Star Tribune: Judge Throws Out Neurologist’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Patient’s Son

APRIL 29, 2011

Judge Throws Out Neurologist’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Patient’s Son”


DULUTH, Minn. – A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Duluth neurologist who claimed he was defamed by a patient’s son who criticized the doctor’s bedside manner.

Dr. David McKee alleged in his lawsuit that Dennis Laurion of Duluth made false statements about McKee’s treatment of Laurion’s father to the American Academy of Neurology, St. Luke’s Hospital, colleagues and others. The lawsuit said Laurion alleged McKee failed to treat his father with dignity following a stroke and told him he didn’t need therapy.

McKee tells the Duluth News Tribune that Laurion is “a liar and a bully and a coward.” McKee says he hasn’t decided whether he will appeal Judge Eric Hylden’s ruling. The judge said Laurion’s statements as a whole were not defamatory, but rather “an emotional discussion of the issues.”

Laurion says the lawsuit has been stressful for his whole family and he’s grateful the judge found no need for a trial.


Nomeds : Wow, if the good Doctor was concerned about the statments made by another, he should really be concerned that this has hit the newspapers.

rusty123: Sounds like the good doctor needs to go back to school to learn the definition of defamatory.

dymoman: Wow, a “good doctor” says that Laurion is “liar, bully, coward”. Sounds like a defamation to me.

drfrankt:  2 classes that should be required for MD’s before graduation and licensure…Bedside Manners (you are not infallible) and Legible Handwriting!

whadjawant:  we need to get over the “doctor-god-complex” we’ve evolved. (1) doctors are human and fallible. (2) their mistakes should be public knowledge – just like mechanics and plumbers – its ok to share information – in PUBLIC forums. (3) patients need to know what the doctors are like AND what the persons complaining about them is like. Fair is Fair.

goferfanz: More proof the civil courtroom is run by lawyers, for trial lawyers. For all the inane medmal lawsuits that go to trial, this one cant even get to a courtroom? Ah yes, our civil courts—>probably the top reason that American jobs have gone overseas (what does Walmart get, like 20 new civil lawsuits a day?). How’s the economy everyone……ask a lawyer, starting with Barry and his pals!

mattmosc: This doctor was my brother-in-laws neurologist. He knows his craft well, but he is short, curt and to the point when he was giving the family his outcome. I was happy he didn’t beat around the bush. Sadly he passed away, but he did not give us false hope!

minnesotacha: I see your point. We should give as much money as possible to corporations, who will surely put the concerns of average citizens such as ourselves above menial profits. We should also do away with the First Amendment so these wonderful companies do not have to hear criticisms which, by definition, must be false.

swmnguy:  Thanks for the insight. That’s what I was suspecting about this doctor from reading the story. Some of these high-powered specialists are almost like people with Asperger’s, in their lack of tact. Beyond the lack of tact, they often don’t listen to advice. The doctor ought to be better with patients’ families, but he’s human so he isn’t. But he also ought to have the sense to leave a bad situation alone and not try to sue under these circumstances. Now he’s goofed twice. Whether he likes it or not, he is in a field that deals with the public. If he’s not capable of it, he needs to hire a personal assistant who is. But guys like this are often so out of sync with normal human emotions they can’t even tell how out of sync they are and they can’t imagine how other people get so upset by them.


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