AG Says North Adams Hospital Leaders Will Not Be Penalized For Closure
Leaders of the shuttered North Adams Regional Hospital will not face penalties for failing to provide adequate public notice of their plan to close in 2014.
The state Attorney General's office revealed the decision Wednesday, according to The Berkshire Eagle.
Letters were sent to Berkshire Health Systems, which now operates the facility, and to a representative of the North County Cares Coalition, which continues to push for a full-service hospital in North Adams. An assistant attorney general says that because the former hospital's volunteer trustees "acted in good faith" through the institution's financial crisis, they deserve protection from legal consequences. North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright told WAMC on Thursday he was pleased by the decision, saying it can bring closure to the community.
"I think the Attorney General's letter clearly articulates that the board (trustees) and management at that time was doing everything that they possibly could to find another hospital - someone else to collaborate with and work this out through - and that they had for quite a while," Alcombright said. "I don't know the timeframe they use, but this was going on for 15 years. This was a train wreck just waiting to happen."
The hospital closed with just a few days’ notice in March 2014, putting about 530 people out of work. Northern Berkshire County remains without a full-service hospital.