To the Editor of the Eagle:
It may be that the need to secure the final wage payments for the North Adams Regional Hospital employees drove the secrecy and short notice about the closing.
Massachusetts law requires that earned and unused vacation be included in the final check. If the hospital’s weekly payroll was over $800,000 as reported, the total with vacations must have been significantly more. As we now know, those payments almost completely emptied the hospital’s bank account. Before the bankruptcy filing, any creditor with warning about the closing could have sought an attachment of those funds and prevented full payment of wages. The fact that the court had to order that utilities not be terminated suggests how dire the circumstances were.
I expect that in many aspects of this sad passage, similar complexities may unfold. I hope that the focus will be not only on mistakes but on learning from them and rebuilding a vibrant health care system for North County.
LEE D. FLOURNOY