St Luke's Hospital

Doctor: David C Mckee

I had to find out if you transferred or died

Hospital Complaint About: St Luke's Hospital - David C Mckee

Minnesota, Duluth
Author: Undisclosed
Hospital Service: Excellent - Nurse: Mike

Occur date: Apr 19 2010
Post date: Apr 23 2010, 03:33:42 PM

Doctor Complaint: David C Mckee - St Luke's Hospital

My father spent 2 days in ICU after a hemorrhagic stroke. He saw a speech therapist and physical therapist for evaluation. About 10 minutes after my father transferred from ICU to a ward room, Dr. David C. McKee walked into a family visit with my dad. He seemed upset that my father had been moved. Never having met my father or his family, Dr. McKee said, "When you weren't in ICU, I had to spend time finding out if you transferred or died." When we gaped at him, he said, "Well, 44% of hemorrhagic strokes die within 30 days. I guess this is the better option." My father mentioned that he'd been seen by a physical therapist and speech therapist for evaluation. Dr. McKee said, "Therapists? You don't need therapy." He pulled my father to a sitting position and asked him to get out of bed and walk. When my father said his gown was just hanging from his neck without a back, Dr. McKee said, "That doesn't matter." My wife said, "It matters to us; let us go into the hall." Five minutes later, Dr. McKee strode out of the room. He did not talk to my mother or me. When I mentioned Dr. McKee's name to a friend who is a nurse, she said, "Dr. McKee is a real tool!"


St Luke's Hospital - HOSPITAL INFORMATION:
Address: 915 East First Street - Minnesota, Duluth Phone: (218) 726-5555






11 Comments       Leave comment to complaint below

Heidi
Hospital In Complaint
Nov 07 2010, 08:20:23 PM
This man saved my life. You have to understand his dry sense of humor, very dry, yet very intelligent.

Propagated Post
Anonymous
Mar 14 2011, 05:07:56 AM
The WWII Vet vs. The Doctor: A Case of Internet Defamation

There must be something in the air, because as of late, defamation lawsuits are popping up from sea to shining sea-online and off. Former Major League superstar, Roger Clemens, is embroiled in an upcoming defamation lawsuit, while online travel heavyweight, TripAdvisor.com, is staring down the barrel of a group action being pursued by hundreds of hotel vendors; and in Duluth, Minnesota, a doctor is suing his patient's son for-yep, you guessed it-spreading lies online.

In April of last year, World War II Veteran, Kenneth Laurion, was treated for a hemorrhagic stroke at St. Luke's Hospital by Dr. David McKee, a neurologist. During Mr. Laurion's time in the hospital, his family alleged that Dr. McKee's behavior was unacceptable. The Laurions insist that Dr. McKee's bedside manner was beyond reproach. The good doc, they claimed, lacked common sensitivity-in both actions and comments-towards patient Kenneth and the rest of the Laurion clan. Like many would today, Dennis Laurion, Kenneth's son, took to the Internet and made his displeasure with McKee known.

In June, Dr. McKee filed a defamation suit against Dennis. McKee's attorney, Marshall Tanick, called Laurion's alleged defamatory remarks ,"weapons of mass destruction" (oh yes, he went there). Tanick continued by arguing, "The totality of statements made on these websites would be injurious to the reputation and standing of a doctor in the eyes of others who might see it, including patients or prospective patients, colleagues, peers, referral sources, and others."

On February 8th, accompanied by his wife and father, Dennis Laurion found himself in the Sixth Judicial District Court. He explained how when he went to the Intensive care unit to check on his father, he overheard Dr. McKee quip, "I had to find out whether you had been transferred or died."

In a deposition, McKee acknowledged that he had made the statement, but insists it was in good humor and intended to alleviate tension.

Dr. McKee is seeking excess of $50,000. The Laurions and their lawyer, John Kelly, are claiming that any statements made about the doctor were true, thereby rendering Dennis Laurion immune from any liability. In the eyes of Kelly, Laurion's comments were opinions that cannot be demonstrated to be false in court.

Eric Hylden, the presiding judge, announced that the suit was a "very interesting type of case." Later, Hylden implied that, Constitutionally, Dennis certainly has a right to an opinion but went on to question whether or not there is some limitation to what citizens can say in an online public forum.

Hylden has 90 days to mull over the issue before his summary judgment ruling is due. Between you, me and the lamppost, it certainly does seem like someone's itching to shake up laws which revolve around Internet defamation.

