As you may have heard, yesterday our preliminary injunction was denied. However, this is neither a loss nor a win but a necessary next step forward in the legal process.
Though he denied the the preliminary injunction, the good news is that Judge Salinger's ruling also entitles the Friends of the Prouty Garden (FPG) to move forward with our legal claim regarding the Hospital's violation of actions in light of the pending Determination of Need (DON) certificate, meaning we have a right to sue for the alleged violations of the DON law and seek our requested relief. He rejected the Hospital’s arguments on standing, exhaustion of remedies, and primary jurisdiction.
This essentially means that our standing to bring the lawsuit was upheld and we can now go to discovery, which is the most critical part of this lawsuit. The hospital will have to answer, under oath, pointed questions about this expansion.
Therefore, we intend this week to move forward with discovery. This will require the Hospital to produce their documents and answer questions under oath. We will endeavor to test whether any of the Hospital’s submittals or statements to the Court were not true and whether the renovation projects run to well more than $17.8 million.
We also intend this week to file with the Department of Public Health technical rebuttals of the letters the Hospital filed answering DPH’s requests for more information on the project’s impacts on Medicaid patients.
Some of you were concerned that construction would begin immediately as the result of yesterday's ruling; that is not true. Construction will not begin immediately. In fact, as a result of the lawsuit, the Hospital has assured the Superior Court that the Prouty Garden will not be closed and the Dawn Redwood will not be taken down while their DON application is pending. We believe this is the first time the Hospital has made such a public commitment; the garden was slated to be permanently closed this past February. At least now, we appear to have succeeded in making sure it’s open for another summer.
In short, yesterday's ruling means we can move forward with our lawsuit and force the Hospital to answer questions about the expansion project under oath. While a temporary injunction would have been great, this approval to move forward with the suit is actually much more important for our cause in the long run.
The fight to Save the Prouty Garden goes bravely on!