New York Public Health Law § 2801 Does Not Apply to Adult Homes

Written by: Daniele DeZago, Esq.

Edited by: Nicole A. Callahan, Esq.

The applicability of New York Public Health Law § 2801 has been limited thanks to a decision issued by Judge George Nolan of Suffolk County Supreme Court.  In Schuckman v. Atria Senior Living, N.Y. Sup. Ct. (611915/2020), Judge Nolan granted defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s first, third and fourth causes of action against all parties under CPLR 3211(a)(7).

Plaintiff’s first and third cause of action were dismissed for failure to state a claim under New York Public Health Law Article 28.  Judge Nolan found that plaintiff’s complaint and it’s two causes of action under Public Health Law 2801(2) do not apply to Adult Homes and are not subject to the private right of action available under Public Health Law Article 28.  The Court found that the purpose of Article 28 “indicates an intent to regulat[e] institutions ‘serving principally as facilities…for the rendering of health related services….'” Public Health Law § 2800.  “Numerous courts have determined, based on the statute’s legislative history, that Public Health Law § 2801-d is applicable only to nursing homes and similar facilities,”  and adult homes like the defendant do not qualify (internal citations omitted; emphasis added).

The Court continued that “Public Health Law 2801-d does not authorize claims against a detoxification and rehabilitation facility, a psychiatric hospital, a group home for the developmentally disabled and an assisted living facility” (citations omitted).  Although the Court did not specifically identify or distinguish the difference between an adult home and a rehabilitation service under the parameters of Public Health Law 2801, it would appear the Court put great weight into the affidavit of defendant and Executive Director of Atria East Northport, Steven Necroto.  The affidavit declared that the facility is licensed by the New York State Department of Health as an adult home.  The Court’s reliance on the affidavit, as well as its comment that Article 28 is intended to regulate facilities that render health-related services, indicates that how and for what purpose a facility is licensed with the New York State Department of Health will determine whether a claim under Public Health Law 2801 will stand against a defendant.