Former ED director sues Vermont hospital over alleged retaliation

Copley Hospital in Morristown, Vt., is facing a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by its former emergency department director, who is alleging the hospital retaliated against him after he raised safety concerns related to the switch to a new records system, according to a report from VTDiggerVTDigger. 

Liam Gannon, MD, was a senior emergency department physician when hospital administrators terminated him in November, according to the lawsuit filed March 6 in Vermont Superior Court. Court documents cited by VTDigger state that in 2020, Dr. Gannon tested a new records system the hospital was considering adopting and found it "could cause issues such as delayed or missed orders, which could in turn affect patient safety and the quality of patient care."

After the new software was fully adopted, the lawsuit alleges "numerous safety offenses relating to the new system" were reported to the quality department, and that leadership grew increasingly antagonistic toward the physician until he ultimately stepped down from his position as ED director in March 2023. 

He was ultimately terminated in November, the suit alleges, after having raised concerns surrounding the performance of the physician who replaced him. 

In the months after his termination, several current and former employees wrote letters to hospital leadership protesting his firing, according to VTDigger. Nancy Banks, who was chair of the hospital's board of trustees at the time of Dr. Gannon's firing, decided not to seek another term when her term ended in January. The physician's firing, she told the news outlet, "was one of several items" that led to her decision. 

"As a hospital, we do take seriously the responsibility to protect the right to privacy for our patients, providers, and all of our employees," Emily McKenna, executive director of development, marketing and community relations at Copley, told VTDigger; she declined to comment on Dr. Gannon's firing. 

Becker's has reached out to Copley Hospital and will update this story if more information becomes available. 

Copley Hospital's website still lists Dr. Gannon as an emergency physician.

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