A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit over hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, and she did it in more than one sense of the word. The lawsuit from 117 employees of hospitals in Houston, Texas had sued because they did not want to be required to take these new vaccines, but in making this argument, the complaint compared the requirement to experiments under Nazi Germany. Judge Lynn N. Hughes of the Southern District of Texas scoffed.
“Equating the injection requirement to medical experimentation in concentration camps is reprehensible,” she wrote in an order dated Saturday. “Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on victims that cause pain, mutilation, permanent disability, and in many cases, death.”
The complaint under lead plaintiff Jennifer Bridges claimed the hospital was making employees “human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment.” Plaintiffs maintained they were being forced to subject themselves to experimentation as a condition for keeping their jobs. The comparison with Nazi Germany did indeed appear in the lawsuit, highlighting the Nuremberg Code of 1947 and the history behind it.
“Here, Defendants fail to inform its employees that they are taking part in a medical experiment and that their consent is required for this under the Nuremberg Code,” read the complaint. “This, as a matter of fact, is a gene modification medical experiment on human beings, performed without informed consent. It is a severe and blatant violation of the Nuremberg Code and the public policy of the state of Texas.”
As a legal matter, Hughes disregarded this argument, saying that the Nuremberg Code did not apply because Methodist is a private employer, not a government. She also did not give weight to concerns about the vaccines’ safety.
“Bridges dedicates the bulk of her pleadings to arguing that the currently-available COVID-19 vaccines are experimental and dangerous,” she wrote. “This claim is false, and it is also irrelevant.”
Texas law only protects employees from getting fired for refusing to commit crimes, she wrote.
“She is refusing the accept inoculation that, in the hospital’s judgment, will make it safer for their workers and the patients in Methodist’s care,” the judge wrote.
The plaintiff attorney promised an appeal. From Jared Woodfill in an email to Law&Crime:
This is just one battle in a larger war to protect the rights of employees to be free from being forced to participate in a vaccine trial as a condition for employment. Employment should not be conditioned upon whether you will agree to serve as a human guinea pig. We will be appealing this case to the United States Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court if necessary. Additionally, we will be seeking a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court in a similar case. All of my clients continue to be committed to fighting this unjust policy. What is shocking is that many of my clients were on the front line treating Covid positive patients at Texas Methodist Hospital during the heighth of the pandemic. As a result, many of them contracted COVID-19. As a thank you for their service and sacrifice, Methodist Hospital awards them a pink slip and sentences them to bankruptcy. If this ruling is allowed to stand, employers across the country will be able to force their employees to participate in a vaccine trial as a condition for employment. This legal battle has only just begun. Ultimately, I believe Methodist Hospital will be held accountable for their conduct. Sometimes the wheels of justice move slower than we like.
You can read the order below:
[Screengrab via KPRC]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]