HOUSTON (NewsNation Now) — A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by a group of nurses in Houston against their hospital’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes wrote in her opinion that Texas law only allows for someone to be protected from wrongful termination if that individual was refusing to commit a criminal act. She states that, “Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination is not an illegal act, and it caries no criminal penalties.”
Houston Methodist Hospital gave the following statement to NewsNation following the lawsuit dismissal.
Houston Methodist is pleased and reassured after U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes today dismissed a frivolous lawsuit filed by some employees who fought our COVID-19 vaccine mandate.Houston Methodist Hospital
The ruling further goes to state, “Although her claims fail as a matter of law, it is also necessary to clarify that bridges has not been coerced….Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus.”
Dozens of staff members at Houston Methodist Hospital staged a walkout in response to the institution’s policy requiring all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
117 nurses sued the hospital over their vaccination policy lead by Jennifer Bridges. The group raised over $100,000 on GoFundMe for their legal fees.
NewsNation interviewed one of the nurses in the lawsuit who explained her hesitation to get vaccinated came down to a concern about severe reactions to the shot.
The CDC and health officials have stressed severe reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are rare and not seen in the majority of the population.
In the lawsuit from the nurses, they cite the vaccination policy as violating the Nuremberg Code and the threat of termination to forced medical experimentation during the Holocaust. A claim Hughes calls “reprehensible.”
“Equating the injection requirement to medical experimentation in concentration camps is reprehensible. Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on victims that caused pain, mutilation, permanent disability, and in many cases, death,” said Hughes in her ruling.
Houston Methodist says nearly 100% of their 26,000 employees have been vaccinated, calling it a “sacred obligation to protect our patients.”
Vaccine hesitancy has been high among healthcare workers. Nearly half remained unvaccinated as of mid-March, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Common concerns being the vaccine’s emergency approval and potential side effects.