See more at http://www.aaronkellylaw.com/Internet-Law-and-Intellectual-Property-Articles/The-WWII-Vet-vs-The-Doctor-A-Case-of-Internet-Defamation.shtml .

Reddit
A Person
Apr 30 2011, 02:54:28 AM
Source: http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/197679/publisher_ID/36/

Judge tosses Duluth doctor's suit against patient's family


By Mark Stodghill, April 28, 2011

A judge threw out a lawsuit today filed by a Duluth physician who said he was defamed by a man who publicly criticized his bedside manner.

Dr. David McKee, a neurologist with Northland Neurology and Myology, alleged that Dennis Laurion of Duluth defamed him and interfered with his business by making false statements to the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, two physicians in Duluth, the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Advisory Committee and St. Luke’s hospital, among others.

Laurion was critical of the treatment his father, Kenneth, received from McKee after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke and spending four days at St. Luke’s hospital from April 17-21 last year. Kenneth Laurion recovered from his condition.

Dennis Laurion claimed that any statements he made about the doctor were true and that he was immune from any liability to the plaintiff.

In his 18-page order dismissing the suit, Sixth Judicial District Judge Eric Hylden wrote that looking at Laurion’s “statements as a whole, the court does not find defamatory meaning, but rather a sometimes emotional discussion of the issues.”

Hylden addressed the fact that Laurion posted some of his criticisms of McKee on websites. “In modern society, there needs to be some give and take, some ability for parties to air their differences,” the judge wrote. “Today, those disagreements may take place on various Internet sources. Because the medium has changed, however, does not make statements of this sort any more or less defamatory.”
Hylden concluded his order by stating that there wasn’t enough objective information provided to justify asking a jury to decide the matter.

Laurion was relieved by the court’s ruling.

“My parents, who are now 86, my wife and I have found this process very stressful for the past year, since my father’s stroke. There was never just one defendant,” he said. “We’re grateful that Judge Hylden found no need for a trial.”

In his suit, McKee alleged that Laurion made false statements including that McKee “seemed upset” that Kenneth Laurion had been transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to a ward room; that McKee told the Laurion family that he had to “spend time finding out if [the patient] had been transferred or died;” that McKee told the Laurions that 44 percent of hemorrhagic stroke victims die within 30 days; that McKee told the patient that he didn’t need therapy; that McKee said it didn’t matter that the patient’s gown was hanging from his neck with his backside exposed; that McKee blamed the patient for the loss of his time; and that McKee didn’t treat his patient with dignity.

According to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice website, McKee has had no disciplinary actions brought against him.

“I’m very disappointed by this court’s decision because as far as I can see the only avenue that I can see that I had to respond to this overwhelming attack was through the courts, and for the time being it appears that avenue has been closed without me ever getting a chance to present my evidence,” McKee said.

McKee said he hadn’t had a chance to confer with Marshall Tanick, his Minneapolis attorney. He said he will do so before he decides whether to appeal the decision. Tanick told the News Tribune he had not yet seen the decision and couldn’t comment on it.

“Dennis Laurion is a liar and a bully and a coward,” McKee said. “He knowingly made false and malicious statements about me to a total of 19 different professional and medical organizations, regulatory agencies and websites. He often used false names and attributed his statements to fictitious third parties. I’ll make the observation that every one of those organizations that was required to make an official decision or take an official action either determined that the statement that he made was so ludicrous that it required no response from me at all or decided that his complaint had no merit.”

Laurion’s attorney John Kelly has been in another trial this week and said tonight that he had not yet read the decision.

“I’m grateful that the judge saw things our way for our client’s sake,” Kelly said.

Kelly was critical of McKee’s reaction to the decision.


“I think it’s regrettable that somebody would choose language of that kind in commenting on a court decision,” Kelly said. “Secondly, this case has always been about Mr. Laurion’s reaction to what he perceived to be poor conduct on the doctor’s part in relation to his interaction with his father. And he stood up and said something about that and the judge has agreed that what he said was within the bounds that are permissible under our law.”

Reddit
A Person
May 30 2011, 04:47:32 AM
The court's dismissal order is posted at:

http://www.onpointnews.com/docs/Mckee-v-Laurion.pdf

Ben D
A Person
Jun 25 2011, 08:34:52 AM
Duluth News Tribune, Christa Lawler, June 14, 2011

A Duluth physician whose defamation suit against a former patient’s son was thrown out of district court said he has no choice but to file an appeal.

