them every night.

TANICK: Sure. Do you know anybody’s last name with whom you worked?

LAURION: I believe I knew one lady by her last name.

TANICK: And what was her full name and what did she do?

LAURION: Her name was Florence Miller.

TANICK: And what did Ms. Miller do?

LAURION: She assembled inpatient records.

TANICK: Was she a nurse?

LAURION: I’m sorry. What?

TANICK: Was she a nurse?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: She was a records person?

LAURION: She was a medical records clerk.

TANICK: Was she working there after – – at the time you retired?

LAURION: I believe so.

TANICK: Do you know if she’s still working there?

LAURION: I’m sure she wasn’t. She’s fourteen years older than I am.

TANICK: Is there anybody else whose last name – – who worked in conjunction with you and – –

LAURION: Yes. The young lady who worked most often with me.

TANICK: Mm-hmm.

LAURION: The one who carried a pager. Her name was Sarah Wisdorf.

TANICK: And is that Wisdorf?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And what did she do?

LAURION: She wore a pager and responded to calls from the emergency room or from wards to bring them charts.

TANICK: She was a records person too?

LAURION: A records transporter.

TANICK: Okay. And she was a younger lady?

LAURION: I think she was about 22 when I got hired.

TANICK: And is there anyone else whose last name you know?

LAURION: One of the girls who did a summary was named – – give me a moment, please.

TANICK: Sure. Take your time.

LAURION: Kim, and I think her last name was Hart.

TANICK: H-a-r-t?

LAURION: I don’t know how it was spelled.

TANICK: But you’re pronouncing phonetically. It’s Hart, H-a-r-t. I mean it’s Hart. Right.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And what did she do?

LAURION: Some – – some nights she used the pager, as did Ms. Wisdorf.

TANICK: Mm-hmm.

LAURION: Some nights she did assembly and, ultimately, before I retired, she either quit or transferred to some other department.

TANICK: Okay. Anyone else whose name you recall? Last name?

LAURION: I don’t believe so. I remember the other girls by their first names.

TANICK: Can you give us some of those names?

LAURION: Well, there was a Jennifer and a Jen. There was a girl named Heidi. And, for the most part, there was no turnover among them for much of the time I worked there, so I worked pretty much with the same young ladies.

TANICK: Anyone else’s name you recall? A colleague of yours? A work mate?

LAURION: Not that I recall, no.

TANICK: Was there anybody – – you talked about – – when you identified your supervisors, was there anybody in between you and the supervisor, like a manager of medical records, a manager or director?

LAURION: Between me and the supervisor?

TANICK: Yeah. Yeah.

LAURION: Or above the supervisor?

TANICK: Someone – – no, no, between you and them. Somebody who was an intermediate level.

LAURION: I never interacted with her, but there was a lady called a lead employee. She worked straight days – –

TANICK: What’s her – –

LAURION: As did the supervisor.

TANICK: And what’s her name? What was her name, or different people’s names?

LAURION: Debbie Miller.

TANICK: Debbie Miller?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And is she still there? Do you know?

LAURION: So far as I know. I haven’t heard that she doesn’t – –

TANICK: Was there anybody else whose name you recall that you worked with in conjunction with your – – with your job at St. Mary’s?

LAURION: No, I don’t think so.

TANICK: Was there a particular – – were there charge nurses that you knew of who kind of were the head nurses or lead nurses?

LAURION: I had nothing to do with them. No interaction with them.

TANICK: And I think you indicated that this particular woman that you ran into at the Post Office was a nurse? You knew her as a nurse?

LAURION: I think she was a nurse. I don’t actually know that. I think she was a nurse.

TANICK: Okay. And do you know what unit or department she worked in? I think you said you got a lot of records from different departments.

LAURION: Only that it would have been an outpatient department.

TANICK: Is there any greater specificity you have than that?

LAURION: No. I got records from several outpatient departments. Typically, one of the people going home would bundle everything up and – –

TANICK: How many – –

LAURION: – – either hand it to me or set it on my desk.

TANICK: How many outpatient departments were there?

LAURION: I’m not sure. I dealt with outpatient surgery. I dealt with endoscopy. I dealt with imaging of any kind: MRI, CT, X-ray. I worked with any outpatient department that wasn’t more invasive than endoscopy or outpatient surgery.

TANICK: With respect to the woman at the Post Office that you ran into, to who you ascribe this statement about Dr. McKee being a, quote, “real tool,” unquote, what was her approximate age?

LAURION: I don’t really know. I think she was younger than I, but older than the college girls.

TANICK: And so she wasn’t of retirement age?

LAURION: She was – – well, when I started there, I was 56. When I left, I was 60. Or I would have been younger than 56. But I approximated that she could have been maybe seven, ten, twelve years younger than I. She might have been in her 50s when I was in my 60s.

TANICK: Okay. That’s fine. And what race was she?

LAURION: White.

TANICK: And how would you describe her stature in terms of size, height, weight?

LAURION: A little bit shorter than myself.

TANICK: Which would be – – what’s your height?

LAURION: 5 foot 9, 5 foot 10.

TANICK: So she’d be in the 5 foot 5 range?

LAURION: I don’t know. I just know that I looked down when making eye contact.

TANICK: And – –

LAURION: I – –

TANICK: Go ahead.

LAURION: I sat at a desk that had a corral in front of it, saw I generally saw these women from (indicating) – – I ordinarily wasn’t seeing their waist.

TANICK: That’s fine. How about her size? Was she a heavyset woman? A slender woman?

LAURION: Trim.

TANICK: And how about her hair color?

LAURION: Either dark blonde or – – or light brunette. Graying.

TANICK: How about length of hair?

LAURION: I don’t recall. I would construe it as medium. Not a short cut and not something hanging down her back.

TANICK: Did she have any distinguishing features on her face? Did she wear glasses, for instance. Spectacles?

LAURION: I don’t recall.

TANICK: All right. Did she have any other distinguishing – – did she have any distinguishing features on her face?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: All right. How about on the rest of her anatomy that you could see. Did she have anything that distinguished her, that you can remember? If she wore – – a particular pendant she wore, or necklaces? You probably don’t wear necklaces in a hospital. But anything about her from her garb or apparel you can recall in her work days?

LAURION She wore scrub smocks when she was working.

TANICK: Would that be indicative of what department or unit, she might have worked in, or didn’t work in?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Do you know anything about her personally, whether she was married, single, divorced, had a family, kids? Anything like that?

LAURION: I recall that she said she was married.

TANICK: Pardon?

LAURION: I recall that she had said she was married.

TANICK: Okay. Did she ever – – do you know who her – – what her husband did, or did she ever mention anything about having kids or anything like that?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Do you know where she lived?

LAURION: No. That never came up.

TANICK: When you talked to her – – is there anything else about her that you can remember from a physical standpoint or personal standpoint?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: When you saw her at the Post Office did she – – she asked you, “How’s retirement going?” Right?

LAURION: “How do you like retirement?” “How is your retirement?” Something to that effect.

TANICK: And you asked her, “How’s it going with you,” or something like that?

LAURION: I think so.

TANICK: Did you ask her – – or did she mention anything about her being retired or not working at St. Mary’s anymore, or anything about what she was doing?

LAURION: I think I may have asked her something about, “Are you still working the same job,” or “Are you still in the same department,” or something to that effect. I said something that elicited a response that “I don’t work there anymore.”

TANICK: Did she tell you where she does work?

LAURION: No, and I didn’t ask.

TANICK: When she said, “I don’t work there anymore,” do you – – did you understand her to mean, “I don’t work at St. Mary’s” or “don’t work in that same unit or department”?

LAURION: I don’t know. I assumed it meant she worked somewhere else.

TANICK: Okay. Did you ask her how long it’s been since she’d been working there or anything like that?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: If you had to find her for some reason, let’s say she owed you money, hypothetically owed you lots of money and you had to find her, how would you go about finding her?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: Don’t know where to begin?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Have you made any efforts to locate her during the course of this legal dispute?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Do you know whether anyone has?

LAURION: You might have.

TANICK: I only asked you if you know anyone has.

LAURION: I don’t, no.

TANICK: I think you indicated that this encounter happened – – did you say about 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon? I think you said that.

LAURION: Sometime in the early afternoon.

TANICK: Early afternoon. Had you gone – – put on the Web sites at that point anything about your encounter with Dr. McKee?

LAURION: No. I believe I did it that night.

TANICK: Because all of your Web site comments refer to this reference to the tool. Right?

LAURION: I don’t know if it says it on the Web site. It does on the letter to St. Mary’s – – I mean St. Luke’s.

TANICK: Okay. All right. What was your reaction, if anything, when she mentioned – – made the comment about Dr. McKee being a, quote, “real tool”? What did that strike you as?

KELLY: Well, you’ve already asked that question twice, and it’s been answered twice. Take another swing at it, but there’s a limit.

LAURION: What was my reaction?

TANICK: Were you surprised that she said that? Did you feel that confirmed your view? Did you think that that was a – – did you wonder what she meant by that? All of the above or something else?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: Did you tell anyone about that encounter that you had with her?

LAURION: Not in detail, no, but I mentioned it to St. Luke’s.

TANICK: Did you tell your wife when you got home?

LAURION: Yes, I – – no, I – – I’m sure I must have.

TANICK: What do you remember telling your wife when you got home?

LAURION: That I had run into somebody that I used to work with at St. Mary’s and that I had mentioned that my father had a bad experience with a neurologist and that she had guessed his name and that I was embarrassed I couldn’t remember her name and couldn’t respond to her in kind.

TANICK: What did your wife say?

LAURION: I don’t recall. You’d have to ask her.

TANICK: Did you talk to anyone else about it?

LAURION: I don’t know if I discussed it with my parents or not.

TANICK: Do you have any idea how she would know of Dr. McKee, if at all, if she worked at St. Mary’s and he’s at St. Luke’s? But do you know how she would have known him at all?

LAURION: I just assumed that nurses have some kind of a grapevine. She could have worked at St. Luke’s before. He could have worked at St. Mary’s before.

TANICK: Did you have – – you’ve now told us everything that you know about this woman nurse that you ran into at the – -at the Post Office.

LAURION: So far as I know, yes.

TANICK: Now, you subsequently posted on various Web sites information, facts about Dr. McKee and this incident. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And tell me what was – – what prompted you to do that? What was the – – what were the circumstances leading up to your action to do so?

LAURION: Well, there was – – his visit angered me. There was the fact that these were called rate-your-doctor sites. Initially, I simply went online to a search engine and typed in “David C. McKee complaints.”

TANICK: Can you hold on for a minute here? I just want to get the chronology here. You got home – – you weren’t planning on – – when did you start – – first think about doing any kind of communication about Dr. McKee?

LAURION: I don’t know. I know that I did the postings on April 22nd.

TANICK: All right. And was that after you got back from the Post Office?

LAURION: I don’t recall.

TANICK: You don’t – – well, I’m sorry. Strike that. Apparently you did, because you told us before that you used the phrase “He’s a real tool,” so you picked that up at the Post Office?

LAURION:  Apparently.

TANICK: All right. Were you – – all right. Do you remember approximately what time of day you did this?

LAURION: I think it was the evening of April 22nd.

TANICK: Was there something that happened that day that prompted you to do that at that time?

LAURION: No. I was still harboring irritation over the visit. I wondered if this was an isolated instance. I googled complaints about Dr. – – “complaints” + “David C. McKee.”

TANICK: Where did you google that?

LAURION: Where did I google?

TANICK: Where did you do that?

LAURION: On Google.

TANICK: I mean where? At your home?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And what did you find out?

LAURION: I found several Web sites on which he already had profiles.

TANICK: And which Web sites were those?

LAURION: One was InsiderPages.com. One was Vitals.com. One was HealthGrades.com. What have I mentioned?

TANICK: InsiderPages.com, Vitals.com, HealthGrades.com, and there’s – –

LAURION: DoctorScore, DoctorScoreReport, DoctorScorecard, something with “doctor score” something.

TANICK: Mm-hmm. Any other ones?

LAURION: Not then. No.

TANICK: All right. Well, later on, you went to other Web sites. Right?

LAURION: No, but I have a Google alert that lets me see if his name comes up.

TANICK: All right. Well, let’s talk about those four you saw. You went onto Google, you looked up Google complaints about Dr. McKee. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And the reason you’re doing that, you were still harboring this resentment about the way your father had been treated. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And you were looking to see if this was an isolated or if he had other problems. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And what did you find when you checked out these scores?

LAURION: They all offered star reportings, where there were things like “response to my question” or “cleanliness of office” or “spends time with me”  and categories like that, that would offer – – where somebody could give so many stars out of eight, or so many stars out of six. And I found that the composite was that he was roughly at 50 percent.

TANICK: 50 percent of what?

LAURION: Well, four stars out of eight or five stars out of ten.

TANICK: On all of these?

LAURION: On those four, yes.

TANICK: All right. So he had – – he was rated on all four of those.

LAURION: I believe so, yes.

TANICK: And the ratings seemed to add up to an average rating somewhere in the middle, a middling rating. Is that what you’re saying?

LAURION: Approximately.

TANICK: All right. Did you know – – how were you able to know what a middle rating is?

LAURION: Because they display – – and one of them categorized. One said his rating is – – I believe “moderate” was the word.

TANICK: did you see any other information besides just conclusory ratings in terms of numbers or characterizations compared to actual specific verbiage from other people?

LAURION: I don’t recall.

TANICK: I don’t know if my question was real clear, but let me rephrase again. What you saw on there was an equivalent to a report card, in a sense?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: But there wasn’t – – you didn’t see any kind of essay material? You saw a score or a conclusion, but you didn’t see any kind of descriptive verbiage from patients or others who were talking about particular encounters they had with Dr. McKee, did you?

