Federal Judge dismisses lawsuit brought by Houston Hospital staff over vaccine mandate

Last Saturday a federal judge in Texas dismissed a lawsuit brought by over 100 Houston Methodist hospital employees against the hospitals COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

According to CBS News, Houston Methodist originally gifted employees who had been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine $500 in March and made their employees aware that at some point the vaccine would no longer be voluntary. Houston Methodist set June 7 as the deadline for all employees to be fully vaccinated, warning that employees who weren’t vaccinated are going to be terminated on June 21. CBS News also reported that about 25,000 employees had been fully vaccinated as of Monday. There were two employees working in management that chose to resign rather than receive the vaccine.

Jennifer Bridges, a registered nurse at Houston Methodist, is leading the lawsuit against Houston Methodist, which as of now has 117 employees signed on. Bridges argued that the hospital is “forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment,” and the lawsuit further suggested that vaccines are seen as experimental and dangerous therefore, a vaccine mandate violates federal law (The Hill).

U.S district judge Lynn N. Hughes in his ruling stated that claims that the vaccines are dangerous are “false, and it is also irrelevant,” and that Texas law “only protects employees from being terminated for refusing to commit an act carrying criminal penalties to the worker,” concluding that receiving the vaccine does not constitute as an illegal act.

Judge Hughes also confronted the statements made by the lawsuit comparing the vaccination mandate to Nazi medical experiments during the Holocaust, “Equating the injection requirement to medical experimentation in concentration camps is reprehensible,” and that “Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on victims that caused pain, mutilation, permanent disability, and in many cases, death.”

Jared Woodfill, attorney for the plaintiffs, told The Hill in response to the dismal of the lawsuit, “This is just one battle in a larger war to protect the rights of employees to be free from being forced to participate in a vaccine trial as a condition for employment.” He concluded saying, “Ultimately, I believe Methodist Hospital will be held accountable for their conduct.” Houston Methodist is reported to be the first hospital system in the country to implement a vaccine mandate on its employees.


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