Judge reverses 2011 decision that gave SUNY Downstate control of Long Island College Hospital

The order requires SUNY Downstate to restore medical care to LICH. (8/20/13)

BROOKLYN - A judge has reversed a 2011 decision that gave SUNY Downstate control over the Long Island College Hospital.

The decision comes amid recent controversy involving SUNY Downstate's attempt to shut down the hospital due to financial struggles. It ensures that SUNY Downstate has no right to close the struggling hospital.

In the decision, Judge Carolyn Demarest says SUNY must return all of the hospital assets to LICH. She goes on to say that SUNY was in a dire financial situation when control of the hospital was granted to them, and they may have acquired the hospital to close it down and capitalize on the hospital's real estate value, which is estimated at $1 billion.

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Demarest says she believes LICH's financial situation was beyond SUNY's control and they could not keep their promises to keep it open.

LICH began operating at a limited capacity on July 19. It has been unable to take new patients and needed to divert ambulances to other facilities.

Demarest will hold a conference Thursday to discuss the future of the hospital and how to transfer ownership back to LICH.

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