St. Vincent's leaders accused of wasting millions as hospital faced bankruptcy

A group of former employees of the now-closed St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City and community activists say hospital officials exaggerated the facility’s debt, while frittering millions of dollars away on their own executives and consultants, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court, NY1 reports.

The hospital's top 10 executives earned a combined $10 million a year, according to NY1, but still spent $17 million for management consultants and another $4 million on professional fundraising. One time, the hospital even shelled out $278,000 for a golf outing.

"The closure of St. Vincent's raises many questions," attorney Yetta Kurland said at a news conference, according to Associated Press. "This is not the way a hospital trying to save itself would be acting."

The hospital closed in April with a debt topping $1 billion dollars. Some 3,000 hospital workers lost their jobs.

"The evidence is clear and strong, St. Vincent's could have been saved, sold or rescued without great cost or damage to the community," said attorney Tom Shanahan, who, along with Kurland, filed the suit, according to the New York Post.

The former Greenwich Village hospital's federal tax returns claim the facility spent $104 million on unspecified costs listed as "other," the petition says. The lawsuit also claims that the $1 billion in debt that led to the hospital's closing was not all related to the operations of the hospital. Hundreds of millions in debts transferred from other medical centers were used to exaggerate the debt, DNAinfo reports.

The state Department of Health has repeatedly denied requests to examine St. Vincent’s closure documents, according to Kurland. St Vincent's officials had not seen the lawsuit as of Monday afternoon, according to the New York Post, but called it "a blatant distortion of the facts."
To learn more:
- read the Associated Press article
- see the DNAinfo article
- here's the New York Post article
- here is the NY1 article

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