LAURION: I don’t know if I did that day or not. I know that I did on other days, but I don’t know at that point if there were any narratives or not.

TANICK: All right. “Narrative.” That’s a better word. Thank you. What kind of narratives did you ever see about Dr. McKee on any of these Web sites ever, from April 22nd to today?

LAURION: Well, on three of those Web sites somebody from San Francisco went in the day after I posted and said that he was a wonderful doctor, and somebody else from San Francisco said that he really did wonderful things for his or her MS.

TANICK: Do you know – – do you remember which Web site that was?

LAURION: I’m guessing that it would be those other than HealthGrades, because I found out HealthGrades does not allow narratives.

TANICK: Okay. Any other narratives that you’ve ever seen about Dr. McKee other than the two patients apparently from San Francisco who seemed to be favorable?

LAURION: Yes. There’s a woman on one of them, and I don’t recall which, who has recently posted that he didn’t seem to want to hear anything from her, so she went without visiting a doctor at all for five years, but her pain is now so bad that she’s going to have to see a doctor, but it won’t be him.

TANICK: How recent was that?

LAURION: I’m sorry. What?

TANICK: How recent was that?

LAURION: I don’t know. Since my posting, and closer to this date than to the original date.

TANICK: Did you ever contact that woman?

LAURION: No. There’s no contact information there.

TANICK: Any other postings that you’ve seen – – narratives about Dr. McKee?

LAURION: I thought there was one more, but I can’t recall it. Oh, yes, I recall. A lady posted he has a very dry sense of humor; you have to understand that his sense of humor is very dry. I think it was a lady.

TANICK: Did you contact her or try to?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Okay. Anybody else? Any other postings that you’ve seen about him?

LAURION: None that I can recall.

TANICK: What else happened, then, after you checked those four Web sites? This is the evening, I guess, of April 22nd. What did you do next?

LAURION: I originally thought that I had posted the same paragraph on all four of them. However, when I went back to look a couple of days later, it was only posted on two of them.

TANICK: Well, the next thing, I take it, is you posted something on somewhere?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: I posted on two of those Web sites.

TANICK: All right. And you thought you posted on four. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: What accounts for that discrepancy?

LAURION: I don’t know, but when I went back to look a couple of days later, there was no remark on Doctor Scorecard, and when I wrote to ask the sites to delete them, Health Grades wrote back something to the effect that “You must be mistaken. We don’t accept narratives. All you could have done is filled out the number of stars.”

TANICK: All right. So you think your posting only appeared on Insider Pages and Vitals?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Didn’t you have to enter the two other ones too? You thought you did at least?

LAURION: I thought I had, but apparently was mistaken.

TANICK: But your intent was to publish something on all four of them?

LAURION: I believe so.

TANICK: All right. And was it the same narrative on all of those?

LAURION: Yes. I just cut and pasted it.

TANICK: All right. How did you do that? How did you do that physically? Were you sitting down at some machine?

LAURION: I was sitting at the computer, and I typed it on Microsoft Word and then I cut and pasted it into those two Web site “remarks” sections.

TANICK: Didn’t you have to enter the two other ones too? You thought you did at least?

LAURION: I thought I had, but apparently was mistaken.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: I couldn’t have at Insider. I mean, excuse me – –

TANICK: HealthGrades.

LAURION: HealthGrades. I could not have at HealthGrades, so I apparently may have just given him a number of stars.

TANICK: Okay. And did anyone know you were doing this at the time you did it?

LAURION: I hadn’t discussed it with anybody, no.

TANICK: And did you do this spontaneously?

LAURION: I really don’t know how to answer that. I had had four days since – – or five days since my father had been in the hospital.

TANICK: So this is something you planned to do? You intended to do it?

LAURION: I don’t – –

TANICK: Strike that question. I’m going to withdraw the question. “Planning” might not be right, but this is what – – you did this intentionally, did you not?

LAURION: I think had I checked complaints about Dr. McKee and not found any profiles, I would not have overcome inertia of rest and initiated a profile for him.

TANICK: All right. So what prompted you to put a profile on there was – –

LAURION: No, I didn’t put a profile.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: I saw a profile – –

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: to which I added my comments.

TANICK: All right. What was – – had you not seen a profile, you wouldn’t have put anything, but it was seeing a profile that prompted you to put something on there. Right?

LAURION: I don’t know. Looking in back in hindsight, I think that’s possible.

TANICK: And what was it about the profile that prompted you to put your own comments on there?

LAURION: The fact that the reports struck me as mediocre, to begin with, vindicated my sense that it was appropriate to say something.

TANICK: Why?

LAURION: I really don’t know how to answer that any better.

TANICK: What was it about the mediocrity that caused you to put something on there? Are you suggesting that if it had been a higher rating, it wouldn’t have, or if it were a lower rating, you wouldn’t have?

LAURION: If he had had a high rating, I might have perceived that I caught him on a bad day, let’s just let it go.

TANICK: So what was in your mind was is the fact that you saw him being rated what you term mediocre prompted you to say, “Well, I guess I better put something” – – “I should put something on here too because apparently other people have had some difficulty too”?

LAURION: I really don’t know. I felt that it justified my saying something.

TANICK: All right. His mediocre rating, in your mind, justified you putting your view on there. Right?

LAURION: It may have acted as a catalyst for me.

TANICK: All right. How long did it take for you to put on the material?

LAURION: As long as it took to type it and stick it on there.

TANICK: All right. Did you compose it all at once or did you – –

LAURION: No, I wrote it at once.

TANICK: I take it, it would have been a couple minutes?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Did you consult or refer to anything when you put on the – – put that on the Web site?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Did you look at any notes or documents you had written up or anything like that?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: All right. So what you were putting on there was your recollection of what had occurred at this incident on February 23rd – – April 28th – – the 19th. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: It was your factual recitation of what you recall. Right?

LAURION: There again, I don’t know what you mean. I recited it as accurately as I recalled.

TANICK: Well, you believed you were putting facts on there. Right?

LAURION: I believed that I was giving an accurate account of what happened.

TANICK: A factual account?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: You don’t know if you were stating facts or not?

LAURION: I was stating my recollection, my impressions.

TANICK: All right. Let’s mark this. (Whereupon Deposition Exhibit 1 was marked for identification.) Mr. Laurion, I’m showing you what the court reporter has marked as Exhibit 1, do you know what it is?

LAURION: It’s a copy of what I’ve said, but I don’t know what it is copied from.

TANICK: Is this the sub – – is this the substance of what you placed on at least two Web sites, from your testimony, Vitals – – http://www.Vitals.com, and http://www.InsiderPages.com/doctors/David McKee, M.D., Duluth. Is this the posting?

LAURION: I don’t know if this is the posting. This is my text.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: You’re giving it to me out of context.

TANICK: Well, what’s the context?

LAURION: Well, you haven’t printed a Web screen. I don’t know if you typed this on a piece of paper and handed it to me. I don’t know the source of this copy.

TANICK: Okay. Are these the words you used in your posting?

LAURION: I believe so.

TANICK: All right. Is there anything on here that you think has been added to your posting?

LAURION: (Reviewing document.) I believe these are my words.

TANICK: Did you – – this indicates – – it says 4/23/10. Now, that suggests it was posted on April 23rd. Do you know what would account for that?

LAURION: It might be that I did it late enough in the evening that it was past midnight or it might be on the East Coast and it was midnight there.

TANICK: Did you put the heading on here? “McKee David C MD – Northland Neurology & Myology?

LAURION: Oh, no. That would have been – – I didn’t label them at all. He had profiles.

TANICK: Okay. Did you put on there, “Duluth Minnesota neurologists, 4/23/10,” colon, “I thought you died.”

LAURION: I did not put the “Duluth MN Neurologists either.”

TANICK: How about the, quote, “I thought you died,” unquote?

LAURION: There may be a headline for me to fill in . I don’t recall.

TANICK: You don’t recall if those are your words or not?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: But the rest of this says – – the rest of this document is – – are the exact words that you posted on at least two Web sites?

LAURION: I think so.

TANICK: Was there anything about – – I want you to read it. Is there anything on there – –

LAURION: I have read it.

TANICK: All right. Is there anything on here that you don’t think is your words?

LAURION: I don’t believe so, no.

TANICK: Is there anything on – – that’s not on here that you posted at that time? Is there anything deleted from here?

LAURION: No, I don’t think so.

TANICK: Just a minute. Well, if I understand you correctly, you’re telling us that this was posted on InsiderPages.com, Doctors and – – www – – Vitals. com, and you thought you posted it on the other two, but those apparently didn’t get on there, according to to what you know?

LAURION: It was actually only posted on Insiders and – –

TANICK: Vitals?

LAURION: – – Vitals.

TANICK: And what is InsiderPages.com?

LAURION: It’s a rating site on which people can rate things.

TANICK: And who has access to it?

LAURION: I suppose anybody with a computer.

TANICK: Anybody in the world?

LAURION: that would be anybody with a computer, yes.

TANICK: Okay. And do you know who has access to Vitals.com? Or, I’m sorry, what is Vitals.com?

LAURION: That’s a rating site, more specifically just for medical – – excuse me, medical sources.

TANICK: What’s the difference? Does InsiderPages have profiles of various medical personnel? Doctors?

LAURION: Among other profiles.

TANICK: They have profiles other people besides medical people?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: What kind of people?

LAURION: Plumbers. Hotels.

TANICK: Attorneys?

LAURION: Restaurants.

TANICK: Attorneys?

LAURION: Excuse me?

TANICK: Attorneys?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: All right. But it’s – – it’s a source that provides comments or ratings about people and services and entities. Right? In a general sense. Right?

LAURION: Yeah. I think most of the comments come down to subjective comments about personality, though.

TANICK: And how about Vitals.com. That profiles – – is that profiles about medical people?

LAURION: It’s a site where you can go to look and see if your doctor has a profile, and if he does, you can see what people have said and what they’ve rated, or if there’s not a profile, you can start one.

TANICK: All right. And again, the whole world with a computer has access to that. Right?

LAURION: I suppose so, yes.

TANICK: Have you ever consulted either of those Web sites before?

LAURION: Not those, no.

TANICK: Okay. And I take it the reason you were drawn to those two Web sites is because – – after Googling his name – –

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: – – it came up that he was listed on those two. Right?

LAURION: He was listed on all four of them.

TANICK: On all four? Right. Was he listed on anything else?

LAURION: I think he was, but I didn’t go any further than the first four.

TANICK: Why not?

LAURION: I don’t know. I ran out of steam.

TANICK: You have various quotes in this document, and you’re quoting various people here – – well, not various. You’re quoting Dr. McKee at various points, and you’re quoting your wife at two points here, and you’re then quoting this friendly – – friend nurse. Right? Those are quotes. Right?

LAURION: They are my impressions of what was said, yes.

TANICK: Well, I take it when you put it in quotes, you’re saying that this is, to the best of your recollection, verbatim what was said?

LAURION: My intention was to separate it from the rest of the text that was what I’m saying now.

TANICK: Are those quotes verbatim, to the best of your knowledge?

LAURION: They were at the time.

TANICK: Well, do you think they are now? Has something changed?

LAURION: Well, after hearing three of my relatives say that they don’t think he said 44 percent, when I wrote to St. Luke’s, I did not refer to “44 percent” specifically. That was my impression of what he said. I later learned that was not my wife’s impression of what he said. “Therapists? You don’t need therapy.” That’s an exact quote. “That doesn’t matter” is an exact quote. “It matters to us. Let us go into the hall.” That is an exact quote.” And, so far, as I know, “Dr. McKee is a real tool” is a quote.

KELLY: Just so that we can identify this for the record, what is the source of this particular Exhibit 1, Counsel?

TANICK: Don’t know. It is what it is.

KELLY: All right.

Whereupon Deposition Exhibit 2 was marked for identification.

The Reporter: Exhibit 2.

LAURION: You’re handing this to me?

TANICK: Yeah. You’ll have a copy there, Counselor. Just give me a minute, please. Maybe I don’t have an extra copy of it. All right, Mr. –

KELLY: Well, wait a minute.

TANICK: I don’t have a copy there.

KELLY: Well, we’ll get some copies.

(Reporter’s note: Mr. Kelly stepped out of the room briefly.)

TANICK: All right. Are you ready?

LAURION: (Nodding head.)

TANICK: Mr. Laurion, on Exhibit 2, do you know what that it?

LAURION: I know that it is my words. I don’t know what it is derived from.

TANICK: Well, let me just represent to you and tell you what I think it is. I’m not testifying, but if this refreshes your recollection, I believe this is the original – – this is a posting from the InsiderPages.com Web site. That’s what I’ll represent it to you as.

LAURION: Then I have to clarify the question.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: Why did you not print the whole Web page so that it could be seen in its context?

TANICK: Well, I’m asking you. Okay?

LAURION: I’m asking you to clarify the question.

KELLY: Just a minute.

TANICK: My question – Go ahead. Let me finish here. Can you identify this as something that you posted on InsiderPages.com.

LAURION: I can post it – – I can verify that it is my words. I don’t know where you have taken it from.

TANICK: Okay. Do you recall posting those words on InsiderPages.com?

LAURION: I do.

TANICK: Okay. And this was posted on or about April 22nd. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And this is the  – – this is the – – the substance it the same as Exhibit 1?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Mark that.

(Whereupon Deposition Exhibit 3 was marked for identification.)

The Reporter: Exhibit 3.

TANICK: Mr. Laurion, do you recognize what Exhibit 3 is?

LAURION: Again, it is the words that I said.

TANICK: Did you post this on some Web site, if you know?

LAURION: I have already indicated I posted it on the two that I mentioned.

TANICK: Do you know which one, if any, this post is taken from?

LAURION: Again, it is the words that I said.  I have already indicated I posted it on the two that I mentioned. I can verify that it is my words. I don’t know where you have taken it from.

. . .

