As St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers is closing its bankrupt hospital in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, one lawyer is filing papers in an effort to keep the services open, The New York Times reports. Neighborhood lawyer and activist Yetta Kurland is claiming that the hospital has been unlawfully discontinuing services—including those for people living with HIV—without getting its closing plan approved by the New York State Department of Health.

According to the article, one longtime St. Vincent's patient, Richard Stack—who has been living with HIV for 25 years—was turned away from emergency services April 19. On that same day, the hospital laid off more than 1,000 staff members.

Kurland, a former City Council candidate who is fighting to keep St. Vincent's from closing, is expected to file on behalf of about a dozen plaintiffs, Stack included, claiming that the hospital is violating state law by shutting down services without prior approval.

“That is unthinkable, and we need to immediately stop that,” Kurland said.

Stack, who Kurland said “purposely lives three blocks from St. Vincent's,” had “literally developed complications [on the morning of April 19], demanding emergency care, and was denied admission into St. Vincent's emergency room [that day].” Stack was taken to another hospital, but Kurland told the Times she was not yet sure which one.