Monday, August 16, 2010

Coalition Files Suit to Demand Release of Documents

The Coalition for a New Village Hospital filed suit in New York County Supreme Court today to demand release of documents kept secret by the New York State Dept. of Health. The suit, filed by attorneys Yetta Kurland and Thomas Shanahan on behalf of the Coalition, seeks to compel the Dept. of Health to release the hospital closure plans, transfer plans and all related documents.

While the documents are public records, the Dept. has steadfastly refused to release them despite a Freedom of Information Law request and numerous other inquiries. Today's Article 78 proceeding asks the court to order their release. Included in these documents will be details of any plans to transfer the St. Vincent's site to other hospital providers - and importantly why these attempts were quashed by Health Commissioner Richard Daines.

Here's civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland discussing the suit this morning.

Included in the complaint are IRS documents showing alleged mismanagement, high executive salaries and rampant waste by St. Vincent's management prior to the closure. Executive salaries remained sky-high as doctors, nurses and patients were asked to sacrifice.

Here are the documents filed today:

The coalition also held a press conference in conjunction with today's filing, which was reported on by The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, New York 1 (with Video), and others. In addition to Kurland and Shanahan, Coalition members Eileen Dunn RN, District Leaders Paul Newell and Jean Grillo, activist Miguel Acevedo and Noah Pfefferblit of Community Board 1 spoke in favor of the law suit.

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