TANICK: You had some discussion with your mother and wife about, “What is it Dr. McKee said in the room,” Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And there was some discrepancies as to what they – – what the three of you heard?

LAURION: I would say differences.

TANICK: All right. You said you heard this 44 percent. Your wife said she heard some kind of reference to a percent, but not sure of the exact, and your mother said she heard something, a reference to mortality, but not necessarily tied to a percentage. Is that right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. So you went and checked it out, or you went to Wikipedia and you saw this 44 percent. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And you felt, well, that confirms; I guess he must have said it, because that’s what Wikipedia says. Right.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And you say you did that after your posting. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. How much after your posting did you do that?

LAURION: After I spoke to my parents, and presumably before I wrote to St. Luke’s.

TANICK: All right. Well, you wrote to St. Luke’s on April 22nd.

LAURION: Then it would have been after – April – to St. Luke’s, I may still quote that figure.

TANICK: Right. So you must have seen it before you wrote to St. Luke’s?

LAURION: No, I did not. I heard it before I wrote to St. Luke’s.

TANICK: All right. My – all right. My question was when you – when you went to look – when you saw it in Wikipedia.

LAURION: I went down and looked it up after the family conversation about what had been said. When I showed it to my wife, and she still insisted she hadn’t heard 44 percent, so I didn’t make any more reference to 44 percent.

TANICK: But I take it, then – – I’m just trying to get the time period here, if I can. You wrote your letter to St. Luke’s , I believe, on August – – I’m sorry, April 22nd.

LAURION: I believe so. I wrote some April 22nd and – –

TANICK: And some were – –

LAURION: – – copied some on April 24th.

TANICK: You’re right. Some of the letters were written April 22nd and some were written April 24th. But at any rate, in all of those letters, you reference – – in those letters – – pardon me. In those letters – –  and I’ll show them to you, but I didn’t see the reference to the 44 percent. And I’ll show you the letters in a moment, but, I mean, do you remember not – – consciously not putting in the 44 percent in the letters to the various institutions?

LAURION: At some point, I made that decision, yes. I don’t recall the exact date.

TANICK: All right. And why – – why did you make that decision?

LAURION: Because my wife didn’t feel that she had – – that that’s what he said.

TANICK: I thought you said, though, that you looked at Wikipedia and that kind of confirmed your view?

LAURION: I looked at Wikipedia after having a conversation with my parents and with my wife at my father’s house.

TANICK: So you felt that Wikipedia confirmed what you heard, but by that time you had already written the letters. Is that right?

LAURION: By that time, I had already conformed my wife’s saying that she didn’t think a specific figure was said or that a specific figure – – one said it was – – excuse me, unintelligible.

TANICK: Where did you find the Wikipedia? Where did you find that Wikipedia entry? Or a Wikipedia entry about stroke? Where did you find that? Was that on your computer at home?

LAURION: I looked it up.

TANICK: I know, but where did you look it up?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: Did you go to a library to look it up?

LAURION: No, I don’t know.

TANICK: Did you look it up on a computer?

LAURION: Obviously, I looked it up on a computer.

TANICK: Do you remember whose computer you looked it up on?

LAURION: No, I don’t.

TANICK: Do you remember what computers you were looking up – or using in April of 2010?

LAURION: I have used my father’s computer at his home. I’ve used either of my sons’ computers at their homes.

TANICK: All right. How about your computer at your home?

LAURION: I have, yes.

TANICK: How about your computer – – do you have a computer at your place of work or business?

LAURION: It’s the same computer.

TANICK: That’s one you have at home?

LAURION: Yes

TANICK: All right. So if one were trying to – if one were trying to locate where – where – when you saw that Wikipedia entry – if you were trying to locate it, how would you go about locating it?

LAURION: Where I’d locate it?

TANICK: When? I’m sorry. When? If someone – if there is an issue, “When did Mr. – when did Dennis Laurion go on a computer and find this Wikipedia reference to the 44 percent?” If someone were just trying to ascertain that, how would they do that to your knowledge?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: How would you do it?

LAURION: I wouldn’t because I know when I looked it up.

TANICK: What if someone said, “Can you show us” – “Can you substantiate or corroborate when you looked it up?”

LAURION: No, I would have to tell them that my stepson came in November and fixed our computer and refigured it and put on new profiles and, so far as I know, new software.

TANICK: Therefore, what?

LAURION: I – I don’t know.

TANICK: Well, I take it, then, that you’re telling us that you presumably looked up the Wikipedia posting – Wikipedia on your own computer.

KELLY: He hasn’t said that.

TANICK: No, I said, “I take it.”

KELLY: You’re putting words in his mouth. He hasn’t said that.

TANICK: All right. Well, I’ll take them – all right. Well, you don’t have to argue with me. You don’t have to shout. I’ll take it out. I’ll take it out of your mouth and put it in my mouth.

TANICK: Is it the case that you read that on your own computer?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: So – – all right. Is there any source material you looked up in connect with – – are there any sources you examined in connection with this incident with Dr. McKee other than Wikipedia? Did you look at other medical treatises, other medical documents, anything else?

LAURION: I – –

TANICK: With source – –

LAURION: I don’t believe – –

TANICK: – – major – –

LAURION: – – so.

TANICK: Mark that as exhibit 4.

KELLY: Isn’t that Exhibit 5?

TANICK: I’m sorry. Is that Exhibit 5? Is that Exhibit 5?

REPORTER: Yes. I’m sorry. Exhibit 5.

(Whereupon, Deposition Exhibit 5 was marked for identification.)

TANICK: Do you see – – do you have Exhibit 5 in front of you?

LAURION: I do.

TANICK: Mr. Laurion, what is that?

LAURION: That’s a print from DoctorScoreCard.

TANICK: And do you know what it is?

LAURION: Yes. It’s a copy of the Duluth News Tribune article.

TANICK: All right. Did you post this on there?

LAURION: I did.

TANICK: And on the first – – this is a scorecard or a – – well, a scorecard for Dr. McKee. Right?

LAURION: That’s what the site [ is ] called, yes.

TANICK: All right. And it says “Average score,” 10 is best; 1 is worst. This is a 1 rating. Who put that in there if you know?

LAURION: I don’t know. I just know that I posted the comment, that I posted a copy of the Duluth News Tribune.

TANICK: Okay. And do you know when you posted that? I take it, it was after the Article appeared, so – –

LAURION: Yes. I don’t recall the date.

TANICK: The article was published on or about June 12th, 2010.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: If you look at the bottom of page 2 here of these exhibits, it says “Overall score given by ‘Anonymous’ on 9/2/10”. Would you have been “Anonymous”?

LAURION: I don’t know. I don’t recall if I filled in a score.

TANICK: Okay. Do you – – how did you post this on DoctorScoreCard?

LAURION: I don’t recall that either. I may sent it as an e-mail attachment or I may gone to the site and inserted it into “Remarks.”

TANICK: Well, why did you do that?

LAURION: Why?

TANICK: Yes.

LAURION: Because I think if somebody is suing his patients, it’s appropriate for other people to know that. It’s a public record.

TANICK: I guess I didn’t ask you that. I don’t think I asked you why you – – I think you told us what prompted you to put the postings on Vitals and InsiderPages, but what was your purpose in doing it?

LAURION: In doing what?

TANICK: In posting – – in making those postings about your encounter with Dr. McKee. You told us, I think, what prompted you to do it, that you said you saw he had a profile there. But what was your purpose? What was your goal or objective?

LAURION: I think it was simply to state a case of bad behavior from that individual while sticking to not causing any conclusions. I didn’t make any reference to his skill as a doctor, but I –

TANICK: Well – go ahead.

LAURION: – felt the site exists for that purpose.

TANICK: For what purpose?

LAURION: If you see a doctor, you can go there and rate him. You can tell good things about him and you can tell bad things about him.

TANICK: And you told bad things?

LAURION: I told that one episode. I didn’t make any predictions or characterizations.

TANICK: And I take it, though, you wanted the world at large to see that, that’s why you posted it there. Right?

LAURION: Yes, it was a site where people list their ratings and they compare with each other.

TANICK: Okay. And you recognize that the people who would be checking that site would include people who are interested or inquiring about Dr. McKee?

LAURION: No, because I’ve read a number of Web sites that say that people should just take those sites with a grain of salt and not pay any attention to them.

TANICK: Who did you think might be in the audience who would see the postings you made?

LAURION: I didn’t really care. It was more important to me to say it than who was going to read it.

TANICK: You didn’t care  – – you didn’t care what the effect would be in any way?

KELLY: He didn’t say that, Counsel. Objection. You’re putting words into his mouth.   And that wasn’t framed in the form of a question, so I object to it as well.

TANICK: Fair enough. Did you care about what effect the posting would have?

LAURION: I don’t think I thought about the effect at that time.

TANICK: Were you indifferent to the effect?

LAURION: No, because ultimately I removed it.

TANICK: Well, when you posted it, did you have any thought about what effect it might have?

LAURION: No, I didn’t think about it beyond my right to say it.

TANICK: So what effect – – is it the case that what effect it had wasn’t something of concern to you when you posted it?

LAURION: I don’t know if that’s accurate. I was concentrating on my right to say it.

TANICK: Were you thinking about what effect it might have on people who read it?

LAURION: No, I think at the moment it was still close enough to my father’s episode that I was blowing off steam.

TANICK: How angry were you when you wrote that?

LAURION: My father never appeared vulnerable to me before. After Dr. McKee saw him, I was incredibly angry.

TANICK: Now, Dr. McKee had seen him on April 19th. This is – – by the time you’re doing your postings, it’s about three – – three or four days later, on April 22nd or so. Right?

LAURION: (Nodding head.)

TANICK: Incredible anger had well up, had it not?

LAURION: I can’t answer that either.

TANICK: Well, were you still angry when you did the posting?

LAURION: I was still irritated, yes.

TANICK: Were you still angry?

LAURION: I don’t know. I was upset.

TANICK: Was there any other reason for you to do those postings other than, you say, to blow off steam, to express your thoughts?

LAURION: No, and on the – – I believe the 8th – – 7th or 8th of May, I decided that I should concentrate on the actual context with peer agencies rather – –

REPORTER: I’m sorry. “Context with” what?

LAURION: Peer, P-e-e-r, agencies. And I wrote to the sites and asked them to delete my postings.

TANICK: Had you ever, in the past, Mr. Laurion, ever done any kind of postings expressing negative – – any negativity about any other kind of medical provider?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Have you ever done so since your encounter with Dr. McKee?

LAURION: Complaint letters?

TANICK: No. Have you posted anything on Web sites, Internet, e-mails, blogs, about any negative reactions or encounters with medical personnel?

LAURION: Since this time?

TANICK: Yeah, since then. You said you didn’t do it before.

LAURION: I don’t believe so.

TANICK: All right. Have you ever posted anything on Web sites or Internet sites or e-mails or blogs about your – – about negative encounters you’ve had with any kind of service institutions, organizations, retail businesses, any kind of negative encounters in the business community?

LAURION: Yes, I posted a review on Insiders – – no, excuse me, on Trip Advisor.

TANICK: Is that about Howard Johnson’s?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Have you done anything other than that?

LAURION: Since then?

TANICK: Yeah, at all. Since, before, during.

LAURION: I don’t really know. I’ve been a member of Trip Advisor for maybe two years, and I think all of my other postings were compliments.

TANICK: Is Trip Advisors an organization that people belong to that exchange information about travel and trips they’ve taken?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And people can kind of put on there whatever they want?

LAURION: Within reason, I suppose. I’m sure it’s moderated, but you can describe restaurants or hotels, local sites of interest.

TANICK: After you did your – – excuse me. After the postings that you made on or about April 22nd, that evening, or maybe it didn’t get posted till the next day, but did you have any – – in the ensuing next day or two, did you have any further dealings with this matter involving Dr. McKee? Anything you did, or talked to anyone, or did anything else happen with respect to this McKee matter?

LAURION: The next day?

TANICK: Yeah, the next day or the following day, or the next couple days?

LAURION: I looked at the sites to see if my comments were posted.

TANICK: And they were posted on two, but not the other two. Right?

LAURION: Exactly.

TANICK: Did you – – did you ever ascertain how many people made hits or contacts on any of those sites?

LAURION: No, I don’t have a – – I wouldn’t – – I don’t know how I would do that.

TANICK: Why did you check to see if you site – – or your comments were posted?

LAURION: Just to be thorough, to see if they were there.

TANICK: You wanted them to be there, I take it?

LAURION: I did at that point, yes.

TANICK: Did you subsequently – – now, you sent a number of letters to various institutions. I’ve counted up at least twelve, and maybe up to eighteen different institutions.

KELLY: Objection in this respect. He sent one letter to a number of institutions. That’s the fact.

TANICK: All right. How many different – – how many letters did you – – how many different institutions did you send letters to complaining about Dr. McKee? Approximately.

LAURION: I would say approximately fourteen.

TANICK: All right. And the letter was identical to each one, other than who it was addressed to. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: TANICK: All right. And those letters were written in the time frame – – in the time period of April 22nd, April 23rd, April 24th, right in there?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And were any of those written before your postings, if you remember?

LAURION: I don’t believe so. I believe the chronology is that I posted on the Internet sites and then – – although I may have written the draft of the letter and then just extracted that one paragraph to use on the Internet before sending the letter to the addressees.

TANICK: All right. Well, let me just focus in on that for a minute, if I can. Can you – – is there some – – can you recall what the chronology – – the sequence was of that, to the best of your recollection? Do you remember doing a draft first, or the Web site first, or the letters first, or some of the letters? If we were trying to reconstruct it, what would – – how would we reconstruct the timing?

LAURION: I’m not sure whether I extracted that paragraph from a rough draft or if I later used that paragraph with the modification about the 44 percent when I wrote to sources.

