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Hospital Workers Lose Challenge to Employer Vaccine Mandate

June 14, 2021, 12:34 PM

Houston Methodist Hospital workers lost their bid to block a policy requiring them to be vaccinated against Covid-19 after a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas dismissed their lawsuit.

The workers’ claim that the currently available Covid-19 vaccines are experimental and dangerous “is false, and it is also irrelevant,” Judge Lynn N. Hughes said in a five-page court opinion.

The lawsuit filed in May was among the first to challenge Covid-19 vaccine mandates. The ruling is the first of its kind.

VIDEO: We answer the question on the minds of CEOs, in-house lawyers, and rank and file employees - can employers make their employees take the vaccine?

Hughes also rejected the claim that the injection requirement is invalid because it violates federal law and the Nuremberg Code.

“Equating the injection requirement to medical experimentation in concentration camps is reprehensible,” Hughes said June 12. “Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on victims that caused pain, mutilation, permanent disability, and in many cases, death,” the judge added.

The hospital is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving workers the Covid-19 virus, Hughes said. Such choice is made to keep staff, patients, and their families safe, the judge said. Workers can “freely choose to accept or refuse a Covid-19 vaccine,” but if they refuse it, they “will simply need to work somewhere else,” he added.

The case is Bridges v. Houston Methodist Hosp., S.D. Tex., No. 4:21-cv-01774, 6/12/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carmen Castro-Pagán in Washington at ccastro-pagan@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com

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