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Judge orders SUNY Downstate to return LICH to previous owners

Long Island College Hospital provides emergency services for all of Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights. (via Googlemaps) Long Island College Hospital provides emergency services for all of Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights. Credit: Google Maps

A judge withdrew her approval of SUNY Downstate's takeover of Long Island College Hospital on Tuesday and ordered that the hospital be returned to its previous owners.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Carolyn Demarest said that LICH was transferred to SUNY in May of 2011 based on the understanding that it would keep the hospital open.

The previous owners, Continuum Health Partners, had threatened to close the hospital before SUNY took over the Cobble Hill medical facility.

Now, the judge says the court may have been "deliberately misled" when approving the transfer.

"At the very least, there appears to have been a lack of due diligence," Demarest said. "The wave of enthusiasm for a solution that would preserve LICH may have blinded many to a more sinister purpose to seize its assets and dismantle the hospital."

SUNY Downstate said in a statement Tuesday that it took over LICH with "the best of intentions," The New York Post reports.

"This is not about profits over patients, or a real-estate deal," spokesman Steven Greenberg said. "SUNY has made clear it is exiting LICH so it can stabilize Downstate, and today’s judgment is another move in that direction."

Meanwhile, Contiuum Health Partners released its own statement following the judge's ruling saying that it cannot take over management of the hospital.

"Upon due consideration, Continuum respectfully concludes that we cannot reassume management of LICH and is unable to take responsibility for the hospital's operations," the statement read.

 
 
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