TANICK: All right. The source – – the – – and you mentioned this before, and I want to make sure we’re complete and fair here. These sources – – the letters to the sources, these fourteen, I think you said, had – – included essentially what was in your Internet postings?

LAURION: I think so.

TANICK: But you modified it in certain respects. It was – – it was similar, but not identical?

LAURION: I – –

TANICK: Is that fair?

LAURION: – – don’t know that either.

TANICK: Well, you did say you deleted the 44 percent hemorrhaging – – hemorrhage to death factor. Right?

LAURION: I don’t know if we’ve – – is that my letter to them? (Indicating.)

TANICK: Yeah.

LAURION: You can look at that paragraph and tell me whether I had or not.

TANICK: All right. Let me ask you this, Mr. Laurion. I’m just jumping back to our discussion about your computer and your – – your computer activity. Have you taken – – have you done anything to remove from any of the hard drives of any of your computers that you’ve used any information regarding Web sites you’ve visited?

LAURION: No, I wouldn’t know how to do that.

TANICK: How about your son-in-law. Did he –

LAURION: He’s not my son-in-law. He’s my stepson.

TANICK: Stepson. I’m sorry.

LAURION: When we came back from dinner with my – at my sister’s house, our computer was no longer working. The computer was given to my wife by her son. He gets rid of his every five years and he brings it to us. So, he was here right before Christmas and he got our computer working again. What he did to it, I don’t know.

TANICK: So you don’t know if he’s removed anything from your hard drives that would be reflective of Web sites you’ve visited in connection with this matter concerning Dr. McKee? You don’t know one way or the other?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: How would you find out?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: Well, one way would be to check your hard drive. Right?

LAURION: If somebody wanted to look at all of my finances and my passwords and my letters to my mother and so forth?

TANICK: The – – the various letters you wrote to the fourteen institutions, I mean I’m going to see if I can identify them and, you know, tell me if I’m missing one. I think you sent – – you sent to – – and essentially you sent the same letter. Right? We talked about that.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: It was the same – – the exact same letter to various institutions – –

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: – – other than the salutation. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And who composed that?

LAURION: I did.

TANICK: Did you have any input from anybody?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Did you show it to anybody before you sent it, like your wife or your mother or father or anybody?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: And did you use any material – – did you use any notes or source material or anything in connection with those various letters?

LAURION: No. I simply drafted it.

TANICK: And you sent it to St. Luke’s Hospital. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Why?

LAURION: Because he has privileges from St. Luke’s, and at that point, I thought that somebody with an M.D. after his name would call him in and say, “We don’t like getting complaints like this. Could you be a little friendlier in the future, and we’ll consider this over.”

TANICK: So the reason you wrote to St. Luke’s – you wanted somebody in authority there to admonish Dr. McKee. Right?

LAURION: I wanted somebody to tell him that they either felt that that was poor behavior or that the writer thought that was poor behavior, and we don’t like getting letters like this.

TANICK: Did you have any communications back from St. Luke’s?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Was that Dr. Gary Peterson?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: He was the medical director there. Right?

LAURION: I’m not sure what his title is, but he’s the senior medical officer, by whatever name.

TANICK: And what – what did he tell you?

LAURION: Initially I got a letter from him that said that Dr. McKee is not their employee, and that, therefore, his recourse was limited to giving a copy of my complaint to Dr. McKee, and that he had done so.

TANICK: And then what?

LAURION: Subsequently, I had a phone call from a woman whose name I don’t remember, but she said she worked in the patient advocate office, and she said that her supervisor, whose name I also don’t remember, suggested that I should talk to Dr. Peterson by phone. I called and left a message asking to speak to him, and he called me back.

TANICK: And approximately when was this?

LAURION: I don’t recall.

TANICK: This was within weeks, I take it, of the incident?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Last spring?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And what did – – did you have a discussion with Dr. Peterson?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Tell us, to the best of your recollection, what you remember discussing with him.

LAURION: I recall asking him why he was distancing himself from Dr. McKee, since their Web site says Dr. McKee is on their staff. And the bulk of the phone call was Dr. Peterson’s giving me a lecture about the difference between employees and staff, and that “staff means they have privileges, but they’re not our employees.”

TANICK: All right. Well – –

LAURION: And he regrets the episode happened, but there’s very little more he can do, or maybe there’s nothing more he can do.

TANICK: Did you talk to Dr. Peterson about the substance of your letter?

LAURION: I don’t recall.

TANICK: All right.

LAURION: I recall more what he said.

TANICK: All right. Do you remember what you said?

LAURION: It was basically an expression of my disappointment that they were giving my father a patient bill of rights that said he had certain rights to courtesy, and now they’re saying they have no enforcement mechanism.

TANICK: He responded by talking about the difference between an employee and an independent contractor?

LAURION: Yeah. (Nodding head.) I’m sorry. Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Did you do anything in response to that?

LAURION: I don’t believe so.

TANICK: All right. Were you satisfied with Dr. Peterson’s responses?

LAURION: I was disappointed.

TANICK: Were you angry about it?

LAURION: I wouldn’t say angry. I would say that I was disappointed and that I envisioned this as perhaps a self-fulfilling prophecy.

TANICK: Another institution you sent your letter to was the Office of Quality Monitoring. Do you remember that?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: What is that?

LAURION: It’s an agency that acts as an advocate or overseer for Medicare patients.

TANICK: Agency of what?

LAURION: Of the federal government.

TANICK: And you knew of them from your Social Security work?

LAURION: No, actually I didn’t.

TANICK: How did you find out who – – how did you find out who they are?

LAURION: By researching medical sources for Minnesota.

TANICK: And why did you want to write to them or why did you write to them?

LAURION: Because my father was a Medicare patient. Medicare was being billed for his treatment.

TANICK: And what was your purpose in writing to them? What did you hope to accomplish by that?

LAURION: I’m not really sure at this point.

TANICK: Would you want somebody to call this to the attention of Dr. McKee and point out that there was a problem?

LAURION: Either that or refer it to the appropriate source. My expectation of everybody I wrote to was that some of them were not going to be involved, but would refer to somebody who is involved,  or that they would give me other sources of contact.

TANICK: Did you hear back from them?

LAURION: Yes, I did.

TANICK: What did they – – it tell you?

LAURION: It said that they were limited to a review of my father’s medical record, and that if my father wanted his medical record reviewed, he could call them by telephone and request it. I didn’t feel that was necessary.

TANICK: I believe you wrote to the Minnesota Medical Board?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: The Board of Medical Practice.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: When did you do that?

LAURION: Oh, wait. The Board of Medical Practice?

TANICK: Yeah.

LAURION: I thought that I had written to them on the 22nd or 24th. Subsequently, they contacted me and said, “You have to do this on our form. If you want to, you can even write, ‘See attached’ and just staple your original letter, but send it back on our form.” That was one lady who contacted me. A different lady contacted me and said, “A number of agencies have referred your complaint to us. In order for us to work it any further, we have to have your home address, and it has to be on our form.”

TANICK: Did you do that, then?

LAURION: I printed the form and stapled the original letter and, to some extent, stated the nature of the complaint on the front of the form.

TANICK: Did you hear back from them?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And what did you hear back from it?

LAURION: What date or what did I hear?

TANICK: What did you hear back from them? When I say “it,” the board.

LAURION: Mr. Mark Zuski (Phonetic.) wrote back and said that he had the complaint and that it would be processed by somebody looking at it initially to see if it should be dropped, and then if that wasn’t done, it would be referred to a panel of two doctors and a lay person, and if I needed status or had any further comments, that he was the person I could contact.

TANICK: And what – – how did that play out?

LAURION: I don’t understand the question.

TANICK: What happened next? What was – – what was your communication, then, with the medical board after that?

LAURION: I sent them one request for a follow-up, asking what the status was. They wrote back that and told me that the – – the committee of the three people that I mentioned would be meeting in a particular month, I think September, and that I would hear from them.

TANICK: And did you?

LAURION: I did, yes.

TANICK: And what did you hear?

LAURION: They wrote back and said that they were not acting on the complaint, but they would reopen it if anybody else provided a similar complaint.

TANICK: And what happened next?

LAURION: I went to their Web site and looked to see what other decisions they made on that day.

TANICK: And – –

LAURION: They had reprimanded a doctor for not paying his taxes. They had reprimanded a doctor for being an alcoholic. They had reprimanded a doctor who was alleged to have botched five surgeries, and one of them was apparently said to have killed somebody. And they also reprimanded some anesthetists for not following procedures of administering anesthesia.

TANICK: Well, let me ask you this. I don’t mean to cut you off. But did you have any further communication with the medical board, the Board of Medical Practice relative to Dr. McKee?

LAURION: I think I notified them he had sued me.

TANICK: Okay. Any further communication?

LAURION: I don’t believe so.

TANICK: You also wrote to the Minnesota Medical Association?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And what was your purpose in doing that?

LAURION: My purpose was the same as my purpose in all of the others. They were either regulatory bodies or they were peer-review bodies, and my ultimate goal was that somebody would say, “You should be careful how you address your patients so that we don’t get these complaint letters.”

TANICK: You wrote to the Lake Superior Medical Society?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: The Patients Action Network?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Did you hear back from any of those organizations?

LAURION: Seven or eight of them wrote and either said we’ve referred your claim to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice or the avenue for you to address is the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.

TANICK: You wrote to the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Advisory Committee. Right?

LAURION: Yes. Their Web site said if you have experience with medical care in St. Louis County, give us feedback.

TANICK: And you also wrote to the Office of Medicare Ombudsman. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Another letter was also sent to the American Neurological Association?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: The American Academy of Neurology?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Any other ones I didn’t name?

LAURION: Not if they were on the documents that were provided to you. You have a copy of every one that I sent.

TANICK: I take it that all of those – – is it the case that all of those correspondences – – I know there’s some communication you received back from these organizations, but all of those communications to those organizations and entities were sent out on or around April 22nd, 23rd, or April 24th, right in that area. Right?

LAURION: April 22nd and April 2t, so far as I know.

TANICK: Do you know – – what was the dichotomy – – why there was a dichotomy there, why you sent some on one day and some a couple of days later?

LAURION: Because I’m lazy and it was time to go to bed.

TANICK: Okay. Well, maybe it’s time to take a break now, too.

KELLY: Okay.

TANICK: Just a minute. What’s your – – what’s your thought on timing, John? I’d kind of like to get – – maybe go to maybe 5:30 today.

KELLY: If you go to 5:30, will you be able to finish?

TANICK: Not today.

KELLY: Well, we can go to 5:30. How do you feel about that?

LAURION: I’d like to kind of get this wrapped up today.

TANICK: I don’t think we’ll finish today. We kind of reserved tomorrow morning.

KELLY: How much more time do you think you need?

REPORTER: Off the record?

TANICK: Yeah, we’re off the record.

(Discussion off the record.)

(Whereupon, Deposition Exhibits 6 and 7 were marked for identification.)

TANICK: Back on the record. Mr. Laurion, I’ll proceed by asking you if there’s anything you’ve heretofore testified to that you want to amend, change, add on, delete, things you’ve remembered in response to my previous questions?

LAURION: No, I don’t believe so.

TANICK: Okay. Did your father have any further interaction with Dr. McKee after he left the hospital?

LAURION: That’s a matter of contention.

TANICK: Well, I’m asking you.

LAURION: Dr. McKee’s office says he was. My father says he wasn’t.

TANICK: So what – do you have an understanding one way or the other whether he was – there was a plan or an intent or a desire or a contemplation that he would be seeing Dr. McKee again, if you know?

LAURION: My mother received a phone call that said, “The doctor would like to see your husband again” or “Ken again” or “Mr. Laurion again.” My mother did not want to accede to that, but she didn’t want to argue with it either, so she said, “Oh, he’s still home-bound,” and she was told, “Oh, we’ll make the appointment in the future.” And I think at that point my mother didn’t respond any further. When she told my father that she had been called to make an appointment, he said, “Call them back and tell them I’m not coming in there. I’m not going to see him again.” My mother called back and said that she wanted to cancel the appointment and she was – when she hung up, she was not – my father said, “Did she ask why?” and she said, “Nope. They just said okay.” And he said, “I did not cancel an appointment. I refused an appointment. I wasn’t asked if I wanted an appointment.” Nor was anything said in his discharge summary about a return visit to Dr. McKee.

TANICK: Did your mother then, to your knowledge, have two conversations with Dr. McKee’s staff or office?

LAURION: Yes. She was called to establish the appointment. Then she called back at my father’s direction to cancel the appointment.

TANICK: Were you, Mr. Laurion, in the loop on either of those conversations?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: When did you become aware that those conversations occurred?

LAURION: Just at a subsequent visit to their house.

TANICK: They told you – your mother told you about it? Your mother and father told you about it?

LAURION: Yeah.

TANICK: Did he get any care from any other doctor?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And whom?

LAURION: His attending physician, Dr. Greg Gilbertson.

TANICK: Has Dr. Gilbertson then been attending to and treating your father since last April?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Since his discharge?

LAURION: He has seen him at least two times, possibly three times.

TANICK: Has your father been institutionalized at all since then?

LAURION: He’s had a trip to the emergency room.

TANICK: Otherwise, he’s been at home?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And is his condition today – – well, you described it earlier, but has his condition changed in any way during the course from last April? Is he better? Is he worse?

LAURION: I think he’s better.

TANICK: Are you satisfied – – are you personally satisfied with the quality of care your father has been given by all these medical institutions. I know that’s kind of a broad question, but – –

LAURION: My family was completely satisfied with all of the treatment he got a St. Luke’s other than the episode with Dr. McKee. He was treated by, I think, nine other doctors, including radiologists. He has been seen by Dr. Gilbertson. Dr. Gilbertson – – I took him to the appointment, and I went in with him without asking if he wanted me to or not, and he was very open about what he thought his circumstances were. He explained why he needed a new prescription, prescribed the prescription, told me he would only make the prescription for a few days and that we would check back and then he would determine whether to go further. So, yes, I’m satisfied with the care that he otherwise got at St. Luke’s , and I’m satisfied with the care that he got at Dr. Gilbertson’s, and I’m satisfied with the care that he got subsequently in the emergency room.

