BAYONNE, NJ - Avery Eisenreich, the owner of nursing home chain Alaris Health, and the current owner of the property where Bayonne Medical Center stands, is interfering with a possible new operator in order to replace the hospital with a long-term senior care center, CarePoint Health officials have claimed in a lawsuit filed in December.
In October CarePoint announced that RWJBarnabas would take over Christ Hospital and Hoboken University Medical Center and that they were seeking a new operator for Bayonne facility that has provided care to generations of local residents.
In response to concerns that the hospital would be shuttered, costing hundreds of local jobs and putting local resident’s health at risk, Bayonne established a hospital authority as “insurance to have control if the hospital threatens to close,” Council President Sharon Ashe Nadrowski said at the time.
The lawsuit claims Eisenreich wants to convert Bayonne Medical Center into a long-term senior care facility, similar to more than 40 other such facilities it already owns. The suit also claims that CarePoint announced they had a pending deal with a hospital operator to run Bayonne Medical Center. Court filings further claim that Eisenreich has had communication with one of the potential operators of Bayonne Medical Center to encourage the potential buyer to delay making a bid until after the hospital declares bankruptcy.
CarePoint has asked the court to issue a restraining order to keep Eisenreich from communicating with potential operators.
Alaris Health did not respond for comment on the lawsuit while Dapa Wilcox, spokesperson for CarePoint Health, said there would be no comment on pending litigation.
This is not the first property dispute involving Eisenreich and Bayonne Medical Center.
Eisenreich previously sought to construct a $25 million senior care facility on property adjacent to the Bayonne Medical Center, a project plagued by legal action taken against him by the creditors of the original Bayonne Medical Center in 2009.
A lawsuit filed by creditors after Bayonne Medical Center went bankrupt in 2007 claimed Eisenreich vastly underpaid for that the property in a deal ahead of the CarePoint’s taking over Bayonne Medical Center. The creditors owed money from the previous ownership of Bayonne Medical Center questioned a deal that allegedly sold off the adjacent property to Eisenreich ahead of the takeover in 2010.
BMC’s former owners sold OMNI a plot of land known locally as “the old telephone property,” on Broadway between 29th and 30th streets, adjacent to Bayonne Medical Center.
The former creditors claimed the property was valued at $5 million, but that Omni eventually acquired the project for $1 million
The $25 million project was touted by local officials at the time as the central piece in a medical service zone for the Broadway shopping district – part of its efforts to revitalize the area. The 120-bed facility would be the first nursing home in the city of Bayonne, but work was stopped at the site as a result of the legal squabble.
The land has remained vacant since.
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