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Imprisoned ManorCare nurse sued in civil court

Friday, June 14, 2002

The Express-Times

EASTON -- The first nurse to serve federal prison time for falsifying records was sued Thursday in Northampton County Court by the family of the woman who died under her care.

Named in the suit were licensed practical nurse Lisa Taibi; her employer, ManorCare Bethlehem II on Westgate Drive in Bethlehem; corporate parent Manor Health Services Inc. of Toledo, Ohio; and several Manor subsidiaries.

According to the suit, Catherine Kavcak, formerly of Green Pond Road in Bethlehem, was admitted to ManorCare on June 2, 2000, to recover from hip surgery. The suit alleges Taibi disregarded an oral instruction on June 8, 2000, to lower Kavcak's blood-thinning medication.

Kavcak had to be hospitalized for internal bleeding on June 19, 2000, the suit says. She died June 29, 2000, the suit says. She was 84 years old.

After Kavcak's death, Taibi changed medical records to reflect that she lowered the dosage of blood thinner over a four-day period when in fact she did not, according to criminal court records.

The suit was filed by attorney Dennis Feely on behalf of Kavcak's husband, Michael J. Kavcak.

Taibi pleaded guilty to falsifying records. She was sentenced to 10 to 16 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Franklin S. Van Antwerpen on Nov. 22, 2001.

On the day of the sentencing, defense attorney Michael Moyer said the statute that covers falsifying medical records is usually applied to doctors who try to defraud the Medicare or Medicaid systems. He agreed with Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hoffman that this was the first time in the nation that a nurse was convicted in federal court of falsifying the records of a nursing home patient.

Taibi's sister, Susan Lynn Butkowski, said Taibi had just divorced her husband around the time she falsified the records. Job-related stress was difficult due to low staffing at ManorCare, Butkowski said.

Hoffman said Taibi took advantage of a defenseless victim, and the government must send a message that such behavior will not be tolerated.

A representative at Manor Health Services of Toledo could not be reached for comment.

Reporter Rudy Miller can be reached at 610-258-7171 or by e-mail at