TANICK: You subsequently received a letter from me on or about May 7th, 2010, did you not, which is marked as Exhibit 7?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And I take it you read and reviewed that letter on or about that date?

LAURION: Oh, yes.

TANICK: And you responded later that day – – I’m sorry, the next day. On May 8th, you wrote back to me, did you not?

LAURION: My letter is dated May 7th.

TANICK: Okay. May 7th. You’re right. May 7th. It looks like it was dated May 7th. It looks like it was sent on the next day, but – – Is that – – is Exhibit 8 a true and correct copy of the – – is that 6?

LAURION: These are 6 and 7.

TANICK: Oh, I’m sorry. Do we have a – – Let’s just go off the record.

(Discussion off the record.)

(Whereupon, Exhibit Numbers 6 and 7 were re-marked for identification.

TANICK: All right. Mr. Laurion, we just made a correction on the letter. Exhibit 6 is a copy of the letter I sent you dated May 7th, 2010. Correct?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And you responded that you received it and read it and responded to me on or about the same day, May 7th – –

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: – – with Exhibit 7, which is your response to my letter. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: In your letter to me, you state that – – you describe that you visited four Web sites that seek patient – – that contain – – you were seeking patient ratings of doctors. You testified about that. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And then you say that you posted the contents of Enclosure 1. That’s the Web site  – -that’s the Web site that we talked about earlier, which is Exhibit 1 in this case. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And then you – – and you also sent – – you also then told me that you wrote a letter, and that’s that letter we talked about to these various institutions. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Twelve of them listed here, I guess. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And then you go on to say – – you explained that you had heard back from the – – strike that. We can mark these as group, whatever the next number is?

(Whereupon, Deposition Exhibit 8 was marked for identification.)

REPORTER: Exhibit 8.

TANICK: Exhibit 8. I’m jumping forward a little bit here. Exhibit 8 is a collection of, I think, most, if not all, of the letters that you sent to these various institutions. It may not be all of them, but is that, in fact – – are those, in fact, copies of the letters you sent to some of these institutions. They’re all the same, except for the salutation.

LAURION: (Reviewing documents.) Yes.

TANICK: Okay. And that’s what you refer to as Enclosure 2 in your letter to me?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. You go on in your letter to me to say that you were – – you were planning on, quote – – you planned to quote, Let this drop,” unquote, until you received my letter. Right?

LAURION: That had been my intention. If you hadn’t sent me this letter – –

KELLY: Just a minute. You answered the question.

LAURION: Thank you.

TANICK: So until you received my letter, you say your intention was to just cease doing anything relative to Dr. McKee at that point and let the matter rest. Right?

LAURION: With the exception of complying with the contact from the Minnesota Medical Board to put it on their form.

TANICK: And you also said in your letter to me that you have, quote, “no intention of posting anything more about Dr. McKee or corresponding with anybody about Dr. McKee.” Right? That’s at the top of page 3.

TANICK: That’s at the top of page 3. End of the first paragraph on page 3.

KELLY: We’ve got a problem. What’s page 2?

TANICK: Don’t you have page 2 there?

KELLY: I didn’t get page 2.

TANICK: Okay, it’s missing from your copy. Sorry.

KELLY: All right. But I understand now, so that’s why we are page 3?

TANICK: Yes.

KELLY: Go ahead.

TANICK: Is page 2 missing from yours too?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Pardon?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Okay, it’s an error then, in our – –

KELLY: Not a problem.

TANICK: And error in our photocopying, and I take the blame for that. On page 3, you state at the end of the first paragraph that you had no intention of doing anything more about it, posting any more information about Dr. McKee or corresponding with anybody about Dr. McKee. Right? That’s what you said in your letter?

LAURION: I said that with the preface “otherwise.”

TANICK: “Otherwise.” So what did you mean, “otherwise?”

LAURION: I meant that if there’s no further need to post about him, that I won’t. If I’m left alone, I’m done.

TANICK: All right. And you conclude by saying, “I am no longer inclined to discuss Dr. McKee’s behavior with anybody.” And the next paragraph is “I’ll consider this matter finished. Right? And “Will Doctor McKee” question mark. Right?

LAURION: (Reviewing document.)

TANICK: And, “Will Dr. McKee,” question mark. Right?

LAURION: Yes, and I was taking your threat letter at face value, that if I complied with what you wanted, that would be the end of the issue.

TANICK: However, you decided not to do that. Right?

LAURION: No, I don’t agree with that.

TANICK: The letter goes on, then, to include the two enclosures, the first one is – – the Enclosure 1 is the Web site information that you posted on the two Web sites?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: You thought you posted it to another two, and then the second one is the standard letter you sent to the institutions. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Another paper clip. Did you take any action before this letter to delete or remove or expunge or redact anything from those Web sites?

LAURION: I believe I did it that evening.

TANICK: I said before the letter.

LAURION: No, I believe it was after I received your letter.

TANICK: All right. So the letter prompted you to do something?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And what is it, it prompted you to do?

LAURION: You told me not to talk to anybody else and to delete the postings. I deleted the postings and stopped talking to anybody else.

TANICK: Did you do anything else relative to that?

LAURION: Ask me something specific, so I can answer it one way or the other.

TANICK: Did you do anything relative to the Dr. McKee situation other than try to delete postings?

LAURION: I successfully deleted the postings, those sites I wrote to and asked them to delete them, and they deleted them. The sites that hadn’t posted them wrote and told me that they hadn’t posted them. I just did not delete them manually.

TANICK: Were you aware – – I think you indicated you tried to post on Dr.Scorecard, but apparently it didn’t catch?

LAURION: I don’t know that I tried or if I simply read it and then a lapse of attention and didn’t do it.

TANICK: That’s the one I think you said you thought you did, but you found out you didn’t. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Were you aware that their requirements for posting is that you be a patient of the doctor you’re posting on? Did you know that?

LAURION: No, I didn’t, but I made it very clear that I was a relative of a patient. I wasn’t misrepresenting myself.

TANICK: Did you fill out any kind of questionnaires about Dr. McKee in any of those Web sites?

LAURION: If they asked for a number of stars, I gave them, yes.

TANICK: Do you know which Web site that was, the stars?

LAURION: Presumably InsiderPages and Vitals.

TANICK: And do you know whether you were required – – whether those ratings are supposed to be done by a patient versus someone else who is not a patient?

LAURION: I don’t know that either.

TANICK: Did you ever use – – do you ever use the term “shirts” as a pseudonym or a reference or a name on any of your Internet postings?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Is that something – – what does that refer to?

LAURION: It’s just an acronym for some site. It was a word other than my name.

TANICK: Why did you use “shirts” instead of your name?

LAURION: I don’t really know.

TANICK: Pardon?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: Did you have any communications at any time  at all, Mr. Laurion, with any members of the media respecting or regarding Dr. McKee and the situation with he and your father?

LAURION: Not by name. I wrote to – only after I got your threat letter, I wrote to Mark Stodghill and to two television stations. I said, “I have been threatened by a lawsuit by a doctor. If he follows through, is it newsworthy?” Nowhere in these contacts did I say his name or even my father’s name or St. Luke’s Hospital as a track back.

TANICK: Do you recall when you first communicated or contacted the medical board? Was that on or about April 22nd or April 24th?

LAURION: One or the other of those dates.

TANICK: So you had contacted them before my letter to you?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. And do you know when this – – when the medical board got back to you – – I think her name is Martinez, Ms. Martinez – – saying you have to fill out their forms?

LAURION: Shortly before your threat letter.

TANICK: All right. And when did you fill out their forms and finalize your complaint?

LAURION: I took a couple days. I had an attorney look at it, neither of these gentlemen.

TANICK: Pardon?

LAURION: I had an attorney look at it before sending it.

TANICK: Okay. I’m sorry. You said neither of these gentlemen. Are you talking about – –

LAURION: No, I didn’t come and see either of these gentlemen. I saw a different attorney.

TANICK: And then you made your posting  – – I mean, you made your complaint with the medical board. Right?

LAURION: I don’t see that as making a complaint. I see that as reformatting my original complaint to comply with their template or structure.

TANICK: Okay. That came after my letter to you. Right?

LAURION: I think by the time I sent it, yes.

TANICK: All right. Just a minute.

(Whereupon Deposition Exhibit 9 was marked for identification.)

REPORTER: Exhibit 9.

TANICK: Is Exhibit 9 – is that the complaint you made to the medical board after they sent you the form to fill out.

LAURION: I need to clarify the question.

TANICK: Well, what is Exhibit 9, to your knowledge?

LAURION: It’s a complaint registration with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.

TANICK: And attached to it, is there not a letter?

LAURION: There is a letter.

TANICK: And you sent that letter on or about May 22nd?

LAURION: I’m still waiting for the clarification of the question.

TANICK: Well, I’m not going to give it to you. You’re going to get my next question. Are you – – the complaint registration form, which is Exhibit 9, is dated May 14th. Is that the date you sent it, if you remember?

KELLY: What’s the date?

TANICK: The complaint registration, the second page is dated May 14th.

KELLY: Oh, I see. Yeah.

LAURION:  Okay, if you’re not going to clarify the question, I’ll ask Mr. Kelly to clarify the question before I answer it. I was advised by the Board of Medical Practice that this complaint is confidential, that it’s not subject to litigation, that it is not subject to – –

KELLY: It’s all privileged.

LAURION:  – – to prosecution, that it’s privileged.

KELLY: That’s right.

LAURION:  Therefore, am I supposed to be answering questions about this?

KELLY: We’ll let him. Roll away.

TANICK: Pardon?

KELLY: Go ahead. Just because he asks about it doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere.

TANICK: I asked you whether that’s the date you sent it.

LAURION:  It is, yes.

TANICK: All right. And then there’s also a – – there’s a letter that’s dated May 22nd. Did you also send that to the Board of Medical Practice?

LAURION:  I did.

TANICK: Was that sent separately from Exhibit – – the complaint registration, if you remember?

LAURION:  I think it was.

TANICK: All right. Just for clarity then, why don’t we – – can we just mark that, the letter, Exhibit 10. Have your – – just give it back to the court reporter, if you don’t mind, because it’s not part of Exhibit 9. It’s a separate document.

(Whereupon, Deposition Exhibit 10 was marked for identification.)

REPORTER: Exhibit 10.

TANICK: That’s going to be 11, John. This is going to be 11.

(Whereupon, Deposition Exhibit 11 was marked for identification.)

REPORTER: Exhibit 11.

TANICK: Mr. Laurion, I have before you now Exhibit 11, and that’s a collection of communications that you made to members of the media, right, concerning the situation with Dr. McKee. Right?

LAURION:  It was concerning the fact that a doctor was threatening to sue me, and I asked if that was newsworthy.

TANICK: Sure.

KELLY: Let me see what you’ve got as Exhibit – – what? Oh, yeah, this is not the right one.

TANICK: I’m sorry. Did I give you the wrong document? No, I think – – you’re right. I gave you the wrong document.

KELLY: Okay. Yeah, all right.

TANICK: I’m sorry. Here you go.

KELLY: I see what we’re doing.

TANICK: That’s it, John. I’m sorry. My fault.

KELLY: Thank you.

TANICK: All right. Let’s mark this, then, as the next number. Would that be 12?

(Whereupon, Deposition Exhibit 12 was marked for identification.)

REPORTER: Exhibit 12.

TANICK: All right. Exhibit 12, Mr. Laurion, actually that will come before – we’ll talk about it before Exhibit 11. Exhibit 12 is a document that you sent to ImproveVitals and to Legal – – or to InsiderPages and also t5o City Search – – well, no. City – – that’s their response. These are – – Exhibit 12 is correspondence that you sent to ImproveVitals and InsiderPages asking to delete the postings you had made. Right?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: And that was in response to my letter to you of May 7th. Right?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: All right. And then the following day, apparently May 12, you sent these three letters to members of the media, right, asking them about whether this matter was newsworthy. Right? That’s Exhibit 11.

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Why did you select those – – the letters are sent to Kevin Jacobson, who’s at KDLH TV – –

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: – – here in Duluth, one of the letters. Another of the letters is – – another letter is sent to Dennis Anderson of WDIO TV, and another letter is sent to Georgia Swing, who’s the city editor at the Duluth News Tribune. Right?

LAURION:  No, I didn’t send the letter to Georgia Swing. She responded to my letter.

TANICK: I’m sorry. Okay. You’re right. But you – – I’m sorry. You’re right. There was a letter sent to  – – do I have that letter here? Didn’t you send a letter to Mark Stodghill? Yeah, you sent – – I’m sorry. You sent a letter to Mark Stodghill, and she responded to it. Right?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: Mark Stodghill is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. Right?

LAURION:  For the courts and police section, yes.

TANICK: Okay. Why did you – – I think you indicated that the reason you sent these letters to these people was to see if my communication to you on behalf of Dr. McKee was somehow newsworthy. Right?

LAURION:  Oh, no. No.

TANICK: All right. Well, you tell me why you sent those letters.

LAURION: I sent them to ask if a resulting lawsuit would be noteworthy. I didn’t ask them anything about your letter, nor did I want them to do a piece about my father’s treatment. I was not contacting any of those sources and saying “A doctor was rude to my father. Would you run with it?” because, obviously, that wouldn’t be newsworthy. I asked “If I’m sued, will it be newsworthy?”

TANICK: And why did you contact those three individuals?

LAURION:  Because those are the local entities here.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION:  – – the ones that I was aware of.

