Brooklyn Judge Again Stymies SUNY Closure of LICH

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A New York State district court judge has issued a second temporary restraining order halting the closure of Long Island College Hospital.

SUNY Downstate, which acquired the hospital known as LICH in 2011, is losing around $11 million a month, according to a state audit.

SUNY officials attributed about $4 million of that red ink to LICH. They say its closure would be the first part of an overhaul to save the Downstate network, whose flagship facility in East Flatbush also houses the only public medical school in New York City.

Last month, Judge Johnny Lee Haynes issued a stay, saying the SUNY Board had violated state open meetings law when it voted to close LICH. The board promptly re-voted to close it.

On Monday, Haynes said the nurses union and other plaintiffs had made a sufficiently strong case that the closure was illegal. A more extensive hearing will be held on May 2.