The Real Deal New York

Panel acted inappropriately in Cobble Hill hospital bids: suit

Group of residents claim SUNY favored proposals that ditched full-service hospital

March 27, 2014 03:55PM

From left: SUNY Downstate Medical Center at 450 Clarkson Avenue and LICH at 339 Hicks Street

From left: SUNY Downstate Medical Center at 450 Clarkson Avenue and LICH at 339 Hicks Street

A group of Brooklyn residents have filed suit against the State University of New York, alleging the Long Island College Hospital operator inappropriately influenced members of bid-reviewing committee fielding proposals to develop the money-losing hospital.

The suit marks the second for the group, which previously sued SUNY to keep the hospital open. A February settlement ensured that preference would go to developers with full-service hospital plans in a second round of bidding, but the group alleges the opposite has happened.

“If SUNY and DOH provided such instructions, the instructions were misleading and inaccurate,” Jim Walden, attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a letter sent to the defendants’ attorney Wednesday.

Walden’s letter goes on to allege that SUNY may have nudged committee members to give proposals for full-service hospitals lower scores than their counterparts — a charge SUNY denies.

“The allegations are patently false,” a SUNY spokesperson told Crain’s. “There is no way on God’s green earth that we would try to influence the scorers.”

Of the nine bids submitted in the most recent round ending March 19, four included plans for full-service hospitals, and a fifth would lease the necessary space to an unspecified operator. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland

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