Dr. David McKee, a neurologist with Northland Neurology and Myology, said he is still being targeted in online attacks related to the lawsuit he filed in June 2010 against Dennis Laurion.

McKee, who treated Laurion’s father after he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, alleges that Laurion made false statements about him to neurological associations, other physicians, St. Luke’s Hospital and the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Advisory Committee, among others. He is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

McKee said a sudden concentration of unfavorable critiques about him cropped up online before Sixth District Judge Eric Hylden dismissed the suit.

“It appears that Mr. Laurion made over 100 adverse postings on the Internet once he became aware that he was going to receive a favorable decision on the motion for summary judgment,” McKee said. “Appealing seems to me the only way to curb the activities of this malicious person.”

Laurion said he has not posted anything on the Internet about McKee since the lawsuit was filed last June. He said his lawyer advised him not to. But, because the case was thrown out, technically he could if he wanted to, he said.

Laurion said he was aware there was an influx of Internet chatter about McKee after a link to a story about McKee appeared on the high-traffic website reddit.com.

Marshall Tanick, the Minneapolis lawyer who is representing McKee, said the appellate court will have a hearing before a three-judge panel in the fall or later this year.

“(McKee) believes the trial judge erred in dismissing the lawsuit,” Tanick said. “He is asking the appellate court to reverse the decision and reinstate the case so that he has his day in court before a jury.”

Kenneth Laurion spent four days at St. Luke’s hospital in April 2010. John Kelly, Dennis Laurion’s lawyer, told the News Tribune last summer they didn’t feel McKee acted appropriately toward their father, and they reported it to the hospital and Board of Medical Practice.

Hylden wrote in his 18-page order dismissing the suit that the court did not find Laurion’s statements about McKee defamatory, “but rather a sometimes emotional discussion of the issues.”

Content Scraper
Anonymous
May 19 2012, 04:05:08 AM
Doctor's suit tests limits of online criticism

MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune (Star Tribune Dot Com) March 25, 2012

Two years ago, Dennis Laurion logged on to a rate-your-doctor website to vent about a Duluth neurologist, Dr. David McKee.

McKee had examined Laurion's father, Kenneth, when he was hospitalized after a stroke. The family, Laurion wrote, wasn't happy with his bedside manner. "When I mentioned Dr. McKee's name to a friend who is a nurse, she said, 'Dr. McKee is a real tool!'" he wrote.

McKee wasn't amused. He sued Laurion for defamation, and now the case is pending before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

McKee, 50, is one of a small number of doctors who have gone to court to fight online critics, in cases that are testing the limits of free speech on the Internet. "Doctors are not used to public criticism," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law in California, who tracks such lawsuits. "So it's a new phenomenon for them."

While such cases are rare, Goldman said, they've been popping up around the country as patient review sites such as vitals.com and rateyourdoctor.com have flourished. Defamation suits are "kind of the nuclear option," Goldman said. "It's the thing that you go to when everything else has failed."

McKee's lawyer, Marshall Tanick, said the doctor felt he had no choice but to sue to protect his reputation and his medical practice. "It's like removing graffiti from a wall," said Tanick. He said Laurion distorted the facts -- not only on the Internet, but in more than a dozen complaint letters to various medical groups. "He put words in the doctor's mouth," making McKee "sound uncaring, unsympathetic or just stupid."

McKee calls Laurion "a liar and a bully," and says he has spent more than $7,000 to "scrub" the Internet of more than 100 vitriolic comments, many traced to a single computer (IP address) in Duluth.

"Somebody who holds a grudge against you can very maliciously go on the Internet, post anything they want, and ... basically redefine who you are," he said.

Laurion, 65, a retired Coast Guard chief petty officer, says he deleted the Internet comments shortly after the lawsuit was filed and "never rewrote them."

At the same time, his lawyer, John D. Kelly, defends the postings. He says it was Laurion's perception that "the doctor's speech and conduct were tactless and inconsiderate." And that, he argued, is "constitutionally protected."

So far, Minnesota courts have had mixed reactions. A district court in Duluth dismissed McKee's lawsuit last year, but the state Appeals Court reinstated it in January. Laurion has appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The dispute isn't about McKee's medical decisions, but about something less tangible: his body language and comments when he walked into Kenneth Laurion's room at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth on April 20, 2010.

