The landlord of a Park Slope old folks home who cried poor to boot his tenants out — while secretly planning to sell the building for millions — may end up out of pocket after all due to a recent court decision.
A judge last Thursday ruled Prospect Park Residence owner Hayesha Deitsch can’t sell the building unless he sets aside $10 million dollars for two families currently suing him for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones — and that figure could balloon to $45 million the court extends that to other suits in the works. Given Deitsch paid $40 million for the property, and has tried to sell for $84 million, he could end up actually losing a grand on his investment, said an attorney for the alleged victims.
“This guy has the most expensive piece of property in New York and Tokyo and he’s going to lose money on it,” said attorney John O’Hara, who is bringing nine wrongful death suits against Deitsch and is also prone to hyperbole.
Deitsch is notorious for his ongoing court battle with a handful of frail tenants who refused to leave the facility after he attempted to abruptly close it in 2014 while claiming financial hardship — only for this paper to reveal he had already inked the lucrative deal to sell it months earlier.
But O’Hara’s separate suits stem from a 2009 Department of Health inspection, which concluded that 37 seniors at the residence “must be transferred to appropriate care settings immediately,” after it was determined that the level of care at Deitsch’s facility was inadequate, court documents show. Instead, the business allegedly ignored the health department’s orders and several of the residents later died at the unlicensed nursing home.
The judge had originally ordered $5-million orders of attachment on the property for two of O’Hara’s suits — effectively locking down the money on a potential sale so Deitsch can’t avoid paying a cash award to the families if he loses the cases.
Deitsch’s attorney tried to quash the orders, but the judge’s Thursday ruling upheld them — which O’Hara’s believes is an indication the odds will be in his favor when verdicts start rolling in, and that he will be able to replicate the orders on all of his cases and rack up the grand total of $45 million in liens.
“This show he’s the type of guy to cut out and not pay any judgment, and that we’re probably going to win,” he said.
O’Hara also represented the family of the late “Kung Fu” Judge John Phillips in a suit claiming he died at Prospect Park Residence in 2008 after months of neglect. The two parties settled out of court for $750,000 last year.
Meanwhile, Deitsch’s other courtroom drama is dragging on longer than the full run of “Law and Order” — he is now attempting to countersue the loved ones of his holdout tenants, claiming they have been dragging his name through the mud. The families have accused him of attempting to harass the oldsters out by cutting services — including air conditioning, security, and lighting — while trying to raise their rent.
Deitsch’s attorney did not return requests for comment.