Cobble Hill

Brooklyn judge scales back an earlier order in LICH case

August 23, 2013 By Charisma L. Miller, Esq. Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Carolyn Demarest issued an order Friday in the Long Island College/State University of New York-Downstate case, slightly reversing an earlier order.

Representatives of SUNY, LICH and the New York State Attorney General’s Office appeared in Demarest’s chambers to discuss Tuesday’s order demanding that LICH assets that were transferred to SUNY in 2011 be returned. The presence of the Attorney General’s Office was to indicate the AG’s commitment to ensuring that the charitable purposes of LICH are protected.

Back in 2011, Demarest granted the transfer request under the assertion by SUNY that it had no intention of closing LICH. SUNY and LICH are now the object of a protracted legal battle to keep the hospital doors open and the facility functioning after SUNY’s repeated attempts to shut the hospital down, citing financial woes.

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After hearing the arguments from all parties, Demarest’s Friday order halted the return of all LICH assets on the condition that SUNY does not transfer or otherwise encumber LICH assets currently in SUNY’s possession.

Demarest also demanded that LICH prepare a staffing plan to “immediately reopen the Intensive Care Unit, restore full operation of the Emergency Department and restore ambulance service to LICH.”

Demarest’s order supports an Aug. 17 order by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes requiring SUNY to immediately restore medical services at LICH.

LICH’s Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department and ambulance services must be restored no later than 3 p.m. on Aug. 26.

The parties must also provide a proposal to fund the LICH Liability Fund — a fund that is used to pay professional liability claims. The proposals will be discussed at a Sept. 3 conference.

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