USING THE COURTS TO COVER-UP ABUSES BY SILENCING THE OUTSPOKEN CRITICS – SENTOSACARE LLC vs. LEHMAN, JENNIFER
Lost Messiah and contributors, July 7, 2016
On March 24, 2016 SentosaCare LLC, Landa and Philipson filed a lawsuit against the two reporters who researched and meticulously compiled, chapter and verse, the failures by the New York State Public Health and Heath Planning Commission to appropriately monitor SentosaCare LLC/Landa/Philipson related nursing homes, and in our opinion, their mafia-like consortium of businesses run without care for their patients.
The Plaintiffs are being represented by Howard Fensterman and his firm. That Landa and Philipson are indignant and deny violations to their frail and vulnerable patients – as noted in their lawsuit- not only impugns any professed moral integrity, but in our opinion illustrates the perpetual cavalier lack of care by Senosa’s shared principals. It further, in our view, exemplifies their greed, financial quantification of their patients and utter disdain for a system that should be monitoring their facilities and is equally as responsible for their arguably criminally negligent treatment of their patients.
In Plaintiffs’ motion, ostensibly to silence the reporters’ factual accounts of the failings of the system that allows this mafia-style consortium to not only prosper but grow, they do not deny the factual accounts. They only dispute the lack of praise for their de minimus 5-stars accounting for what little they seem to get right in their various facilities. Their defamation suit and supporting claims seem not only to defy logic and justice, but as the authors of the ProPublica rightfully point out, they illustrate the failings in Albany. They shed light on the state sponsorship of harm to the disabled elderly which is…well…business as usual.
The Department of Health as well as the legislators AND the governor who suckle at the mother’s milk of Nursing Home lobbying groups such as Leading Age, NYSHFA, NYSCAL, AHCA, HANYS and lust after the Hasidic/ultra-Orthodox bloc votes- pander to what we view as amoral, if not outright criminal owner/operator/developers such as Sentosa, Haysha Deitsch and others. We maintain that those who sit complacently and allow these abuses to continue, who gain from the suffering of society’s most vulnerable – the elderly – are in total complicity with the most predatorial of nursing facility conglomerates.
As the ProPublica article illustrates and as the Defamation suit further establishes, Medicaid abets the schemes; and the growing elder population is not given a fighting chance. The very fact that SentosaCare LLC, Landa and Philipson had the gall to file a defamation suit, ostensibly based upon the editorial decision to reduce the praise in favor of highlighting the most egregious aspects of elder abuse, we suggest speaks louder than the ProPublica article itself.
SentosaCare LLC, et. al’s defense of their so-called ‘deficiencies’ as opposed to ‘violations’ evades the realities of their many failures to be honorable stewards of those under their care. Their neglect to understand that the subject of the ProPublica article was a scathing criticism of the system that allows these deficiencies and violations to continue, is in our view a tacit admission that the violations and deficiencies represent nothing more than the cost of doing business-as-usual. In other words the Plaintiffs should not be called-out for an honest account of the failings a system because such attention to the subject is slanderous and defamatory. We beg to differ.
To add insult to injury quite literally is SentosaCare LLC et. al’s demand for compensatory damages!
We have included a link to the lawsuit and all of its many attachments and exhibits. https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/FCASeFiledDocsDetail?county_code=t0f8D8icaWzjB2Cvlvg5NA%3D%3D&txtIndex
|Court:||Kings Civil Supreme|
|Case Name:||SENTOSACARE LLC vs. LEHMAN, JENNIFER|
|Case Type:||E-Filed Other|
We would like to thank Plaintiffs for their failure to deny the allegations they claim are implicit in the ProPublica article and we would like to thank Defendant’s attorney for her eloquence in pointing out what so many need to remember: focusing on the failings of a system absent a measure of praise is not defamation or slander but editorial freedom. As the ProPublica article, based upon publicly available information pointed out, the system of review of healthcare and rehabilitation facilities is failing the elderly miserably.
The attached PDF Exhibit4 is the letter, in its entirety, written by the authors of the ProPublica article to Mr. Fensterman prior to the publication of the ProPublica article. It is dated March 18, 2016 and requested Fensterman’s response regarding information the authors had acquired. The litigation indicates that there may have been an effort made to keep this letter from public view. It is listed as Exhibit 4 in the Plaintiffs’ Motion.
We note that page 9 includes all of the “Nursing homes examined by ProPublica and affiliated with SentosaCare and/or Landa, Philipson or their family members in 2012 through 2014, per Medicaid cost reports.” We are publishing that publicly available page here because some of them have been the subject of our blogs and opinions.
It is our opinion that the lawsuit should be, as a matter of law, dismissed with prejudice and the Defendants should be awarded attorneys’ fees and any other damages legally available. We hope the court holds our position.
11. Nursing homes examined by ProPublica and affiliated with SentosaCare and/or Landa, Philipson or their family members in 2012 through 2014, per Medicaid cost reports:
Avalon Gardens Rehab & Health Care Center
Bay Park Center for Nursing & Rehab
Brookhaven Rehab & Health Care Center
Crown Center for Nursing & Rehab
Diamond Hill Nursing & Rehab
Eastchester Rehab & Health Care Center
Forest Hills Care Center
Garden Care Center
Golden Gate Rehab & Health Care Center
Grace Plaza Nursing & Rehab Center
Little Neck Care Center
Meadow Park Rehab & Health Care Center
Nassau Extended Care Center
New Surfside Nursing Home
Park Avenue Extended Care
Parkview Care & Rehab Center
Pathways Nursing & Rehab Center
Rockville Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center
Rosewood Rehab & Nursing Center (2012-2013 only)
South Point Plaza Nursing & Rehab Center
Spring Creek Rehab & Nursing Care Center
The Hamptons Center for Rehab & Nursing
Throgs Neck Extended Care Facility
Townhouse Center for Rehab & Nursing
West Lawrence Care Center
White Plains Center for Nursing Care
Woodmere Rehab & Health Care Center