In his online postings, Dennis Laurion wrote that McKee "seemed upset" because he thought his father, then 84, was still in intensive care.

"Never having met my father or his family, Dr. McKee said, 'When you weren't in the ICU, I had to spend time finding out if you transferred or died,'" according to Laurion's account. "When we gaped at him, he said, 'Well, 44 percent of hemorrhagic strokes die within 30 days. I guess this is the better option.'"

Laurion, who was visiting with his wife and mother, wrote that McKee was brusque and dismissive during the exam, especially when his father raised concerns that his hospital gown was hanging open at the back. "Dr. McKee said, 'That doesn't matter,'" according to Laurion's account. "My wife said, 'It matters to us,'" and they left the room.

McKee discovered the online comments when a patient brought them to his attention. He filed suit, seeking more than $50,000 in damages. "The way he quoted me was completely inaccurate," McKee said in an interview. At the time, he said, nobody in the room "appeared to me to be the slightest bit upset."

According to court documents, McKee admitted making a "jocular comment" about only two ways to leave the intensive care unit, but said he only meant that he was relieved to find Laurion in his hospital bed. He denied citing any statistic about stroke deaths and said the entire story was distorted beyond recognition.

"Every physician gets an occasional complaint from a patient, or even a patient's family member, but this was so ridiculous," he said. "This just seemed so extremely over the top, and really meant to be harmful."

In the first legal battle, district Judge Eric Hylden in Duluth sided with Laurion. "The statements in this case appear to be nothing more or less than one man's description of shock at the way he and in particular his father were treated by a physician," he wrote in dismissing the suit in April 2011.

The appeals court disagreed, ruling in January that some of the statements were fair game for a defamation suit and sending the dispute back for trial.

Tanick, McKee's lawyer, said the case isn't just about someone voicing an opinion. He said Laurion defamed the doctor by accusing him of things "that never happened."

Laurion's lawyer, however, says it's a matter of perception. "Something happened in that room that disturbed the four members of the family significantly," he said.

More than a dozen defamation suits have been filed since 2004 by doctors or dentists over online reviews; most have been dismissed or settled, according to Eric Goldman, an associate professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law in California.

Some medical practices have even tried to silence critics by requiring patients to sign a form forbidding them from posting comments on the Internet.

But Dr. Jeffrey Segal, a North Carolina neurosurgeon who promoted the controversial forms, says he's since had a change of heart; he "retired" them last year in the face of widespread criticism. Now his firm, MedicalJustice.com, advises doctors how to use consumer websites to their advantage. "Doctors need to know how they're being perceived," he said. "If you've got 100 people saying he's a jerk, maybe he is a jerk," he said. But the vast majority of reviews are positive, he noted.Most of the time, Segal said, a negative review can be neutralized "with something as simple as saying, 'Hey, I was having a bad day. I'm sorry.'" Or calling the patient to apologize for getting off on the wrong foot. "Those words often solve the problem," he said.

Still, Goldman says it's important for consumers to "choose their words" carefully in online reviews. "We've been given the power to critique vendors in the marketplace," he said, "but no one's taught us how to make sure that we aren't going to lose our house by doing so."

Anonymous Emailer
Anonymous
Aug 23 2012, 04:43:22 AM
State Supreme Court to hear oral arguments about doctor online rating defamation lawsuit

http://www.mncourts.gov/Documents/0/Public/Calendars/September_2012.pdf
Oral hearings for David McKee MD vs Dennis Laurion to be held 9/4/12 at Minnesota Supreme Court, Second Floor, State Capitol, St. Paul MN.

Anonymous Emailer
Anonymous
Sep 14 2012, 02:14:56 AM
Star Tribune, September 4, 2012

Maura Lerner • 612-673-7384


A state Supreme Court case is testing the boundaries of website reviews.
Is it defamatory to call a doctor a "real tool?"


Or to claim that a nurse described a doctor that way?


The Minnesota Supreme Court wrestled with those questions on Tuesday, as the justices heard arguments in a case about what is or isn't fair game on the Internet.


Two years ago, a Duluth neurologist, Dr. David McKee, sued the son of an elderly patient for defamation over some negative comments that were posted on rate-your-doctor websites.


