Posted on Jul 31, 2012

According to the Daily News reports, after a Brooklyn judge died in an assisted-living facility in Brooklyn, his family sued the home and has charged gross improprieties, including not having a license and keeping the judge a virtual prisoner.

Developer Haysha Deitsch and partners bought Prospect Park Residence in 2006. In 2009, they applied for a license, which the state Health Department has yet to grant due to incomplete paperwork. The residence offers assisted living for seniors and for those with memory impairments, which requires a higher level license. Advocates say most residents there are bed-ridden with dementia.

Judge John Phillips, known as the "Kung Fu Judge," was a civil court judge for 17 years. In 2001, he was declared "incompetent" and court-appointed guardians placed him into the Park Slope nursing home, against the wishes of his family.

He died in 2008, a year before the facility's application for a license, and eight months after he first entered.

The nursing facility is now being sued for wrongful death. The Daily News story reflects that family and friends allege the facility did not offer Phillips a diabetic menu and missed insulin shots, and they claim this contributed to his death. They also complained that he was not afforded visitors or the ability to escape the confines of the home, except for a few doctor's appointments.


Importantly, even if these allegations are true, the family must be able to prove that the time trial, more likely than not, that had those steps been taken, the judge's outcome and treatment would have been different.

The facility maintains that its relationship to Phillips was strictly as a landlord and that they were merely following court orders about restricting his behavior and his visitors. They also restricted access to his medical records.


If you would like more information about how medical malpractice & wrongful death cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website. If you have legal questions,  I invite you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.

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