TANICK: Well, you’re aware of more than those entities, I take it, but that’s a – – that’s a television station, maybe the principal station here?

LAURION:  I don’t know. I think there are three stations. Two of them have merged and act as two – – as one station. I don’t know.

TANICK: Whoever you sent it to, the television station KDLFJ, – – KDHF – – KDLH, WDIO TV.  Okay. That’s the two – – I’m sorry, the two television stations. Was there anyone else? And Mark Stodghill at the Duluth News Tribune. Was there anyone else in the media you sent it to?

LAURION:  No.

TANICK: Okay. So it was the two stations here, the two television stations, and the newspaper?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Did you know any of those people personally?

LAURION:  No.

TANICK: Kevin Jacobson?

LAURION:  No.

TANICK: Dennis Anderson or Mark Stodghill?

LAURION:  No.

TANICK: Had you ever had any dealings with – – business or social dealings with any of them?

LAURION:  No. I had written to the editorial page associate, Jim Heffernan, before, but not to Mr. Stodghill.

TANICK: All right. And you had had some materials published in the newspaper?

LAURION:  I have. Letters to the editor.

TANICK: Okay. But you didn’t know Mark Stodghill personally?

LAURION:  No, I simply looked on their directory and saw who was the legal or court reporter.

TANICK: All right. And did you get any response from Mr. Jacobson or Mr. Anderson at the television stations?

LAURION:  One of the reporters for one or the other of the stations, and I don’t know which it was, a woman, one who was not the main anchors, contacted me and said, “Are you suing the doctor,” giving me the impression that if I was suing him, they would be interested. I simply e-mailed no.

TANICK: Okay. Did you have any more communications with them?

LAURION:  No.

TANICK: Why were you asking if this was newsworthy? What was your purpose?

LAURION: From what I’ve read on the Internet, this is a precedent type of situation. If you Google doctors who are suing their patients, you will find only six or seven names.

MCKEE: I’m not suing a patient.

TANICK: Go ahead.

LAURION: And there are several – this apparently is a hot topic. Not only doctors suing families, but anybody suing somebody for Internet defamation. I think even your own website describes Internet defamation as a brand new field, a brand new area of experience. There’s a lot of conversation about it. There are a lot of sites written by doctors for doctors, some of them internists, some of them dentists, and so forth, and inevitably on all of them there’s a question of “How do I respond when somebody complains about me on the Internet?” And the advice generally given is either ask them to retract it, which they probably won’t do, or ignore it, it will make the Web site go higher, and if you sue anybody, it will garner publicity. Also, I never cared about Internet defamation before, but I’ve been converted and I’ve read sites about Internet defamation, and they generally all say if somebody sues you for defamation, you should shine a spotlight on it; and therefore, I felt that if he sues me, he should have the courage of his convictions and let the entire community know it. The article says he rebuts all of those statements. So fine, he got to say he rebutted them. I got to say that I affirmed them. It’s a public debate.

TANICK: I know – – I remember in your letter to me, you responding to my letter to you, you said, “Left to my own devices, I am no longer inclined to discuss Dr. McKee’s behavior with anybody. I’ll consider this matter finished. Will Dr. McKee,” question mark. Do you remember that passage in your letter to me?

LAURION:  I do.

TANICK: And that was on May 7th or May 8th?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: All right. And on May 11th, you were contacting media to see if there would be some interest on their part in writing an article if you were sued. Right?

LAURION:  But I was not writing about Dr. McKee. I was writing and saying I might be sued by a doctor and is that newsworthy.

TANICK: Right.

LAURION:  I purposely redacted everything from my complaint letter that would even lead them to what hospital. Had he not sued me, and they contacted me again and said what’s happening, I would have said nothing, and I would have never revealed his name.

TANICK: Did something happen between May 7th or 8th, when you wrote me your letter, saying, “I’m no longer inclined to Discuss Dr. McKee’s behavior with anybody,” and May 11th, when you wrote these communications to the two TV stations and newspaper, that altered or changed your view?

LAURION:  Again, I’m not acceding that I wrote about dr. McKee. Had you not sent me a threat letter, I would never have contacted the public. But I found your threat letter to contain a great deal of hubris, and it annoyed me, and I thought if he wants to threaten me, then he should be prepared to back it up in a public arena.

TANICK: That’s fine. I’m not arguing with you. I’m just asking you factually, did something happen between the time you wrote me on May 7th or 8th saying I’m inclined to let this matter rest – – I think your words were, “I’m inclined” – – well, let’s get your exact words here. “Left to my own devices, I am no longer inclined to discuss Dr. McKee’s behavior with anybody. I’ll consider” – – I’ll consider this matter finished. Will Dr. McKee?” That’s on May 8th. My question is, did something happen between May 8th and May 11th relative to your decision to contact the media?

LAURION:  Yes, it did.

TANICK: All right. What – – what happened in those three days.

LAURION:  I re-read your letter.

TANICK: And?

LAURION:  I read that you said, “You have posted false statements,” and I concluded that your calling them false does not make them false, and therefore I felt that you were being rather cavalier. I also read that Dr. McKee has a sterling medical record and an outstanding history of treating patients, and I thought, well, he hires you to publish – – to polish his reputation, apparently. And I read one last comment that said, “Please be mindful that my client has the means and motivation to pursue all available recourse against you as to this matter.” I interpreted that as meaning, “I will squash you like a bug,” so I became annoyed and I concluded that if he wants to sue me, then not let it be a hip pocket lawsuit. Let’s put it out in the public where a judge can see it, and if you want to sue somebody and you’re so right, then you should have the courage of your convictions, and if a newspaper reporter calls you and asks you about it, you should be able to say, “Yes, I’m suing him because my cause is right, and this is what’s wrong, and this is why I’m offended.”

TANICK: Okay. If I understand you correctly, what you’re saying is when you first wrote me the letter on May 8th, you were inclined not to do anything about this and let it rest. Right?

LAURION:  Not to do anything about him specifically.

TANICK: And then you re-read the letter and you got angry. Right?

LAURION:  I was angry when I read it the first time, but yes.

TANICK: All right. You got more angry when you read it the second time. Right?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: And that worked you  – – and you worked up in – – you worked yourself into a situation where you decided, “I’m really upset about this letter”?

LAURION:  I would not describe it in that fashion.

TANICK: All right. Well, you describe it in – –

LAURION:  I came to the conclusion that if you’re threatening to sue me, and if you follow through on it, there should be some publicity. If you don’t follow through on it, there won’t be any publicity.

TANICK: Okay. You heard back, then, from Georgia Swing, the editor from – – the city editor from the Duluth newspaper; she tells you Stodghill is on vacation and she – – she tells you if the doctor takes action against you, it would be newsworthy. “Please keep us informed.” Right?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: Did you have any communications with her or Mr. Stodghill or anyone associated with  the – – the newspaper between that time and the time the suit was commenced – – the time the suit was served on you, which I guess is when it was commenced, which was about May 21st  or so, about ten days later?

LAURION:  I had two telephone calls from Mark Stodghill. One was while the lawsuit was still a hip pocket lawsuit. He asked me if anything was happening, and I said, “I can’t bring you up to date on the status. I can’t answer your question at this time.” Once the suit became public, once I knew it was filed, he contacted me again before possibly – – I assume he hadn’t seen the record yet, but he called again and said, “Can you bring me up to date now?” I said, “I can tell you that I have an attorney and I can ask him if it’s okay to give you his name.” I called Mr. Kelly and asked if it was okay to give him his name, and he said it was. I called Mr. Stodghill back and I said, “My attorney is Mr. Kelly.”

TANICK: Did you ever talk to Mr. Stodghill about the case?

LAURION:  You mean what happened?

TANICK: Yeah.

LAURION:  No. Anything he printed was simply from your Complaint and our response.

TANICK: It was kind of a lengthy answer. Okay. I just want to make sure I understand what you’re saying. Stodghill called you back sometime – – when he got back from vacation, probably. Right?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: And said “Hey, what’s going on,” or “We’re interested in this,” or something to that effect?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: And by that time, you had been served?

LAURION:  I had.

TANICK: But it hadn’t been filed?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: How do you know it hadn’t been filed?

LAURION:  Because he (indicating) hadn’t told me that he had filed it.

TANICK: Who is “he”? You’re pointing to Mr. Kelly?

LAURION:  Oh, yes. I’m sorry.

TANICK: All right. Well, at least you didn’t – – you were not aware of whether it had been filed or not, but you hadn’t been told it had been filed?

LAURION:  No, I believe I knew that it wasn’t filed yet because I had asked him about filing our response, and he had not yet committed that he was going to do that.

KELLY:  You know, that’s about enough of our conversations.

TANICK: Yeah, I don’t – –

KELLY:  We’re not going to – –

TANICK: I’m not inquiring – –

KELLY:  – – get into any more of that.

TANICK: – – into your conversation. You’ve already told me what you want to tell me about that. But then Stodghill – – so then Stodghill, you said called you back shortly thereafter?

LAURION:  Yes.

TANICK: Do you remember approximately how long it was?

LAURION:  It might have been the day before it was filed or the day after it was filed.

TANICK: All right. And did you tell him it had been filed?

LAURION:  No, I told him what I told you. I said – –

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION:  – – “I can tell you I have an attorney.”

TANICK: Did he know that it had been filed?

LAURION:  Not at that point, no.

TANICK: How did he find out it had been filed?

LAURION:  That’s his job. He goes to the courthouse every day and looks at whatever has been filed.

TANICK: So your second conversation with Stodghill was before it was filed, apparently?

LAURION:  I don’t know that for sure.

TANICK: All right.

LAURION:  Because there was a period of time where it was taken to the courthouse and then it appeared on the record.

TANICK: All right. Well, my question – – I guess what I’m trying to find out here, if you know, is did Stodghill know that it had been filed when he called you the second time. I’m not asking you to read his mind, but did he indicate to you, “Oh, yeah, I see it’s been filed”?

LAURION:  I would have to infer that he did not, because he called me and asked me what is the status.

TANICK: It was at that point – –

LAURION:  That suggests that, so far as he knows, I’ve written and said that I might get sued and now he wants to know did you.

TANICK: Okay. So you had two conversations with him?

LAURION:  He called at one point to ask me if I had any status, and I told him I could not give him any status at that point. He called subsequently to say, “Now?” And I said, “At this point, I can tell you I have consulted an attorney. I’ll give you his name if he gives me permission to do so.”

TANICK: All right. So then, as far as you know, contacted Mr. Kelly, but he didn’t call you back again?

LAURION:  No, he didn’t call me back.

TANICK: All right. Have you had any discussion with Mr. Stodghill at all – –

LAURION:  None.

TANICK: – – since then?

LAURION:  No.

TANICK: Have you run into him in the city or community?

LAURION:  I wouldn’t know the man if I saw him.

TANICK: Do you know where he lives?

LAURION:  No.

TANICK: Okay. Maybe we should take a break. Let me just check something for a second, okay?

All right. This is – – oh. Let me – – just a couple more questions. Then we’ll break for the day. Did you have occasion to communicate – – or strike that. Did you get any response from people after the – – from anybody? Did you get any communications from people after the newspaper article was written – – was published?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Tell me about the communications that you received. I’m asking for incoming communications.

LAURION: Some people wrote me a letter and said that they had seen Dr. McKee before, and they hoped that I prevailed, because their impression was the same as mine. I forwarded those letters to Mr. Kelly. One lady – – two people phoned me at home, had a story to tell me. I didn’t give them my response. I simply listened to their declaration, and then I asked them if I could give their phone number to my attorney, and I passed that information to Mr. LaCoursiere.

TANICK: And who are they?

LAURION: Who are they? Who?

TANICK: What – – you said there were two women.

LAURION: I don’t have idea. I sent it to my lawyer.

TANICK: You gave them the name – – you gave him the name and phone numbers of two women who called you who reported unfavorable encounters with Dr. McKee.

LAURION: Two people. One was a man. One was a woman. I forwarded those contacts here. I did not record them. I don’t know the people’s name or phone number suqsequently.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: And I didn’t keep copies of the letters that were sent to me. I forwarded them here.

TANICK: All right. How many letters?

LAURION: I think two.

TANICK: Were they from the same people? The same people who called you?

LAURION: You mean did the – – were the callers the same as the people who – –

TANICK: Yeah.

LAURION: – – wrote.

TANICK: Right.

LAURION: No, it was four separate people.

TANICK: All right. And were the letters favorable or unfavorable to Dr. McKee?

LAURION:  I didn’t get any letters that were favorable of Dr. McKee, no.

TANICK: Did you get any other kind of communi – – did you receive any other kind of communications, electronically or otherwise, about Dr. McKee and you and your father and the situation after the article was published?

LAURION: Yes, but it was all very noncommittal.

TANICK: What do you mean by that?

LAURION: I mean that people said, “I read your article in the news” – – I read the article about you in the newspaper,” and they didn’t say one way or the other.

TANICK: Were these people you knew? Friends? Relatives? Or are these people calling you out of the blue?

LAURION: No. When I took my father to – – when I took my mother to St. Mary’s for an episode, the emergency room doctor who was admitting my mother said, “Are you the Laurion family in the newspaper,” and I said yes. And he said, “Then I understand why you brought your mother here instead of to St. Luke’s.

TANICK: Who was that?

LAURION: I don’t know what his name was.

TANICK: A doctor?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: The admitting doctor at where?

LAURION: He simply meant that he had read the article.

TANICK: Where was he – – the admitting doctor at where?

LAURION: The emergency room doctor at St. Mary’s told me that he had read the article. He didn’t say, “I hope you win.: He didn’t make any comment about Dr. McKee. He simply acknowledged that he read the article.

TANICK: Any other communications you received from anybody after the article published?

LAURION: I think pretty much everybody who treated my mother at St. Mary’s said, “I read the newspaper article about you.”

