Chapter attorneys cleansing up after the collapse of Philadelphia’s historic Hahnemann College Hospital are looking for assist from a decide in getting solutions from associates of Joel Freedman, the California investor who managed the hospital, about real-estate transactions.
Mr. Freedman led the 2018 buyout of Hahnemann and its sister establishment, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Youngsters. By mid-2019, he was wrangling with Pennsylvania well being authorities over plans to close down a hospital that anchored town’s providers to the poor and homeless, as nicely trauma victims.
Now he’s being pressed for paperwork in chapter court docket the place Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s wound up final 12 months, out of cash and searching for patrons. Collectors have mounted “a complete assault on our attorney-client privilege,” Edward Moss, lawyer for Mr. Freedman’s associates, stated at a Friday court docket listening to on the dispute over paperwork.
Mark Minuti, lawyer for Hahnemann, stated Mr. Freedman copied an in-house lawyer on almost all his emails, and is utilizing that to defend communications round key selections that break up the hospital’s actual property from the working firm.
Solely the struggling hospital enterprise filed for chapter. Mr. Freedman nonetheless controls priceless actual property within the coronary heart of Philadelphia, which is being marketed, Mr. Minuti stated.
Hahnemann chapter attorneys are looking for data that might gas lawsuits towards Mr. Freedman’s actual property associates, in accordance with court docket papers.
A spokesman for Mr. Freedman stated the investor and his associates are cooperating with a probe into dealings involving the hospital firm “and proceed to imagine the details will set up the appropriateness of the transactions.”
Whereas St. Christopher’s was sold, Hahnemann closed its doorways regardless of protests from medical doctors, nurses and group teams.
“The impact of those chapter filings was catastrophic, and included the closure of Hahnemann, the lack of hundreds of jobs, and over $11 billion of asserted claims, along with important disruption to sufferers, physicians, residents and the general Philadelphia medical group,” attorneys for the defunct hospital wrote in current court docket papers.
Lots of of recent medical doctors had signed leases and moved to Philadelphia to proceed their medical coaching at Hahnemann within the weeks main as much as the chapter. Well being associations and hospital teams scrambled to seek out new berths for the residents, together with some that risked being deported if their medical schooling was interrupted.
Earlier this 12 months, as the primary wave of the Covid-19 pandemic approached Philadelphia, metropolis officers tried to barter with Mr. Freedman to place Hahnemann Hospital again into service for a public well being disaster.
The negotiation failed when Mr. Freedman requested greater than Philadelphia officers felt the deserted establishment, which had been stripped of most of its equipment, was price.