A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by 117 employees of Houston Methodist Hospital against its COVID-19 vaccine mandate as a condition of employment.
US District Court Judge Lynn Hughes on Saturday ruled against Jennifer Bridges and 116 of her fellow Houston Methodist co-workers who sued to stop the vaccination requirement by the hospital. Houston Methodist Hospital moved to dismiss the case.
COVID-19 Vaccinations Used In US ‘Risky’
According to Bridges and her co-workers, the COVID-19 vaccines used in the U.S. are “experimental and risky,” and that it would be “wrongful” to be fired for refusing to get immunized.
The Houston Methodist Hospital called Bridges’ assertions “inaccurate,” stating that as per Texas law, workers are protected from termination only if they refuse to commit a criminal act that carries criminal penalties.
Since COVID-19 vaccination is not unlawful, there are no criminal repercussions associated with it, it said.
The judge supported the Houston Methodist Hospital in the matter and rejected Bridges’ statement that the threatening of dismissal in this instance was similar to “forced medical experimentation during the Holocaust.”
Calling the allegations “reprehensible,” Judge Hughes said that Bridges was not being coerced.
Jared Woodfill, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, said that an appeal is likely. Talking about the “shocking” verdict, he said that as a “thank you” for his clients’ service and sacrifice, “Methodist Hospital awards them a pink slip and sentences them to bankruptcy.”
Plaintiffs Wrongly Stated That Vaccinations Are Not Safe
The hospital said that plaintiffs “wrongly stated that the COVID-19 vaccinations are not safe.” It further said that Bridges along with the other 116 plaintiffs represent less than 0.5 percent of Houston Methodist employees, with 24,947 having now been vaccinated.
The judge dismissed the plaintiffs’ demand for a legal framework order to prevent Houston Methodist from terminating workers who declined to get vaccinations.
The Bottom Line
According to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, organizations can officially encourage employees attempting to enter the office and prospective employees to get vaccinations against COVID-19.