TANICK: did they say anything else to that effect? Did they say, “You’re right”? “You’re wrong”?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: All right. Anybody else?

LAURION: I have had communications with my brothers and sister about the status of the case.

TANICK: Anybody else commenting about, “Oh, I saw that in the newspaper”?

LAURION: Oh, I’m sorry.

TANICK: That’s what I’m talking about.

LAURION: I think my wife’s beautician may mentioned that he saw an article when she went to get a haircut.

TANICK: Anybody else?

LAURION: I don’t believe so.

TANICK: Did you ever hear from that nurse friend who you ran into at the Post Office?

LAURION: No. No feedback.

TANICK: You’ve discussed this matter, I think you said – – in your interrogatory answers, you said you discussed this case with your sister Patricia. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: What have you discussed with her?

LAURION: I told her that I’m being sued. Told her the steps of the suit, when it was filed, what discovery was asked for.

TANICK: Did you tell her about the underlying incident with Dr. McKee on April 19th?

LAURION: I don’t recall. My parents may have.

TANICK: Well, I’m asking if you – – you don’t remember talking to her about what happened?

LAURION: I don’t know.

TANICK: You don’t know or you don’t recall?

LAURION: By the time I talked to her, I was already sued.

TANICK: Well, my question is, do you remember talking to your sister about what happened at the hospital with Dr. McKee and your father?

LAURION: I don’t know. At that point, it was alread published and she could see for herself what I had alleged.

TANICK: How about your uncle, Duane Geisler, G-e-i-s-l-e-r?

LAURION: Duane Geisler is not my uncle.

TANICK: I’m sorry. Well, who is he?

LAURION: He’s a man who called and said that he had a similar experience.

TANICK: Oh, I see.

LAURION: He’s one of the phone calls that I passed – –

TANICK: Okay, well that’s – –

LAURION: – – to Mr. Kelly.

TANICK: – – my mistake. I’m sorry. That’s my mistake, referring to him as your uncle. He was a prior patient, apparently, of Mr. – – or Dr. McKee. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: That’s one of the names. Do you remember the other name?

LAURION: No, I don’t. I only remember that one because you referred it to me.

TANICK: All right. And did you discuss your situation with him?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Did he talk to you about what his experience was?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: What did he tell you?

LAURION: He said that he had an unfavorable examination with Dr. McKee and that he would be willing to discuss it, and I said can I give his name to your – – to my lawyer.

TANICK: Did he give you any specifics with you about what happened that was unfavorable?

LAURION: I think he mentioned an unwillingness to receive questions.

TANICK: Anything else?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Didn’t you – – and you didn’t tell him what your experience was?

LAURION: No. I had to tell you about my discussions at that point.

TANICK: Pardon?

LAURION: I was under discovery. I wasn’t going to have to call you every time I told you something about it. The easiest way was not to tell anyone.

TANICK: Has Mark Stodghill gotten back to you at all – –

LAURION: No, never.

TANICK: – – since your earlier discussion with him? All right. This is probably a good spot to stop for the evening, so why don’t we adjourn for the evening and resume at 9:00 o’clock. I’m hopeful that we can finish by 10:00. We probably can. I don’t know if you want to keep Mrs. Laurion on call or whatever.

KELLY: No, we’re going to run this like a very well-oiled train. As soon as you’re done with him, on to Bonnie.

TANICK: That’s fine. Have her here. Okay. Should we say 9:00 tomorrow? Is that okay with you?

KELLY: 9:00 is fine, yeah.

TANICK: Okay. 9:00 tomorrow.

(Discussion off the record.)

(Whereupon the deposition of Dennis K. Laurion was adjourned at approximately 5:27 o’clock p.m. on January 6, 2011, and was continued at 9:17 a. m. January 7, 2011, as follows.)

TANICK: Good morning, Mr. Laurion.  We’re continuing your deposition this morning. I want to ask you, first of all, is there anything that, overnight, you thought about that you want to add to or delete or modify or change anything that you testified to yesterday in your deposition?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Have you spoken to anyone about yesterday’s deposition other than your attorneys?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Did you talk to your wife about it?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: What did you tell her?

LAURION: I told her my recollection of what the questions were.

TANICK: Did you tell her what your answers were?

LAURION: Some of them, I’m sure I did.

TANICK: Did you talk to her about reconciling any recollection that she has that might be different from yours?

LAURION: No, I spent more time discussing how long it took and how many times each question was asked.

TANICK: Did she say anything to you about the deposition?

LAURION: I got home, and she asked me how it went, and I gave her the response that I just told you about.

TANICK: Do you speak to anyone else?

LAURION: I went to my mother and father’s house and gave them the same feedback about how long it took and how many times the questions were asked.

TANICK: Did you think the questions were asked too [ many ] times?

LAURION: I think that you’ve asked me the same question several times. I think that you’ve asked me several times if I wrote something that I had already written and told you that I wrote.

TANICK: Is that irritating?

LAURION: No, it’s an observation.

TANICK: All right. Did you talk to your parents about what happened in the ward room on April 20th yesterday?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Last night?

LAURION: We did not revisit that topic.

TANICK: Did you talk to them at all about any events that happened after your father was released from the hospital or discharged from the hospital in terms of his contact with Dr. McKee’s office or staff for scheduling purposes?

LAURION: No. We were there very briefly, and they go to bed early.

TANICK: Did you talk to either one of – – either your wife or your parents about who this nurse might be that you ran into at the Lakeside Post Office?

LAURION: No, I did not.

(Whereupon Deposition Exhibit 13 was marked for identification.)

REPORTER: Exhibit 13.

TANICK: Exhibit 13, Mr. Laurion, and show it to your Counsel, too, is a – – is that not the InsiderPages Web post – – Web site posting you made on or about April 22nd concerning Dr. McKee and the incident with your father?

KELLY: Do you have another copy of it?

TANICK: Yeah, I – – I’ll give you that. I don’t have a separate copy right now, but – –

LAURION: This is my vocabulary. I have no idea what it’s printed on.

TANICK: The bottom of it indicates it was InsiderPages, taken off of InsiderPages.

LAURION: well, that’s fine, but there’s none of the formatting that was on the page.

TANICK: Well, you – – and – – and that’s the same content that’s reflected in Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2 and Exhibit 3 that you testified to yesterday. Right?

LAURION: And I made the same response to those.

TANICK: Right.

LAURION: To me, this is a paragraph in a vacuum, with a whole bunch of little black dots and squares and – –

TANICK: But it’s your paragraph?

LAURION: It is.

TANICK: That’s what you wrote and posted. Right?

LAURION: Well, it’s my paragraph, but – –

TANICK: Yeah.

LAURION: I certainly hope you wouldn’t hand me fourteen of these exhibits and expect that I was going to say that every one of them was a different Web site. This is my words. It is not in the broader context.

TANICK: All right. Tell me what the broader context was.

LAURION: Well, I don’t know because I don’t have that page in front of me any longer.

TANICK: What do you recollect the broader context was?

LAURION: Well, there would be things about what the site was. There would be some banner ads up here about something they’re trying to sell. There would be a reference telling you what the rules are and do you see your doctor below and do you want to post, and click here to add remarks. So I’m acknowledging that these are words I’ve written. I’m also indicating I don’t recognize the format on which they’re being shown to me.

TANICK: Okay. Thank you. I – – I – – I – – I think I asked you about this yesterday, but I – – I don’t quite remember your answer, and I want to make sure it’s clear. The last entry you – – the last sentence in the  – – in your Web site posting refers to your running into this – – it refers to a nurse – – a friend who was a nurse, and you ascribed to her the phrase, quote, “Dr. McKee is a real tool.” We talked about that yesterday. Right?

LAURION: Yes we did.

TANICK: And I think I asked you what you understood that term to mean. Right?

LAURION: And I said I assumed it was a pejorative.

TANICK: Did you also say you thought it may relate to his being used by somebody in some way?

LAURION: No, I didn’t say that at all.

KELLY: Whatever he said is of record.

TANICK: I understand.

KELLY: And it was testified to.

TANICK: That’s – –

KELLY: It’s been asked and it’s been answered – –

TANICK: All right. Thank you – –

KELLY: – – repeatedly.

TANICK: Mr. Kelly, thank you for reminding me about that. Is there – – if you – – you didn’t know what that term meant, but you thought it was a pejorative. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Why did you use a term in your postings that you didn’t know what it – – what it meant?

LAURION: I don’t know. I was simply stating what happened. I now feel that perhaps I shouldn’t have quoted somebody if I couldn’t go back and present her. But at the time, I simply repeated it.

TANICK: I’m sorry. When you – – you said, “when I couldn’t present her.” What do you mean by that?

LAURION: Well, what I mean is I’m quoting somebody who hasn’t really felt that she was on the record and wasn’t having a conversation to be quoted. My article perhaps should have stopped without that sentence.

TANICK: Why do you say that?

LAURION: I think I just explained why.

TANICK: Did you ever try to contact that woman and ask her if it was okay to use her quote?

LAURION: I wouldn’t have known how to do that.

TANICK: So you didn’t try?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Did you ever look up in any source material, dictionary, Wikipedia, slang dictionary, or any other kind of treatise or text what the term “real tool” might mean or what it might refer to.

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Have you ever discussed that term with anybody else since it supposedly was made to you at the library?

LAURION: I wasn’t at the library. I was at the Post Office.

TANICK: I’m sorry. I misspoke. You’re right. It was the Post Office. Thank you. Thank you for correcting me.

LAURION: No, I haven’t.

TANICK: I asked you yesterday about who this friend nurse was, and you gave me the best description you had of her. Is there anything else you can add to what you told us yesterday in terms of what who she was  or what she looked like or anything that might help identify and/or locate her?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: I don’t think I asked you how long did – – how long did she work there during your time period? I think you – – I think you said you worked there from 2000 to 2007. Was she there during that whole time period, if you remember?

LAURION: I don’t know. And the last one, one and a half, two years, they stopped doing that at all. They just starting mailing me that stuff, because they were bringing me material today that I wasn’t assembling until four or five days later.

TANICK: So this woman is someone whom you interacted with at St. Mary’s sometime through about 2005 or 2006, roughly. Right? You didn’t see her or deal with her in the last year, year and a half you were there. Is that right?

LAURION: I’m not sure of the exact time frame. I just know that at some point they stopped bringing me the material because it was just as efficient to throw it in a big envelope and mail it.

TANICK: Would you be able to recognize the woman if you saw her again?

LAURION: You mean in a lineup?

TANICK: Well, if you saw her anyplace. If she happened to be sitting out in the reception room here at this law firm, or if you saw her at the Post Office, or if you saw her in a grocery store?

LAURION: I think I would.

TANICK: All right. And would you be able, then, to recognize her face if you were shown a picture of her?

LAURION: Yes, perhaps.

TANICK: Do you think you’d remember her name if someone mentioned the name?

LAURION: No. As I told you yesterday, there was [ a ] corral in front of my desk. I saw these ladies’ heads and shoulders. I didn’t see their name tag.

TANICK: So when she approached you at the Post Office, she didn’t – – you didn’t say, “Oh, hi,” whatever her name was or anything like that? You never knew her name?

LAURION: No.

KELLY: This has been gone into at quite some length. Asked and answered.

TANICK: I’m just going to try to jog your memory and see if this helps, Mr. Laurion. I’m going to mention a few names and see if any of these people might jog your memory in terms of who the person is.

LAURION: Unless they worked in medical records, the names aren’t going to mean anything to me.

TANICK: Well, she worked in outpatient surgery?

LAURION: I don’t know that she worked in outpatient surgery. She worked in some outpatient facility.

TANICK: Oh, I’m sorry. I misunderstood. I thought you said outpatient surgery. Maybe I misunderstood you.

LAURION: No, I told you yesterday that there were perhaps as many as six or eight different departments.

TANICK: All right.

LAURION: She could have been in outpatient surgery. She could have been in outpatient endoscopy. She could have been from imaging, although I’m not sure – –

TANICK: Okay. Well – –

LAURION: – – because those people generally wouldn’t have been a nurse.

TANICK: All right. So you – – so you weren’t able yesterday, I take it, then, to identify what particular department she worked in?

LAURION: No, I thought I made that clear.

TANICK: Well, you may have, but I didn’t – – I misunderstood you, so it wasn’t clear to me. Do you know someone who worked at the hospital there when you did named Dana Cope, C-o-p-e? Does that ring a bell?

LAURION:  I don’t recognize the name, no.

TANICK: How about a Katie Bergstrom?

LAURION: No, I don’t recognize that name either.

TANICK: How about a Margaret Rich?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Katie – – Christy Severson?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Karen Gilquist?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: When you filed your – – as I understand from our testimony yesterday, the documents you wrote to the Minnesota Board of Medicine on or about – – I think it was April 22nd. That was in your first surge of correspondence. Okay.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. And then they got back to you and said you have to fill out our form, and they sent you a form to fill out and that kind of moved the process forward. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. You can take a look at the exhibits there. Exhibit 10 – – I’m sorry, Exhibit 9; would you take a look at that, please, Mr. Laurion. Just – – Carol, would you just make a note I want to make sure that John gets a copy of Exhibit 12 – – no, 13, the one we used this morning. That was our first one this morning. I didn’t have a copy for him. Exhibit 9, Mr. Laurion, is what we were talking about just right, I think, at the end of your testimony yesterday – – well, not the end but right near. Late in the testimony. Exhibit 9 is the complaint form that you filled out and sent back to the board, the medical board. Right?

LAURION: Excuse me. Yes.

TANICK: And that – – you dated it May 14th. Do you remember when you sent it to them?

LAURION: I had this notarized at the bank. I’m sure I dropped it off at the Post Office the same day.

