The Real Deal New York

SUNY, Long Island College Hospital plan foes back in court

February 10, 2014 07:54AM

SUNY Downstate is gearing up to appear in state Supreme Court Tuesday, following a Friday breakdown in talks to settle a lawsuit that has blocked the institution from selling the troubled Long Island College Hospital.

Judge Johnny Lee Baynes, a former labor union attorney, will preside over the case on Tuesday, in the latest chapter in an ongoing battle between SUNY Downstate and opponents of the Cobble Hill hospital closure. The hospital, according to SUNY officials, has hemorrhaged over $100 million since July and even a sale estimated to rake in $280 million would not fully recoup the facility’s losses.

“This has been very costly for us,” H. Carl McCall, chairman of SUNY’s board of trustees, told Crain’s. “It was a mistake for SUNY to buy [LICH].”

In recent weeks SUNY has undertaken a final bidding process and whittled development proposals down to those of four potential buyers who would turn the site into condominiums and medical offices. But none of the proposals opt to return the space to its former state as a full-service hospital — a demand opponents have set as a condition for settling their lawsuits objecting to the sale.

SUNY trustees, led by McCall, have been the object of particular ire among opponents, who have dragged the university agents into court on criminal contempt charges. The aim of Tuesday’s hearing will be to push the four bidding developers to make concessions to their original plans, in hopes of seeing another full-service hospital materialize on the site. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland

  • Maik Obermuller

    Question) What is the community that LICH serves like? Why are they fighting so hard and will they really have no health care if LICH closes?

    1) According to the US Census the averageadjsted gross income for this area was $100,193 as of 2004. Got to be a amazing number by 2014. The average NYS agi was $59,519. The area around LICH not like we may imagine Brooklyn. This is an extremly affluent area.

    2) Estimated median condo price 2011 was 2.5 million dollars. To live in this area one MUST have some serious assets.

    3) Health and Human Services HHS has determined that LICH does NOT support a underserved population.

    This is an area where many feel entitled and have demanded LICH stay open and NYS and SUNY pay for a hospital that is underused and loosing money badly. They have gotten a public advocate to help file legal action(s) to keep LICH open. Was this the focus of the public advocate and new mayor to support the actions of the rich? Do we ONLY support the RICH?

    Question) Well this is okay as NYS will pay anyway?

    Answer) No, SUNY is suffering and student who can least afford to pay this debt in the long run. Students who often do not have two nickles to rub together may have to borrow more loans to help foot this bill. This so a very affluent area can have LICH open.
    ***In the end of average Joe will foot the bill for an area where their condos average 2.5 million dollars.

    Many of the community groups have attempted to twist the facts to make them look like victums. The rich are never ever victums folks. This is a deal that NEVER should have happened. It did so we all have to find a viable solution. It is time for the very rich community groups to give up a leagl battle for the average guy to pay for the suer RICH. Health care will never ever suffer for the wealthy. It will suffer for the average guy and the poor and disadvantaged of Brooklyn. Lets not pour money down a drain for the RICH, lets help the regular folks of Brooklyn.

    Have we become a city for only the RICH and what they demand?

    • bj

      The above comment was written by a PR consultant making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year who lives on Long Island.

      • Maik Obermuller

        I live in Bay Ridge Brooklyn and am not a PR consultant. bj is a LICH employee who like to blog to save LICH. The chart shows the area for LICH is in the top 2-3% of income for the UNited States of America. The super RICH never ever loose folks

        • LICHsavesLIVES

          You work for FORTIS. Maik Obermuller and that Maytag repair man photo are stage props for your false image.

          Your false statements are just inflammatory bunk.

          • Maik Obermuller

            Pennsylvania State Trooper photo. I know you would not know to respect a law officer but hey you are a LICH activist.

  • LICH Patient

    I think it is so sad. Long Island College Hospital has a proud history
    and could be a thriving healthcare and teaching institution if someone
    at SUNY had not gotten the idea that closing LICH and selling off its
    waterfront property would be the solution to SUNY-Downstate’s financial
    crisis. From that moment on, it has been one lie after another from
    SUNY and its PR people in an effort to justify LICH closure..
    look back a year ago to the Trustees meeting (archived on the web) when
    SUNY first voted to close LICH. The SUNY Chancellor’s letter asking for
    Trustee approval said that LICH was half empty. Chairman Carl McCall
    then said to the Trustees, “We have to change our message. It’s not
    true that LICH is half empty, so we have to say that the patients in
    those beds are not bringing in enough money.”
    It happens that for
    months, SUNY had been failing to bill for services at LICH, a failure
    that continued — by the end of 2012 SUNY had a huge amount in
    patient account receivables, and some of us (patients) were not billed
    until last fall — for example, a first bill in October 2013 for
    services performed at LICH in January 2012. ( In August 2013 SUNY issued
    an RFP for someone to take over LICH billing and collections.)
    SUNY Trustees are certainly NOT the object of our particular ire. I
    feel badly that these distinguished men and women, who certainly assumed
    their positions with the best of intentions, have been dragged into
    this sordid situation by their Chairman and by the SUNY and
    SUNY-Downstate administrations. And I hope the Trustees will insist that SUNY stop using its students as pawns in this land grab and support
    the community’s recognition of the need for full 911 emergency service
    and the associated requisite hospital operation at LICH..

  • Maik Obermuller

    LICH tax reurn for 2011 shows losses over 420 million prior to SUNY taking over.

  • Maik Obermuller

    The NYS Comptrollers Office audited Downstate and LICH and came to the conclusion LICH is the cause of SUNY’s fiscal issues.