Maybe US District Court Judge Will at Long Last Hold the DOH, AG Schneiderman and Owners Like the Sentosa Consortium Accountable for the Deplorable Treatment of The People in Their Facilities
In 2002 the New York Times reported on accusations against the State of New York for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by allegedly “warehousing” adults with disabilities and placing them in homes that were not meeting their needs.
In 2009, the New York Times again reported on violations in an article entitled: State Discriminated Against Mentally Ill, Judge Rules
According to the allegations, not only is the State allowing nursing homes and other facilities to continue to operate substandard facilities that do not adequately protect the most vulnerable in our population, including the elderly and mentally ill; but there are backdoor dealings and conflicts of interest by the State, lawyers representing the State, attorneys representing the nursing homes and the Department of Health (DOH).
In an online radio interview on WNYC (link below) one of the sites referenced is Ocean View Manor in Brooklyn—which is run by the Ben Landa (under an LLC). It happens (fortuitously) that Ben Landa is the business partner of Attorney Howard Fensterman who is also the principal in the sketchy SentosaCare consortia. This incestuous relationship between an attorney, his political connections and a for-profit nursing consortium was further revealed in an investigative story in ProPublica in Oct 2015.
As a reminder, Fensterman has been a campaign fund raiser for Governor Cuomo, Mayor deBlasio and Senator Schumer all of whom are named throughout the allegations, lawsuits and even by the attorney in the referenced lawsuit.
US District Court Judge Garaufis’ words implied that there is appears to be collusion by the DOH and AG Schneiderman and the attorneys for the Nursing Home Industry. He commented that AG Schneiderman should spend less time writing press releases and more time looking into the issues at hand. AG Schneiderman has been defending the DOH and the implication is that the Nursing Home’s attorney was back-door dealing with the health department. This would be consistent with the ProPublica article and the New York Times reports.
Mar 23, 2017 · by Cindy Rodriguez
A federal judge is demanding to know whether the state colluded with adult home operators to undermine a legal settlement that took more than a decade to come to fruition.
Under the settlement, which protects 5,000 seriously mentally ill adults, the state agreed to prohibit psychiatric hospitals from discharging people into what are called adult homes, which have come under scrutiny in the past.
But when a man who wanted to live in an adult home challenged the regulation in state court, the state agreed to temporarily halt it — a move that could potentially dissolve the larger agreement.
The man was represented by an attorney for the adult home industry. Jota Borgmann, an attorney for the mentally ill, say emails show the attorney for adult homes potentially colluding with health department lawyers on the lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis says if that’s case, he would consider it “a fraud” on the court.
The state attorney general was representing the Department of Health in the federal court legal settlement. Lawyers for the Attorney General have accused the state of going behind their back to halt the regulation. They’ve asked to withdraw as counsel.
Adult homes are like large group homes — many of them have more than 200 beds — that are for the frail, elderly and disabled.
The state says it can’t comment on pending litigation and any allegations of collusion are patently false.
Listen to the interview above to hear more.