Story at a glance
- A federal judge in Texas dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of employees against Houston Methodist Hospital.
- Houston Methodist Hospital suspended 178 employees last week for refusing to comply with its June 7 deadline for employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
- The judge said the hospital was within its rights to require its employees to get vaccinated to protect its patients and other staff.
A federal judge in Texas dismissed a lawsuit against Houston Methodist Hospital, first filed by a group of employees who were fighting its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Houston Methodist Hospital suspended 178 employees last week for refusing to comply with its June 7 deadline requiring employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. In response, 116 of the 178 suspended employees filed a lawsuit against the hospital .
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes referred to the lawsuit as “frivolous.”
"The public's interest in having a hospital capable of caring for patients during a pandemic far outweighs protecting the vaccination preferences of 116 employees," Hughes wrote. "The plaintiffs are not just jeopardizing their own health; they are jeopardizing the health of doctors, nurses, support staff, patients and their families."
The hospital CEO celebrated the ruling on Saturday.
"We can now put this behind us and continue our focus on unparalleled safety, quality, service and innovation," hospital president and CEO Marc Boom told ABC7. "All our employees have now met the requirements of the vaccine policy and I couldn't be prouder of them."
However, Houston lawyer Jared Woodfill, who is representing the suspended employees, said they plan on appealing the ruling.
“All of my clients continue to be committed to fighting this unjust policy,” Woodfill said.
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