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News & Press Releases

Jan
8
2010
Settlement Secures Major Reforms at Brooklyn Hospital Where Patient Died on Waiting Room Floor

A settlement agreement and court order signed today by a federal judge establishes a framework for the systemic reform of Kings County Hospital Center’s (KCHC) psychiatric facilities, where staff ignored a Brooklyn woman in June 2008 as she suffered and died on the emergency room floor.

Dec
22
2009
Grand Jury Report on Wells Group Home Fire Presents Steps NYS Can Take to Prevent Similar Tragedies

A new grand jury report on the March fire that killed four residents of a Hamilton County group home offers some meaningful recommendations to protect the safety of New York’s developmentally disabled citizens, the New York Civil Liberties Union said today. The report also offers the first detailed look at the events that led up to the tragic fire.

Jun
19
2009
NYCLU: City Report Highlights Need for Further Reform at Kings County Hospital

A New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) report released today documents the negligence of Kings County Hospital Center and several medical staff in the June 2008 death of Esmin Green on the hospital’s psychiatric emergency room floor. The report provides further evidence of the need for systemic reform to ensure that patients are treated humanely and professionally and to prevent similar tragedies. “The DOI report is consistent with the complaint we filed in our lawsuit – that a culture of indifference pervades the psychiatric unit at KCHC,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Jun
11
2009
NYCLU Releases Group Home Records in which State Questions Veracity of Fire Evacuation Drills

The New York Civil Liberties Union today released an incident report it received from New York State’s Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities in which the office questions the veracity of reports filed with it purporting to document fire drills at a Hamilton County group home where four residents died in a March fire.

Mar
23
2009
NYCLU Renews Call for Attorney General Investigation into Group Home Fire

The New York Civil Liberties Union today welcomed news that the Department of State’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control and the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating a deadly fire that killed four residents of a Hamilton County group home Saturday. Several of the residents of the home were plaintiffs in the Willowbrook case, the NYCLU’s 1972 landmark class action lawsuit brought on behalf of 6,000 people with developmental disabilities who resided at the notorious Willowbrook State School on Staten Island and who, as a result of that suit, were released from Willowbrook and placed in group homes statewide.

Mar
21
2009
NYCLU: Deaths in Group Home Fire Require Immediate Investigation

The New York Civil Liberties Union today called for an immediate investigation into the causes of and contributing factors to a fire at a Hamilton County group home where at least three people were killed. Several of the residents of the home were members of the Willowbrook Class, the plaintiffs in the NYCLU’s 1972 landmark class action case that asserted constitutional rights for people with developmental disabilities who had resided at the notorious Willowbrook State School on Staten Island.

Feb
5
2009
Department of Justice: Conditions at Kings County Hospital are ‘Highly Dangerous’

In findings just made public after a year-long investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice calls conditions in the psychiatric facilities at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn “highly dangerous,” says they require “immediate attention,” and concludes that the hospital regularly fails “to properly assess, diagnose, supervise, monitor and treat its mental health patients.”

Sep
16
2008
NYCLU: Council Oversight Crucial to Reforming City’s Failing Psychiatric Hospitals

The New York Civil Liberties Union today testified before a City Council committee on the urgent need to reform the city’s public mental health facilities, including Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn where staff ignored a psychiatric patient as she lay dying on a waiting room floor this past June.

Jul
11
2008
Advocates: Autopsy Does Not Answer All the Questions Around Kings County Hospital Death

A medical examiner’s report put out late Friday evening on Esmin Green, the 49-year-old Brooklyn woman who died neglected last month on the floor of Kings County Hospital’s psychiatric emergency room, raises more questions than it answers, said advocates who filed a major civil rights lawsuit against the hospital last year. “Needless to say, the family will be entitled to a truly independent autopsy that will take into consideration all of the factors related to her death, including that she appeared to have been heavily sedated and immobile for 24 hours,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Jul
8
2008
Advocates Warn that Kings County Hospital Problems Remain Severe

The lawsuit and call for a criminal investigation announced today by the family of Esmin Green have been expected given the 49-year-old Brooklyn woman’s shameful death last month on the floor of Kings County Hospital’s psychiatric emergency room, said advocates who filed a major civil rights lawsuit against the hospital last year. They also renewed their call for an overhaul of the entire hospital system, and warned that scapegoating low-level hospital employees does not ensure an end to an ingrained culture of abuse.

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