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Prouty Garden lawsuit pared, moves forward

Boston Children’s Hospital wants to build over the Prouty Garden, a green space that many patients and families want to preserve.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/File 2015/Globe Staff

Opponents of the plan by Boston Children’s Hospital to expand its campus by building over a beloved healing garden will be able to continue their lawsuit against the hospital.

A Suffolk Superior Court judge approved part of the hospital’s motion to dismiss the case, but he allowed the opponent group’s core claim to move forward.

Children’s, the state’s dominant pediatric hospital, is seeking approval from state health officials to complete a $1 billion expansion of its Longwood Medical Area campus. The project calls for building over the Prouty Garden, a tranquil green space that many patients and families want to see preserved.


In its suit, representatives of a group called Friends of Prouty Garden alleges that the hospital illegally began work on the project, by starting demolition work on the Wolbach administrative building, before receiving state approval.

In a ruling dated June 22, Judge Kenneth W. Salinger allowed that claim to stand but dismissed other claims against the hospital.

He also dismissed the group’s claims against two construction companies involved with the project and against the state Department of Public Health, saying the hospital is the only real party of interest.

“It’s mostly good news for the Friends of Prouty Garden because the lawsuit against Children’s Hospital is intact and it goes forward,” Gregor McGregor, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said Tuesday.

Hospital spoksman Rob Graham said “Boston Children’s is pleased that two of the issues were dismissed.”

Hospital officials have defended the project, saying they need a new clinical building to meet patient demand.

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.