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New Lawsuit Filed to Stop Hospital Closings

By Mark Scott

New York City, NY – Another lawsuit is being filed against the state to stop the recommended closings of nine hospitals in New York, including two in the Buffalo area.

A group called "New York Lawyers for the Public Interest" and a New York City law firm filed the latest suit. It claims the state is violating its constitution by allowing non-elected members of a state commission to make law by mandating hospital closings.

The lawyers group said the $1.5 billion in state and federal funds that will be used to carry out the recommendations would be better spent on expanding primary care services in medically-underserved areas.

The commission is also recommending consolidations affecting dozens of other hospitals in New York. The recommendations became law on New Year's Day after the State Legislature chose not to reject them.

At least four lawsuits have been filed. Buffalo's Catholic Health System was the first to do so to stop the closing of St. Joseph Hospital in Cheektowaga.