The seniors at Prospect Park Residence win a little justice

The seniors at Prospect Park Residence win a little justice

For the past two years, our elderly neighbors at Prospect Park Residence have fought a fierce and principled battle against a greed-driven landlord’s effort to evict 130 seniors – including Holocaust survivors, a Tuskegee airman, people with dementia, and many in their 90s and even older – just to make a buck.

Together, we have stood with them every step of the way. What landlord Haysha Deitsch hoped would take just 90 days turned into an epic, two-year battle.

Last week, the seniors remaining in the building agreed to a $3.35 million settlement that will enable them to relocate to appropriate housing – and brought a little justice to their cause.

These residents and their families stood strong in the face of avarice, and truly unconscionable intimidation tactics (including lack of heat and hot water, disruption of the meal plan, and a preposterous $75 million counter-suit). Our community was honored to stand with these brave men and women time and again. Thank you to so many who came to our rallies, signed our petitions, and went to court over and over and over again.

This battle would not have been possible without the work of a fantastic, pro-bono legal team that represented the seniors, Legal Aid Society (and especially Judith Goldiner – lead attorney for the case), MFY Legal Services, and Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto. We thank them deeply for their unfaltering support these last two years.

You can read more about the settlement in the Park Slope StoopNew York Times, or in Legal Aid NYC’s press release.

While the settlement is welcome, the battle to protect seniors from greed continues. The NYS Department of Health gave no support or protection to these 130 elderly New Yorkers. In fact, NYS DOH essentially conspired with Deitsch to keep the closure secret, and then to try to speed it along. While the residents have settled with Deitsch, their attorneys will continue to pursue claims that DOH’s closure procedure was deeply flawed, and denied residents their due process. We are also working with our state legislators to reform the closure processes for assisted living facilities, so that evils like this don’t happen again.

Even this little bit of justice would not have been possible without your support. Thanks for standing by our seniors in their hours of need.

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