Beth Rifka, Inc. v. State

Decision Date10 October 1985
Citation114 A.D.2d 560,494 N.Y.S.2d 771
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
Parties, Medicare & Medicaid Guide P 34,985 BETH RIFKA, INC., et al., Appellants, v. STATE of New York, Respondent.

Fink, Weinberger, Fredman, Berman & Lowell, P.C., New York City (Irwin R. Karassik, of counsel), for appellants.

Robert Abrams, Atty. Gen., Albany (Calvin M. Berger, of counsel), for respondent.


LEVINE, Justice.

Appeal from an order of the Court of Claims (Murray, J.), entered August 6, 1984, which granted the State's motion to dismiss the claim.

The facts and circumstances giving rise to the instant claim against the State of New York are as follows: claimant Beth Rifka, Inc. (Beth Rifka) was the operator of a nursing home facility on Staten Island pursuant to an operating certificate issued by the State Commissioner of Health (Commissioner). Beth Rifka had also entered into "provider agreements" with the State Department of Social Services and the Federal government for caring for Medicaid and Medicare eligible patients at reimbursement rates set by the Commissioner (see, Public Health Law § 2807[3] ). On August 25, 1982, the Commissioner suspended Beth Rifka's operating certificate for 60 days for violations of health and safety regulations pertaining to patient care and treatment, and ordered that patients at its nursing home be relocated within 30 days. Hearings on permanent revocation of Beth Rifka's operating certificate were then commenced. However, on September 7, 1982, Beth Rifka successfully sought a stay of the order of relocation of patients pending final determination of the revocation proceeding. Stays remained in effect throughout the pertinent period of the instant litigation. After the conclusion of the revocation hearings, by order dated November 22, 1982, the Commissioner revoked Beth Rifka's operating certificate. This determination was confirmed by this court (Matter of Beth Rifka, Inc. v. Axelrod, 91 A.D.2d 1143, 458 N.Y.S.2d 715, lv. denied 58 N.Y.2d 607, 460 N.Y.S.2d 1027, 447 N.E.2d 87, appeal dismissed 58 N.Y.2d 779, 459 N.Y.S.2d 1030, 445 N.E.2d 219).

While the revocation proceeding was pending, the Federal government terminated its provider agreement with Beth Rifka concerning Medicare patients, effective October 31, 1982. Thereupon, as required by Federal regulation (42 C.F.R. § 442.20[b] ), the State terminated its Medicaid provider agreement, effective the same date, and advised Beth Rifka that it would no longer reimburse the facility for care of such patients after that date. In response, Beth Rifka then initiated a CPLR article 78 proceeding in the nature of mandamus in Supreme Court, Richmond County, seeking an order directing the State to continue paying for such patients' care at the then prevailing Medicaid reimbursement rates or on a quantum meruit basis. In that petition, Beth Rifka alleged that, despite the termination of the provider agreements, the State was obligated by law to continue to pay for the care of medically indigent patients as long as they remained at the facility. Special Term granted the State's motion to dismiss the petition on the ground that "the papers * * * disclose no basis for the relief sought" (Matter of Beth Rifka, Inc. v. Webb, Supreme Ct., Richmond County, Nov. 19, 1982, Rubin, J.). A decretal paragraph of the judgment of dismissal entered thereon (settled on notice) recited that "the petition fails to state a cause of action for the relief sought". No appeal was taken from the judgment of dismissal.

Thereafter, the instant claim was filed in the Court of Claims, in which Beth Rifka asserts a right to reimbursement for the care of Medicaid eligible patients at its facility from the date of the termination of the provider agreement until each such patient's ultimate removal and transfer from the facility on or before February 18, 1983. The State moved to dismiss on alternative grounds of res judicata, arising out of the dismissal of Beth Rifka's Richmond County Supreme Court article 78 proceeding, and failure to state a cause of action. The Court of Claims granted dismissal on the latter ground, and this appeal followed.

We affirm. The instant claim is barred by res judicata. In the prior article 78 proceeding, Beth Rifka sought to mandamus the State to make payments in futuro for Medicaid eligible patients' care at its facility subsequent to the termination of the provider agreement with the State. Beth Rifka's present claim covers precisely the same payments for the same care provided to the same patients. The allegations of the instant claim repeat in substance, if not verbatim, the same grounds alleged in Beth Rifka's petition in that article 78 proceeding. The dismissal of that petition for failure to state a cause of action, unappealed from, constituted a final judgment on the merits for res judicata purposes as to the legal sufficiency of the claim asserted therein (McKinney v. City of New York, 78 A.D.2d 884, 886, 433 N.Y.S.2d 193; Flynn v. Sinclair Oil Corp., 20 A.D.2d 636, 636-637, 246 N.Y.S.2d 360, affd. 14 N.Y.2d 853, 251 N.Y.S.2d 967, 200 N.E.2d 633). Clearly, the earlier article 78 petition and Beth Rifka's current claim pertain to the same transactions, i.e., the provision of care for medically indigent patients in Beth Rifka's facility subsequent to the termination of the provider agreement and the State's legal obligation to compensate Beth Rifka therefor. Hence, the claim is precluded under current res judicata...

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4 cases
  • Brooklyn Welding Corp. v. City of New York
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 30, 1993
    ......         This State has adopted the transactional analysis approach in deciding res judicata ... Article 78 proceeding is of no consequence to its application (see, Beth Rifka, Inc. v. State of New York, 114 A.D.2d 560, 494 N.Y.S.2d 771; see, ......
  • Monroe County v. State
    • United States
    • New York Court of Claims
    • November 19, 1985
    ......M-31741, December 26, 1984, Lowery, J.; see, generally, Beth Rifka, Inc. v. State of New York, App.Div., 494 N.Y.S.2d 771), the county advances the argument ......
  • 188-90 Eighth Ave. Hous. Dev. Fund Corp. v. Filemyr
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • April 11, 2016
    ...judgment on the merits for res judicata purposes as to the sufficiency of the claim asserted therein. See Beth Rifka, Inc. v. State, 114 A.D.2d 560 (2d Dept 1985). This court finds that the 2015 Complaint must be dismissed based on the doctrine of res judicata on the ground that Justice Mil......
  • Pepin v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • March 7, 2017
    ...grounds, the claim is barred by the statute of limitations and res judicata (see e.g. Beth Rifka, Inc. v. State of New York, 114 A.D.2d 560, 562, 494 N.Y.S.2d 771 [3d Dept.1985] ). In any event, petitioner's allegation that his inability to obtain a certificate of eligibility has constructi......

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