What is there to even say about the Long Island College Hospital at this point? The embattled (note: try to figure out if there's a word that means embattled, but times a thousand) Cobble Hill hospital just lost its third potential developer as the NYU Langone Medical Center pulled out of the deal rather than rehire the union nurses that were fired when SUNY closed the hospital, and that it had, in fact, promised to rehire while trying to win the development rights. Fortis Property Group, NYU's co-development partner, won the latest round of bidding with a proposal that was largely contingent on NYU's involvement, so now they're likely done, too. In the world of the LICH, this might actually qualify as a return to normalcy as the hospital now spends the majority of its time in limbo, teetering on the brink of complete annihilation.
The specifics of how the deal fell apart are, as always, fairly involved. The dispute centers on a lawsuit where the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) is suing SUNY to get them to force NYU to honor a commitment they made to rehire NYSNA nurses at the new facility. NYSNA contends that the bid submitted by Fortis and NYU in May committed to "employing 1199 SEIU and NYSNA staff and providers" and "independently contract[ing] with NYSNA nurses through an intermediary entity or staffing company," which is a pretty fair contention, because those were two quotes from the actual proposal. NYU contends that, sure, it said all that stuff, but that was in the heat of passion and things are just different now, baby, y'know?
After state Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes "ordered NYU Langone's direct involvement in the lawsuit" (this wording comes from NYU's own statement on the matter) yesterday, NYU waited a few hours and then said, essentially, nah, screw it, and pulled out of the deal. "Brooklyn deserves the highest quality health care — and NYU Langone was fully committed to this effort [before we found out that we might have to hire the nurses we said we'd hire]," the university said in a statement.
Good grief. Just turn this place into a single-family mansion already and get it over with.
· NYU withdraws from LICH deal, throwing sale of hospital into disarray [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
· Labor dispute keeps LICH in limbo [Crain's]
· Judge widens LICH suit to include NYU, Fortis [Capital]
· LICH coverage [Curbed]