Federal judge dismisses lawsuit from Texas hospital employees over COVID vaccine requirement

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A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit introduced by some employees of a Texas hospital over its requirement that staff be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reports. Nearly 200 employees at Houston Methodist have been suspended with out pay final week for his or her failure to get totally vaccinated, per the hospital system’s necessities.

Of the 178 suspended employees, 117 signed onto the lawsuit, which argued that requiring staff to obtain the COVID-19 vaccines “requires the employee to subject themselves to medical experimentation as a prerequisite to feeding their families,” likening them to “guinea pigs.”

U.S. district judge Lynn N. Hughes stated in his ruling that claims that the vaccines are harmful are “false, and it is also irrelevant.” Hughes famous that Texas regulation “only protects employees from being terminated for refusing to commit an act carrying criminal penalties to the worker,” and that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine “is not an illegal act.”

Hughes additionally wrote in his ruling that the hospital’s requirement doesn’t violate federal regulation or public coverage, and took concern with the lawsuit evaluating the requirement to get vaccinated with Nazi medical experiments through the Holocaust.

“Equating the injection requirement to medical experimentation in concentration camps is reprehensible,” Hughes wrote. “Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on victims that caused pain, mutilation, permanent disability, and in many cases, death.”

In response to the ruling, lawyer and conservative activist Jared Woodfill stated, “We took the position that it shouldn’t be dismissed for a whole host of reasons and we believe that forcing an individual to participate in a vaccine trial is illegal.”

“This is the first battle in a long fight,” Woodfill added. “There are  going to be many battles fought. Not just in this courtroom, but in courtrooms all across the state. There are battles that are going to be fought in the higher courts, the 5th Circuit, the Texas Supreme Court, even the United States Supreme Court. So this is just one battle in a larger war. It’s the first round, if you will.”  

Houston Methodist, which is comprised of 1 medical middle and 6 neighborhood hospitals, had initially provided vaccinated employees an additional $500 again in March. At the identical time, the well being system was clear that, finally, the pictures would now not be voluntary. Houston Methodist then set a June 7 deadline for all employees to get totally vaccinated. The well being system stated all unvaccinated staff will likely be terminated on June 21.

As of Monday, almost 25,000 employees had been totally inoculated in opposition to COVID-19. Two employees who labored in administration selected to depart slightly than obtain the vaccine. Jennifer Bridges, a registered nurse, began a petition in opposition to the the coverage and is main the lawsuit in opposition to Houston Methodist.

Kate Gibson contributed reporting.

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