BOSTON (Legal Newsline) – Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Thursday that her office obtained a temporary injunction that will halt the closure of North Adams Regional Hospital’s emergency services.
Northern Berkshire Health Care allegedly failed to provide the legally-required, 90-day notification prior to closing the hospital. Coakley filed a lawsuit against NBH alleging that if the hospital closes, the nearest emergency room available for the area would be a 30 to 45 minute drive away, creating safety and health concerns for the region.
“As someone who grew up in North Adams, I know firsthand how critical this hospital is to the surrounding community,” Coakley said. “This injunction is the first step towards preventing an immediate health crisis for the area and keeping emergency services open. We are continuing to work closely with the administration and elected officials to help ensure continued access to critical health services for the entire community.”
Berkshire Superior Court Judge John Agostini ordered a temporary restraining order on Thursday that requires the emergency room and other essential health services to remain open through April 3, dependent on Coakley’s office filing a revised order by Friday. A hearing on a permanent injunction was scheduled for Thursday.
Coakley’s lawsuit seeks to prevent North Adams Regional Hospital from closing its emergency department until it complies with hospital closure requirements or until Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield can license and operate a satellite emergency facility at NARH.