CMC, staff hit with lawsuit after patient dies in waiting room

Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca

A rare event that took place at the Cayuga Medical Center in January has resulted in a lawsuit being filed against three nurses, a doctor, as well as the entire hospital.

On January 19th Lloyd Phelps, a 52-year-old Ithaca man was incorrectly prioritized while visiting the emergency room. He arrived around 6 pm and would be found dead in the waiting room shortly before 8:30 pm.

Doctor David Evelyn, Vice President of Medical Affairs at CMC told the Ithaca Voice that events like these are rare. “it hasn’t happened here in probably — ever — that we know of.”

The lawsuit alleges negligence on behalf of the hospital.

Defendants listed in the lawsuit are Doctor Steven Elliott and the Cayuga Emergency Physicians LLP, along with nurses Virginia Lincoln, Kathy Fox and Lisa Carrow, according to the Voice.

Another corporation has been listed in the lawsuit, but the name has not been identified. All that is known about the business is that it employed Lisa Carrow, who was a traveling nurse at the hospital.

That traveling nurse, according to the Voice, was accused of falsifying the medical records when Phelps arrived at the emergency room.

“It appeared to us that there was a discrepancy between that story that the triage nurse was giving us and what we can see on the tapes,” officials said. “We were able to determine that the triage nurse did not take vital signs, even though there were vital signs in the record.”

Read more on this in-depth report from the Ithaca Voice

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