TANICK: And then Exhibit 10 is a copy – – it’s not signed – – of a letter you sent to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice on May 22nd. This apparently was sent the day after you received the lawsuit papers in this case. Right?

LAURION: Well, I read here that I was served on May 21st.

TANICK: Mm-hmm.

LAURION: And – –

TANICK: You sent this the next day, May 22nd?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: Okay. Do you know, is it your view or belief that Mr. – – that Dr. McKee commenced this litigation against you after he was notified that you had been – – that you had filed a complaint with the medical – – medical board, or don’t you know?

LAURION: I had a time line that’s not in front of me , but I received the – – your threat letter after – – within a few days of his being given a copy. And your – – what was the question again? I’m sorry.

TANICK: Sure. I asked you if you have a view or a belief as to whether this – – whether Dr. McKee was aware that you had filed a complaint with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice before the lawsuit was commenced, if you know?

LAURION: My impression is – – and without recollecting exact dates, my impression is that I received a receipt notice from the Board, and it was subsequent to that that I received the Summons and Complaint.

TANICK: Well, that – – that addresses the issue of when the board received it, but do you have any idea when Dr. McKee received the – – received anything from the medical board relative to your complaint, if you know?

LAURION: I don’t know when he received it. I know that I received their receipt that said it had also been sent to him, and I received that a few days prior to receiving the Summons.

TANICK: And do you have that receipt?

LAURION: I have – – I have it at home, yes.

TANICK: All right. May I ask you to furnish it to your counsel? And I would ask Mr. Kelly to furnish to us the receipt.

(REPORTER’S NOTE: Request for production.)

TANICK: Is it a – – excuse me. Is it like a mailing receipt or a stamped receipt or what? What do you mean by “receipt”?

LAURION: It was an acknowledgment form that they had received my complaint.

TANICK: Was it a letter. Was it – –

KELLY: Why don’t we just do it this way. We’ll produce it.

TANICK: Do you know what – – do you know – – do you know that you indeed have it? You’ll be able to find it?

LAURION: I believe so.

TANICK: All right. Produce it for us please. Mr. Laurion, in your Answer to the lawsuit – – and I – – we’ll make a separate copy, but I’ll – – I just want to ask you about a couple things you say in your Answer to the lawsuit. I’ll – – I’ll show you.

KELLY: Hang on.

TANICK: Do you have a copy of it, John?

KELLY: No, I don’t. Just hang on. I’ll be back.

(Brief recess from approximately 9:33 a.m. to approximately 9:35 a.m.)

KELLY: Okay. Sorry.

TANICK: That’s all right. We’ll get to that in a second. There’s one other thing I want to ask you about, Mr. Laurion. In your complaint to the medical board – – that’s Exhibit 9. I think you have that in front of you. That’s the – – it’s called “Statement of Complaint.” Yeah, you have it there.

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: The form you filled out. [ Comment is absent from this display because it discusses an assertion never made in public. ] That’s what you said. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And you didn’t state that in your Web site posting, did you?

LAURION: We discussed this yesterday. [ Comment is absent from this display because it discusses an assertion never made in public. ]

TANICK: You say you weren’t aware of it at the time you did the Web posting?

LAURION: No, I had not discussed it with my – –

TANICK: And you – – excuse me. Finish up. I’m sorry. I interrupted you.

LAURION: I was finished.

TANICK: You said, “I didn’t discuss it with,” and I interrupted you.

LAURION: Oh, I may have simply been repeating that I hadn’t discussed it with my wife until later.

TANICK: And you didn’t see it actually? You never saw that?

LAURION:  [ Comment is absent from this display because it discusses an assertion never made in public. ]

TANICK: [ Comment is absent from this display because it discusses an assertion never made in public. ]

LAURION: [ Comment is absent from this display because it discusses an assertion never made in public. ]

TANICK: All right.

LAURION: [ Comment is absent from this display because it discusses an assertion never made in public. ]

TANICK: [ Comment is absent from this display because it discusses an assertion never made in public. ]

LAURION: Yes, I do.

TANICK: Would you take a look at the Answer? Perhaps, well, maybe Mr. Kelly will show you a copy. Just a minute, please.

KELLY: Is it an Exhibit?

TANICK: No, it’s not an Exhibit. I’m not going to use it as an Exhibit.

KELLY: Well, let’s see.

TANICK: I have a couple questions I want to ask you about your Answer to the lawsuit.

LAURION: You’re asking questions from the formal document referred to as – –

TANICK: The Answer – –

LAURION: – – the Answer?

TANICK: – – of Defendant Dennis K. Laurion, right. Just a second here.

KELLY: (Handing.)

TANICK: In your Answer, Mr. Laurion – – in the Answer – – I know that was prepared by your lawyer on your behalf, but did you read it before it was filed or furnished to us?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: All right. Is there anything in there that you thought you disagreed with? I know it’s a lot of legal jargon, but I’m just wondering if you disagreed with anything that was set forth in the Answer that was filed on your behalf.

KELLY: Well, it – – oh, go ahead.

LAURION: (Reviewing document.) I don’t believe so.

TANICK: Okay. Can you take a look at Paragraph 14.

LAURION: (Reviewing document.)

TANICK: I’m sorry. 13. Excuse me. It asserts that any – – any statements that you made regarding your father’s treatment at St. Luke’s Hospital are immune from civil liability under Minnesota Statute 147.121. Do you know what that refers to?

LAURION: Yes, I know what it refers to. It refers to – –

KELLY: You needn’t answer that question because it asks for – – it is an assertion of a legal defense, and the question calls for a legal opinion, and you needn’t go into that.

TANICK: I didn’t ask him for a legal opinion.

KELLY: I have instructed him not to ask – – answer your question.

(REPORTER’S NOTE: Instruction not to answer.)

TANICK: All right.

KELLY: Bring it up with the Court.

TANICK: All right.

KELLY: It’s an improper question. You know it. So let’s go on.

TANICK: I disagree with you, Mr. Kelly.

KELLY: Well, then you can bring it up with the Court.

TANICK: You stated your position and I’ve stated mine. Take a look at Paragraph 14, please. In that paragraph, you allege – – you state that any statements you made about your Mr. – – Dr. McKee’s treatment of your father are immune from liability under Minnesota Statute 554.03. Let me ask you this. Do you know what the statute is, what statute you’re referring to?

KELLY: You can answer that question. Do you know what that statute is?

LAURION: Not at this time, no.

TANICK: All right. Do you know of any facts that would support the assertion that – – that your claims are subject to – – that the claims are subject to immunity?

KELLY: The objection is the same. The instruction is the same. He won’t answer that question.

(REPORTER’s NOTE: Instruction not to answer.)

TANICK: I understand. I want to make it very clear that I’m asking for a factual basis  for your assertion of immunity under the Minnesota Statute – – Statute 54 – – 554.03. That’s my question. You can make your objection, Mr. Kelly.

KELLY: I will. My objection is based on this. You’ve already established that he doesn’t know what the Statute is, so to ask him a question about the factual basis  for whether  or not the statutory  requirements are met doesn’t get you anywhere.

TANICK: All right. When you did your posting on the three – – or the two Web sites that you say you posted, InsiderPages and Vitals.com. Right?

LAURION: Okay.

TANICK: Those were not communications you made to any government entity, were they?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: And you weren’t trying to influence any kind of government action by these postings, were you?

LAURION: It’s possible that somebody reading it might have written to their Congressman or their state legislator.

TANICK: Well, anything’s possible. Was that your intent when you put it there?

LAURION: I don’t know. It was within the realm what could happen, and that I felt at the time.

TANICK: Was that – – was that your purpose by putting it on those Web sites, to influence governmental decision-making?

LAURION: Not in entirety, no.

TANICK: And those were, indeed, published in the world at large, weren’t they?

LAURION: Well, we agreed to that yesterday.

TANICK: Let me ask you about Paragraph 4, your answers on the first page of your Answer. I’ll let you read it for a minute.

LAURION: (Reviewing document.)

TANICK: Do you agree with what’s set forth in Paragraph 4, that what you stated – – the materials that you submitted to various entities, including the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, constituted, quote, “a factual recitation of what you observed and heard” concerning Dr. McKee’s conduct when he was examining your father?

LAURION: I think that they constitute the exactness of what I saw.

TANICK: So you don’t have any  – – you don’t disagree with how that’s phrased?

KELLY: Well, we’ve already gone into that. He’s already said yes, so we can repeat that ad nauseum, but he’s testified to that.

TANICK: Did you participate or assist your wife in submitting a complaint to the medical board regarding Dr. McKee?

LAURION: [Comment is absent from this display because it discusses actions of a person who was not a party to this suit.]

TANICK: [Comment is absent from this display because it discusses actions of a person who was not a party to this suit.]

LAURION: [Comment is absent from this display because it discusses actions of a person who was not a party to this suit.]

TANICK: Okay. Would you mark that as 14?

(Whereupon, Deposition Exhibit 14 was marked for identification.)

REPORTER: Exhibit 14.

TANICK: Mr. Laurion, a few moments ago you mentioned – – you brought up a receipt you received from the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, and you say you thought you had it at home, and Mr. Kelly said he’d produce it. In looking through my papers here, after I asked you that, I see this document, which I take it – – I presume that’s the document you’re referring to?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: You called it a receipt, so that kind of confused me, but it’s a letter you received from them, from the board. Right?

LAURION: It says, “This will acknowledge we received your complaint.”

TANICK: Right.

LAURION: That’s a receipt to me.

TANICK: All right. I’ll – – I’ll accept your word. You call it a receipt. So I do have that. You don’t have to produce it. You already produced it, and Mr. Kelly doesn’t have to furnish it to us. I do have that document. As I said, I was a little confused when you used the word “receipt,” I see it as a letter, but I’m not going to quarrel with you about semantics.

(REPORTER’S NOTE: Withdrawal of request for production.)

TANICK: My question is, that’s the document you received from the board indicating that they received your complaint. It’s dated May 20th. Right?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And I take it you probably would have received that sometime May 21st or 22nd or somewhere right around that area?

LAURION: I’m not sure.

TANICK: Okay.

LAURION: It was timely.

TANICK: Do you know when – – whether doctor – – well, strike that. That’s okay. Exhibit 7. Would you take a look at Exhibit 5, please? That’s a document that I believe you testified yesterday reflects a posting of the newspaper article that appeared in the Duluth News Tribune about this lawsuit, and it’s posted on DoctorScoreCard. Correct?

LAURION: Yes.

TANICK: And you were the one that posted that?

LAURION: I am.

KELLY: Asked and answered.

TANICK: Why did you use the word “anonymous”?

LAURION: Because I didn’t open an account with them, and I’m not even sure I used the word “anonymous” or if I just filled in the block and then it registered as “anonymous” or posted as “anonymous”. Some of those forms simply have a block where you can either put in your name and a comment – –

TANICK: The – –

LAURION: – – or you can just put in a comment.

TANICK: This is dated – – apparently the posting was done on September 2nd, 2010. At least that’s what the date suggests – – or that doesn’t suggest it. It says that. Right?

LAURION: I don’t know where you’re picking that up from.

TANICK: It’s on the bottom of the second page. It says, “Overall score given by anonymous on 09/02/10.”

LAURION: That’s cut off of the Exhibit.

TANICK: You don’t have that on yours?

LAURION: The date is. Whatever it says on the bottom is truncated.

TANICK: Let me see that for a minute. I was referring to that part there (indicating) where it says, “Edit”.

LAURION: Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were – – what was your question?

TANICK: My question is, do you recall posting this on or about September 2nd, 2010?

LAURION: I don’t recall what the date was, but I recall posting it.

TANICK: All right. Well, was there something that caused you to post this on or about that date?

KELLY: We went into this yesterday. It’s been asked and answered.

TANICK: I don’t remember that.

KELLY: Well – –

TANICK: But if you could just answer it for me, I’d appreciate it.

LAURION: As I became aware of sites that were either discussing doctors or the concept of doctors suing people, I posted the article. And I didn’t find those sites on the same day, and consequently I didn’t post them on the same day.

TANICK: You mentioned a few moments ago, in response to one of my questions, Mr. Laurion, that you had some type of – – you had some type of time line. Do you remember saying that a few minutes ago? You said “time line”?

LAURION: I think the form that I sent to the – – I was referring to the letter that I sent to the Minnesota board.

TANICK: You’re referring to the letter of May 20th, which kind of lays out when certain events happened? Is that what you’re referring to as “time line”? May – –

LAURION: May 20th – –

TANICK: – – 22nd?

LAURION: – – was my receipt.

TANICK: Well, I’m talking – – on May 22nd, is that what you referred to as a time line? I think that’s Exhibit 10.

LAURION: Yes, that’s what I was referring to as a time line.

TANICK: Have you prepared any other kind of document that lays out a chronology in any way of events other than what we’ve already seen?

LAURION: No.

TANICK: Can we break for a minute, and I’ll see if we’re done. I think we are, but I just want to check my notes.

KELLY: Okay.

(Brief recess from approximately 9:53 a.m. until approximately 10:03 a. m.)

TANICK: All right. We took a short break, Mr. Laurion, and I want to ask you, before we conclude, if there’s anything you want to add to or delete from or modify or change in your testimony heretofore.

LAURION: No.

TANICK: All right. Well, I don’t have any more questions for you.

KELLY: Okay. We’ll play hopscotch, and you come on down the line here and grab one of those chairs.

(Discussion off the record.)

REPORTER: Reading and signing?

KELLY: We’ll read and sign, yeah.

(Whereupon, the deposition of Dennis K. Laurion was concluded at approximately 10:30 o’clock a. m.

Dennis Laurion Deposition Signature Page Front

LARGER COPY

Dennis Laurion Deposition Signature Page Reverse

LARGER COPY

DEPOSITION OF BONNIE LAURION

DEPOSITION OF DR. DAVID MCKEE

 

 

 

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