North General Hospital in Harlem sued over building conversion

November 30, 2010 04:10PM

The former executive director of a non-profit housing corporation affiliated with North General Hospital at 1997 Lexington Avenue has filed a lawsuit accusing the shuttered hospital and Abyssinian Development of illegally taking over the Harlem building to convert it to a for-profit residential property, Crain’s reported. Gay Lee filed a lawsuit Nov. 22, seeking millions of dollars in damages, and charging that the hospital is trying to transfer the 28-unit, single-room-occupancy rental property to Abyssinian without the necessary board approval. If allowed, the transfer would “result in imminent and irreparable harm” to the residents, who would lose their health services and become homeless, the lawsuit alleges. Lee is also accusing the hospital’s executives of resorting to “extraordinary and wrongful means to accomplish their scheme to enrich themselves at the expense of the facility’s tenants.” When she objected to the plan, the defendants “engaged in acts of blatant retaliation,” including having her fired. [Crain’s]