Bankruptcy judge orders closure of embattled Bridgeport nursing home

Posted: Updated:

A bankruptcy judge said she had no choice but to order the closure of a Bridgeport nursing home that has endured financial struggles for years.

Two years ago, federal agents raided Bridgeport Health Care Center on Bond Street over allegations of tax evasion. The Department of Labor is still investigating whether the owner, Chaim Stern, illegally funneled millions of dollars in pensions into his own personal accounts. That money was later restored.

A trustee took over operations after the raid, but he says the mounting costs were too much. After a buyer backed out a few weeks ago, Judge Ann Nevins ordered the closure.

“I do this with a heavy heart because I think there could have been other options," she said. "If other choices had been made by folks years ago.”

It may take several months to wind down operations. There are 151 patients still living there and more than 215 workers.

Workers are required to get at least 60 days’ notice under the federal WARN Act. But Sherrie Weller, of AFSCME Local 1522, believes it could take several months because the first priority is getting the residents into new homes. 

Lawyers say the federal government is close to reaching a settlement with the health care center’s owner.

RELATED STORIES:
Staff fears for pensions amid Bridgeport nursing home bankruptcy 
Workers allege criminal activity at Bridgeport Health Care Center  

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