By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A court appearance is set for Tuesday, Oct. 21 on a motion by a Brooklyn doctor seeking to halt the sale of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to Fortis Property Group.
Brooklyn resident Dr. Jon Berall has submitted an Order to Show Cause to the court, and expects Justice Johnny Lee Baynes on Tuesday to give his decision regarding a full hearing. SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall is named as defendant.
The appearance is set for state Supreme Court, courtroom 461, at 12:45 p.m.
Dr. Berall told the Brooklyn Eagle that he is asking the court to maintain the status quo at LICH by staying the transfer from SUNY to Fortis until the final legal issues are review by the Appellate Court.
SUNY has announced it plans to go forward with the sale of the historic hospital to a developer after reaching agreement with NYU to maintain a walk-in emergency clinic there.
Residents, community groups and local officials have fought the sale for almost two years.
Justice Baynes had previously denied Berall’s motion to reexamine the RFP (Request for Proposals) that the sale of LICH was based upon. “The sale of the property before the Appellate Court has time to review the factual and legal issues would make a nullity of the underlying appeal even if in the end the Appellate Court agrees with the plaintiff,” Dr. Berall’s motion reads.
Berall said that the RFP should be re-examined “due to flawed scoring and breach of the terms of the settlement stipulation.”
Berall says he believes he has the legal standing to bring this motion. “I am differently damaged from the general community. As a doctor, I see patients in the ER” and use the hospital for treating patients, he said.
A march to protest the sale of the hospital to Fortis is planned for Sunday, Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. Organizers say it will start at Nevins Street and Atlantic Avenue and proceed down Atlantic Avenue to conclude at Hicks Street and Atlantic Avenue.
“The goal is to put pressure on Governor Cuomo, the NY State Comptroller, and the NY State Attorney General to reverse this decision and to save our hospital,” the advocacy group Patients for LICH (PFL) said in a statement.
“As part of the settlement, Fortis agrees to have a medical facility on the premises for neighborhood use, at present to be run by NYU. However, members of the community contend that without a hospital on the same premises, the facility is an ‘urgicare’ center that might actually be detrimental in a life threatening situation where seconds would count in saving a life,” PFL said.