Judge Dismisses Vaccine Mandate Lawsuit by Staff of Houston Hospital

A federal judge in Texas on June 12 dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 Houston Methodist hospital employees who sought to block the hospital system’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

In a four-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes wrote that firing the employees as a result of their refusal to take the COVID-19 shots wouldn’t amount to wrongful termination. Under Texas law, an employee is considered to have been wrongfully terminated if fired solely for refusing to perform an illegal act.

Hughes, a Reagan appointee, also rejected several claims from the plaintiffs under federal law, including an assertion that the employees are being forced to participate in a human trial for the vaccines since the shots are only being allowed under an emergency use authorization. The hospital, the judge wrote, isn’t participating in a human trial for the vaccines.

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