On Tuesday, the state's top court was asked to decide whether the lawsuit should finally go to trial, after the case was thrown out by a lower court and reinstated on appeal. The lawsuit is one of a growing number of legal battles testing the limits of free speech on the Internet.


A good portion of the oral arguments were devoted to the meaning of the words that Dennis Laurion, 65, used to describe his family's encounter with McKee in April, 2010, when Laurion's father, Kenneth, then 84, was hospitalized with a stroke.


After McKee examined his father, Laurion complained about the doctor's bedside manner on several websites. "When I mentioned Dr. McKee's name to a friend who is a nurse, she said, 'Dr. McKee is a real tool!'" he wrote.


John Kelly, Laurion's attorney, noted that Internet sites are a "free for all" for people to share opinions and that his client's comments were perfectly appropriate. "We have a word, the word 'tool,'" Kelly told the justices. "When you look at the word, you have to ask: Is it defamatory?" He argued that the phrase, while "it clearly is not a compliment," is no worse than "calling someone an idiot or a fool."


During questioning, some of the justices seemed to agree. "Saying someone's a 'real tool' sounds more like an opinion than a statement of fact," Justice Christopher Dietzen said.


Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea had a similar reaction. "The point of the post is, 'This doctor did not treat my father well,'" she said. "I can't grasp why that wouldn't be protected opinion."


But McKee's lawyer, Marshall Tanick, argued that Laurion had gone beyond opinion, "making up" statements that were untrue. He noted that Laurion had never been able to identify the nurse who allegedly called McKee a tool. "There was no nurse," Tanick said. "He made it up."
He also accused Laurion of putting words in McKee's mouth that made him look "insensitive and uncaring."


See the whole article:
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/168552176.html

See the comments:
http://www.facebook.com/startribune/posts/527714173921326?comment_id=110848277&offset=0&total_comments=9



Anonymous Emailer
Anonymous
Sep 22 2012, 10:32:33 AM
In David McKee MD vs Dennis Laurion, the plaintiff’s attorney told the Minnesota Supreme Court the correct way to critique a doctor at a rating site.

Taken from Marshall Tanick’s comments to Minnesota Supreme Court:
http://www.tpt.org/courts/MNJudicialBranchvideo_NEW.php?number=A111154#

He may have been upset at how Dr. McKee treated his father. Apparently he was, and he’s entitled to say that. He can say that “I’m upset. Doctor McKee did not treat my father well. He was insensitive.” He can make statements like that: “He didn’t spend enough time in my opinion.” He can make factual (sic) statements, he can make them on the Internet, he can make them in letters, he can write a letter to the editor, he can stand in front of St. Luke’s Hospital with a placard saying those things if they are opinions . . .

Tribune Reader
A Person
Feb 07 2013, 02:35:55 PM
Article by: ABBY SIMONS , Star Tribune, Updated January 30, 2013 - 9:59 PM

Finding no harm done, justices toss out lawsuit by Duluth physician.

Dennis Laurion fired off his screed on a few rate-your-doctor websites in April 2010, along with some letters about what he saw as poor bedside manner by his father's neurologist. He expected at most what he calls a "non-apology apology."

"I really thought I'd receive something within a few days along the lines of 'I'm sorry you thought I was rude, that was not my intent' and that would be the end of it," the 66-year-old Duluth retiree said. "I certainly did not expect to be sued."

He was. Dr. David McKee's defamation lawsuit was the beginning of a four-year legal battle that ended Wednesday when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the doctor had no legal claim against Laurion because there was no proof that his comments were false or were capable of harming the doctor's reputation.

The unanimous ruling reverses an earlier Appeals Court decision and brings to an end the closely watched case that brought to the forefront a First Amendment debate over the limits of free speech online.

It's a frustrating end for McKee, 51, who said he's spent at least $50,000 in legal fees and another $11,000 to clear his name online after the story went viral, resulting in hundreds more negative postings about him -- likely from people who never met him. He hasn't ruled out a second lawsuit stemming from those posts.

"The financial costs are significant, but money is money and five years from now I won't notice the money I spent on this," he said. "It's been the harm to my reputation through the repeated publicity and the stress."

He said he offered to settle the case at no cost after the Supreme Court hearing. Laurion contends they couldn't agree on the terms of the settlement, and said he not only deleted his initial postings after he was initially served, but had nothing to do with subsequent online statements about McKee.

