Patients with malpractice claims will receive 60% of their potential payouts after their hospital was recently acquired in a merger. The patients' lawyers, however, say they got a good deal out of a bad situation.
Though the merger between Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill and SUNY Downstate Medical Center in East Flatbush occurred in May last year, it was only recently publicized.
According to Brooklyn Supreme Court records, the outstanding claims under consideration originated eight years ago at most. Over 180 claims are involved, around 60 of which are lawsuits. Included among these are the death of a mother in childbirth and a patient with neglected pressure ulcers.
Law firms that represented the clients believe that the settlement was "a good result from a bad financial situation." Anything less than 100% of a payout is, of course, frustrating, but "it's better than the alternative, which [is] bankruptcy." Indeed, Long Island College Hospital threatened bankruptcy without the merger during talks. This would have left patients in a still-more precarious financial position.
The story has gained some traction in the news because a state advisory panel had recommended cooperation between the two hospitals in the recent past.
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