Friday, August 9, 2013
Yesterday Justice Baynes announced that the Appellate Division had dismissed SUNY Downstate’s appeals of temporary restraining orders (TROs) prohibiting the immediate closure of Long Island College Hospital (LICH).
This means that someone at SUNY can now be charged with contempt for violating Justice Bayne's orders to keep LICH operating as a hospital, with full emergency services (including ambulances), adequate staff, etc.
Despite the TROs, SUNY has blatantly shut down almost the entire hospital and created a health crisis throughout Brooklyn.
Justice Baynes has shown amazing patience with SUNY's repeated violations of his orders but it appears his patience, rightly, is wearing thin. SUNY's shutdown of LICH is costing LICH -- by SUNY's own somewhat dubious reckoning -- more than $11 million a month.
While repeatedly violating Justice Bayne's TROs was SUNY's first mistake, lawyers for SUNY may now be making a second: they don't appear to be taking seriously his repeated urgings to negotiate a reasonable settlement. (That settlement would be something like keeping LICH open, within a certain framework, while the new owner transitions in.)
Justice Baynes gave the parties another chance Thursday afternoon to reach such a settlement, out of the eyes of the public. But it doesn't seem likely SUNY will deal.
Their hubris may catch up with them however, as eye-witnesses testify on Friday about SUNY's violations. If Justice Baynes is convinced that the violations took place (and evidence is in abundance), he would have no choice but to penalize SUNY.
In the meantime, someone from the Brooklyn DA's rackets office is sitting in on the hearing, saying nothing but watching everything.
Appeals rebuffed, court orders SUNY to keep LICH open. Brooklyn Eagle
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