A judge has issued a $250 fine against the owners...

A judge has issued a $250 fine against the owners of Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Woodbury for ignoring a contempt order and failing to make a $2.65 million payment toward the health care benefits of its employees. Credit: Danielle Silverman

A Nassau County judge has issued a $250 fine against the owners of Long Island's second-largest nursing home for ignoring a contempt order and failing to make a $2.65 million payment toward the health care benefits of the facility's roughly 440 employees.

In her order, issued late Friday, State Supreme Court Justice Lisa Cairo reiterated her previous directive for the owners of Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Woodbury, and managing member Avi Philipson, to make the health care payment to the 1199SEIU National Benefit Funds, which represents the nursing home workers. 

The judge also directed Cold Spring Hills to make the payment by Wednesday at the latest. In addition to the $250 fine, which must be paid to the benefit fund, Cairo ordered Cold Spring Hills to pay administrative and attorney fees. 

Employees at the nursing home, which has more than 500 residents, are set to lose their medical, prescription, dental and disability benefits as early as Monday, the union said.

In the order, Cairo said she was legally limited in how large a fine she could impose, despite Cold Spring Hills' “utter disregard for the court's orders directing payments to the Fund.”

“The law limits the penalties for contempt to ascertainable, established damages or the above noted statutory fine,” Cairo continued. “Actual damages have not been established. The ultimate effects of CSH's actions will undoubtedly be felt by employees of the facility but evidence of a numerical figure of damage has not been adduced.”

Officials with the nursing home as well as state Attorney General Letitia James' office, which sought the contempt order on behalf of the benefit fund, appeared in court Thursday after Cold Spring Hills failed to meet Cairo's previously set deadline of last Wednesday to make the court-ordered payment.

It was unclear if the payment will be made before the employee benefits are set to expire Monday. Owners of the privately operated nursing home, who have been seeking — unsuccessfully — a buyer, have argued they do not have the resources to make the payment.

A Cold Spring Hills attorney declined to comment, while union officials did not respond to requests for comment.

The nursing home has appealed the contempt order to the Appellate Division, which ordered all parties to return to court on April 26 to argue the merits of the appeal.

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