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Post date: April 6 2001

Statement By Deputy Attorney General Dietrich Snell Regarding The State's Appeal In The Nathan Littauer - St. Mary's Hospital Affiliation Case

At the inception of the proposed affiliation of Nathan Littauer Hospital with St. Mary's Hospital under the umbrella of Carondelet Health Systems, Inc., our office identified several legal issues that we felt needed to be resolved before the affiliation could move forward. Our concerns focused on process and governance issues, not matters relating to reproductive services, as some reports have implied.

In working with the hospitals to ensure that the affiliation would comply with the state's Not-for-Profit Corporations Law, the Attorney General's office consistently voiced its support for the transaction. The hospitals, however, broke off their discussions with our office and went to court to preclude public review of the transaction.

In the litigation commenced by the hospitals, the Attorney General is seeking to have affiliation agreements such as the one proposed here considered by the New York Supreme Court. As the representative of the public interest, the Attorney General should have the opportunity to advise the Court on whether any particular proposed agreement complies with the laws governing not-for-profit corporations. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that such agreements are subject to a full and complete public review.

A lower court has now found that the state's laws do not authorize the Attorney General or the courts to review and approve affiliation agreements. We disagree strongly with this view and believe that if it is allowed to stand, many communities in New York could be adversely affected by affiliation agreements that move forward without adequate public input. As a result, we will appeal the decision.