Judge dismisses federal lawsuit over hospital employee vaccine mandate

A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit signed onto by more than one hundred workers at a Texas hospital who argued against a mandate that they receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of continued employment, as Reuters reports.

Approximately 200 employees of Houston Methodist Hospital were suspended without pay the week prior to the ruling for declining the coronavirus shot, and 117 of those individuals lent their names to the legal action.

Judge Lynn N. Hughes, however, found no merit in the plaintiffs’ contentions that forcing vaccines “requires the employee to subject themselves to medical experimentation as a prerequisite to feeding their families,” that any dismissal due to vaccine refusal would amount to wrongful termination, and that the mandate puts workers in the position of “guinea pigs,” as CBS news noted.

In explaining his decision, Hughes declared that the idea that the COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous is “false” as well as “irrelevant,” stating that the applicable Texas statute “only protects employees form being terminated for refusing to commit an act carrying criminal penalties to the worker.”

Hughes further held that the hospital’s vaccine rules are not in violation of public policy or federal law, and he took specific umbrage at the plaintiff’s comparison between the vaccine requirement and Nazi medical experimentation in the era of the Holocaust.

In his opinion dismissing the case, Hughes wrote, “Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus. It is a choice made to keep staff, patients and their families safer,” adding that named plaintiff and nurse, Jennifer Bridges, could “freely choose to accept or refuse a COVID-19 vaccine; however, if she refuses, she will simply need to work somewhere else.”

Reacting to the dismissal, conservative lawyer and activist Jared Woodfill pledged, “This is the first battle in a long fight. There are going to be many battles fought. Not just in this 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 large war. It’s the first round, if you will,” Woodfill added.

Bridges, for her part, promised to continue the fight against forcing vaccination on Americans by threatening their very livelihoods, telling Houston CBS affiliate KHOU, “We’re OK with this decision. We are appealing. This will be taken all the way to the Supreme Court. This is far from over. This is literally only the beginning.”