- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Five elderly women who refused to leave their assisted-living home after its closure was announced will finally vacate as part of a $3.35 million settlement, attorneys said Wednesday.

The holdout residents, ages 91 to 101, will be required to leave Prospect Park Residence by Aug. 31, and will each receive $533,333 under the deal reached Tuesday in Brooklyn state Supreme Court. Eleven former residents or their estates will also receive payouts.

“It’s definitely a win for our clients. We got them a significant amount of money and time to make plans to find appropriate placements nearby that they can move to,” said Fred Millett, one of the attorneys for the holdouts. “This allows them more options to look at places that they can maintain their standard of living.”

The agreement comes more than two years after the facility announced it would be closing and sold for conversion to condominiums in the upscale Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. Most of the roughly 125 residents vacated in short order, but a handful fought the move , sparking a web of litigation. Separate lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths remain unresolved, as well as litigation over the status of the $76.5 million building sale.

Frank Carone, an attorney representing building owner Haysha Deitsch, said he was pleased with the settlement and that it allowed a focus on the remaining lawsuits. Deitsch, in an email, suggested the holdouts’ families were simply motivated by greed.

“I believe it was always about money for the families of the residents,” he said. “They are getting plenty of it, and now we can all move on.”

Ten former residents or their estates will receive payments of $25,000 under the agreement. One other former resident will receive a payment of $433,333 under a deal that Millett said had been separately negotiated.

“In the perfect scenario, PPR would have never closed,” Millett said. “We did all we could the last two years keeping it open.”

Joyce Singer, whose mother Alice has remained at the facility, expressed fear Deitsch would follow through with the agreement and said while the money would help in the transition, it still would be difficult.

“It’s going to be unbelievably distressing for her,” she said. “She loves that room. There isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t say to me how much she loves looking out those windows.”


Sedensky can be reached at msedensky@ap.org or https://twitter.com/sedensky

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