Judge halts closure of North Adams hospital emergency department

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A state Superior Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing North Adams Regional Hospital from closing its emergency department, which was scheduled to be shut Friday, but not halting the closure of the rest of the 109-bed community hospital.

Berkshire Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini made his ruling Thursday afternoon in response to an injunction request from state Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office.

The order will remain in effect until April 3, when the judge will hear arguments for a permanent injunction, which could keep emergency services in North Adams for patients in nine rural northwestern Massachusetts communities who have been served by the hospital for 129 years.

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