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Prospect Park Residence owner Haysha Deitsch files $50M lawsuit against families of residents

Owner of notorious old folks home sues families of residents he tried to evict

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Family members who have been fighting the hasty eviction of their loved ones from a notorious Park Slope old-folks now owe the owner $50 million for dragging his name through the mud, the landlord claims in a new lawsuit.

Prospect Park Residence owner Haysha Deitsch is suing five of the people he has been fighting in court since he tried to boot their wizened kin out of his tony Grand Army Plaza building two years ago so he could sell it for $76 million, claiming they have maliciously smeared his name and are really just trying to get their hands on the money he stands to earn from the sale.

“The Defendants have willingly and intentionally become part and parcel of a plan and scheme to bring numerous lawsuits,” reads the suit filed late last month, “with the purpose to interfere and prevent any sale of the Prospect Park Residence going forward unless they shared in the profits of any such sale, and to cause mental anguish and harm to Deitsch.”

The suit specifically singles out the daughter of a late Holocaust survivor, who recently filed a wrongful death suit claiming her dad died after the residence barred him from bringing his oxygen tank into the home and he had to leave.

Deitsch’s suit calls the claim “outrageously false and baseless,” but her lawyer maintains the eviction contributed to his demise.

“This guy, who was a Holocaust survivor, had to choose between going home and breathing,” said lawyer John O’Hara, who also represented the family of the late “Kung Fu” Judge John Phillips after he died at the facility, and has seven other wrongful death actions pending against Deitsch. “He perished because he was sad — he died of a broken heart.”

The high-profile court battles have been going on since Deitsch announced he was closing the home in March 2014 due to financial hardship and gave his 120-odd residents 90 days to leave — though this paper later revealed he had inked a multi-million-dollar deal to sell the building months earlier.

Most of the seniors did leave, but a handful refused to go, and their families sued Deitsch and the state — which rubber-stamped the scheme — claiming they weren’t given enough time or assistance to relocate their frail relatives.

The court ordered him to keep the place up and running for the holdouts, but the case became mired in sideshow battles after the residents claimed Deitsch was trying to force them out by hiking their rent and cutting amenities — depriving them of air-conditioning during the summer heat and serving up moldy food — and he and the state then refused to pay for a court-mandated temporary caretaker to step in.

But Deitsch’s lawsuit claims he is the real victim, and the stubborn family members should pay for ruining his big pay day and slamming him with “false and derogatory” allegations in the court room and the media.

Deitsch’s name certainly has taken a beating — Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) publicly called him “evil” while the judge ripped into him for crying poor when he secretly stood to make millions.

An attorney for the surviving tenants’ relatives says the claims in the suit are completely false, and the defendants’ rep will issue a response by April 15.

“We believe it is meritless,” said lawyer Jason Johnson. “The fact of the matter is, there is no basis for anything he has in there.”

Deitsch’s attorney did not return a request for comment.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 8:17 am, March 15, 2016
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Reasonable discourse

Charles from Bklyn says:
This landlord should have done the right thing and met his responsibilities with the elderly home. He should have waited the ten years for the clients to pass with dignity and then sold the property. Greed overcame his good judgment and legally required duty. So instead of a praise and a place in heaven, he has a bad reputation and a place in hell. No sympathy.
March 15, 2016, 9:32 am
What Next? from Park Slope says:
Maybe Deitsch should also sue Brad Lander, Judge Saitta, the former rabbi of Beth Elohim and the other public officials and citizens who have revealed his indifference to the sanctity of human life when it interfered with his immoral scheme for profit?

Deutsch should have thought about his reputation BEFORE he bought the facility ten years ago ONLY for the purpose of evicting its residents for profit
despite the predictable death and suffering that his plan would cause.
March 15, 2016, 12:48 pm
freddy from slope says:
Or Deitsch could have run it at a loss until the tenants either left of their own free will or passed away and still made millions as he shrunk it down to fewer floors.

But, no, he had to keep every dime of profit theoretically possible.

a__hole
March 15, 2016, 1:58 pm
Watching Our Own Flint, Mich from New York...all of it says:
The Dept of Health abets predatory for-profit nursing homes and assisted living residences.

Also complicit:

Attorney General Schneiderman who should have prosecuted Deitsch/PPR for constructive fraud and deceptive practices...why didn't he?

The State Inspector General who merely referred the complaints to who else? The Dept of Health!

Those State Assembly Members who do not fight the nursing home and assisted living residence owners' lobby: Leading Age by NOT writing authentic Bills and regulations to protect the vulnerable aging-your loved ones and mine...wonder why...?

Brooklyn...New York City...New York State -wake up. Growing old in New York & failing to find safe haven is the path to state sponsored abuse of the disabled elderly.

Our state government is complicit and harmful to your health.
March 15, 2016, 2:41 pm
VLM from Park Slope says:
“He perished because he was sad — he died of a broken heart.”

Is that, like, an official cause of death you can have listed on a death certificate?

This story is filled with terrible people on both sides.
March 15, 2016, 3:33 pm
Jesse from Prospect Heights says:
To VLM,

A few weeks after the eviction announcement made by facility, one of the youngest and least sick residents passed away suddenly in his apartment.
Check the record.

You might also learn something if you had the opportunity to communicate with family members whose loved ones died or declined rapidly very soon after being dislocated from their homes.
Check statistics of consequences after even temporary dislocations of patients after Hurricane Sandy.

You obviously have not had much experience with extremely elderly, disabled or vulnerable human beings.
March 15, 2016, 4:39 pm
Tale of 2 cities that we all get old and nobody from Park Slope says:
Deblasio knew about this for years when he was a council member. He did nothing. Residents reached out to him when he was public advocate - He did nothing. His Chief of Staff & BDB should be publicly shamed for not looking out for the seniors in this building. Deblasio's nose is getting longer and longer when it comes to advocating for New Yorkers and seniors.
March 15, 2016, 10:33 pm
B from Park Slope says:
I've lived next door to this facility for the last 6 years. The operator of this facility has been a terrible neighbor and it seems a terrible caretaker to the residents of the home. Since the efforts to evict the tenants the building has fallen into even greater disrepair. They had pipes burst over the winter probably from turn off heat to parts of the building, I can see the collapsed ceilings and rubbish all over a couple of apartments who's windows are opposite mine. There are rats and I've heard rumors of squatters living in the building.

Now things have taken a turn for the strange, last night there was a loud rock band playing in the building until after 12:30AM. Yes, a rock band playing in a home for frail elderly people!

I've reached out to the police as well as Brad Lander. These older people shouldn't be subjected to this kind of mistreatment and harassment. If I hear it again I'm going to march right over there and demand they put a stop to it.
March 17, 2016, 10:49 am
Brad from PS says:
to: B from Park Slope

I suggest you take a tour of the building from the inside.

If you leave your name at the front desk (attention Brad) with some contact information I will gladly show you around.

You may be pleasantly surprised.

Brad
March 20, 2016, 1:20 pm

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