The lawsuit followed the hospitalization of Laurion's father, Kenneth, for a hemorrhagic stroke at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth. Laurion, his mother and his wife were also in the room when McKee examined the father and made the statements that Laurion interpreted as rude. After his father was discharged, he wrote the reviews and sent the letters.

On at least two sites, Laurion wrote that McKee said that "44 percent of hemorrhagic strokes die within 30 days. I guess this is the better option," and that "It doesn't matter that the patient's gown did not cover his backside."

Laurion also wrote: "When I mentioned Dr. McKee's name to a friend who is a nurse, she said, 'Dr. McKee is a real tool!'"

McKee sued after he learned of the postings from another patient. A St. Louis County judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying Laurion's statements were either protected opinion, substantially true or too vague to convey a defamatory meaning. The Appeals Court reversed that ruling regarding six of Laurion's statements, reasoning that they were factual assertions and not opinions, that they harmed McKee's reputation and that they could be proven as false.

The Supreme Court disagreed. Writing the opinion, Justice Alan Page noted that McKee acknowledged that the gist of some of the statements were true, even if they were misinterpreted.
Page added that the "tool" statements also didn't pass the test of defaming McKee's character. He dismissed an argument by McKee's attorney, Marshall Tanick, that the "tool" comment was fabricated by Laurion and that the nurse never existed. Whether it was fabricated or not was irrelevant, the court ruled. "Referring to someone as 'a real tool' falls into the category of pure opinion because the term 'real tool' cannot be reasonably interpreted as stating a fact and it cannot be proven true or false," Page wrote.

Tanick said the ruling could present a slippery slope.

"This decision gives individuals a license to make derogatory and disparaging statements about doctors, professionals and really anyone for that matter on the Internet without much recourse," he said.

Jane Kirtley disagreed. The professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism said the ruling stems from "an elementary principle of libel law. I understand the rhetoric, but this is not a blank check for people to make false factual statements," she said. "Rather, it's an endorsement that statements of opinion are protected under the First Amendment."

Laurion's attorney, John D. Kelly, said the fact that Laurion's speech was made online was inconsequential to the ruling, which treated it as a standard defamation case. "It's almost as if things were said around the water cooler or perhaps posted in a letter to the editor," he said. "I think the principles they worked with are applicable to statements made irrespective of the medium."

Full article:
http://www.startribune.com/local/189028521.html?refer=y

Comments: http://comments.startribune.com/comments.php?d=content_comments&asset_id=189028521&sort=E&section=/local&page_nbr=2&ipp=10

McKee V Laurion
A Person
Jun 18 2014, 02:32:35 AM
This is from an April 4, 2014, Buzzfeed article by Jake Rossen.

David McKee, M.D., a Duluth, Minn., neurologist, was unaware of the Streisand phenomenon at the time he decided to sue Dennis Laurion. Laurion’s father, Kenneth, had suffered a stroke in April 2010; McKee was called in to assess Kenneth’s condition.

According to the Laurions, McKee was oblivious to Kenneth’s modesty. “His son was right there,” McKee counters. “If he was concerned about the gown, he didn’t get out of his chair to tie it.”

Dennis Laurion consulted with his family to see if his impression of the arrogant doctor was real or imagined. He fired off a dozen or more letters to a variety of medical institutions, including the hospital’s ombudsman, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, Medicare, and the American Medical Association.

McKee sued Laurion for defamation. A local Duluth newspaper picked up on the story, favoring Laurion’s interpretation of events.

In April 2011, the judge granted Laurion’s motion for summary judgment, ruling his comments were protected free speech. A user on Reddit.com posted the newspaper story. Almost overnight, dozens of “reviews” popped up on RateMDs.com and other sites with outlandish commentary on McKee, who was referred to as “the dickface doctor of Duluth.”

McKee found no easy way to exit the situation. “You get drawn in,” he says, suggesting his lawyer nudged him into further action. “It’s throwing good money after bad. … I wanted out almost as soon as I got in, and it was always, ‘Well, just one more step.’” McKee appealed, and the summary judgment was overturned. The case, and the measurable impact of being labeled a “real tool,” was now headed for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

McKee was rated for several years as a top provider in Duluth Superior Magazine, but “From now until the end of time, I’ll be the jerk neurologist who was rude to a World War II veteran,” the physician says. “I’m stuck with it forever.”


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