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Judge tosses hospital workers' vaccine requirement challenge

Methodist Hospital
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jun 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-13 16:29:18-04

HOUSTON -- A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by employees of a Houston hospital system over its requirement that all of its staff be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Houston Methodist Hospital system suspended 178 employees without pay last week over their refusal to get vaccinated.

Of them, 117 sued seeking to overturn the requirement and over their suspension and threatened termination.

In a scathing ruling Saturday, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes deemed the lead plaintiff's contention that the vaccines are “experimental and dangerous” to be false and otherwise irrelevant.

He also said it was “reprehensible” of her to compare the vaccination requirement to the Nazis’ forced medical experimentation on concentration camp captives.

The plaintiffs' lawyer vowed to appeal.

Houston Methodist CEO Dr. Marc Boom told staff off the suspensions in email Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.

According to USA Today, Boom said 27 of those suspended had received one dose of vaccine.

Boom added that if they aren't fully vaccinated after the two weeks, they'll be fired.

According to The Post, Houston Medical gave exemptions to 285 employees for religious and medical reasons, and 332 received deferrals.

The New York Times reported that the suspension comes after dozens of workers protested the policy on Monday.

Nurse Pierre Charland told the Houston Press that she wouldn’t risk losing her job for not getting the flu shot, "but this one is different."