Hoboken hospital bankruptcy hearing postponed until Thursday; creditors and management in ongoing negotiations

HOBOKEN – Per a judge’s orders today, a decision on Hoboken hospital’s bankruptcy claim was rescheduled for Thursday, according to a lawyer for the hospital authority.

The hospital non-profit manager is claiming insufficient funds to pay more than $30 million in back bills to several creditors, including union pension funds.

“Discussions are ongoing,” said Kenneth Rosen of Lowenstein Sandler, attorney for the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority. “The hearing (scheduled for) Wednesday will take place on Thursday.”

Rosen said, “I think that everybody involved in the case – the creditors, the authority, the city, everybody – feels the same way: They want to preserve a valuable community asset and they want to preserve a lot of jobs.”

HUMC is the only city-owned hospital in the state as a result of a 2006 law, and the city is on the hook for a $52 million bond issuance underwriting of the facility.

The bankruptcy filing is part of a deal to sell the hospital to the owners of Bayonne Medical Center.

“Everybody is working as hard as they can,” Rosen said of the bankruptcy negotiations. “The judge has been trying to mediate a settlement. He has personally invested a lot of time. I think everybody has a common goal here…The more that people talk the greater the likelihood of a settlement.”

Both sides are still actively participating in the settlement negotiations before the judge. Joseph DiPasquale of Trenk DiPasquale, attorney for the hospital management non-profit, Hudson Healthcare Inc., did not immediately respond to a call for comment.

The creditors are represented by Andrew Sherman of Sills Cummis & Gross; a representative of the firm said it is policy not to comment on ongoing cases.