Fearless Group of Nurses and Medical Workers File Lawsuit Against Texas Hospital Over Mandatory Covid-19 Injection Policy
Jennifer Bridges, et al. v. Houston Methodist Hospital, et al., 4:21-cv-01774
Feb. 24, 2022U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
Update: As of February 25, 2022, this case has been appealed to the Fifth Circuit and is still being briefed.
On June 1, 2021, the Complaint for this case was filed. The plaintiffs, Jennifer Bridges and 116 other coworkers, allege the mandatory policy of the defendant, Houston Methodist Hospital (“Methodist”) is unlawful. The policy requires all employees to receive non-FDA approved, experimental mRNA COVID19 injections as a condition of employment.
The Complaint states Methodist’s policy violates the federal statute governing emergency use of medical products, the federal regulation governing informed consent by participants in medical research studies, and the Nuremberg Code.
On June 12, 2021, Judge Lynn N. Hughes (the “Judge”) abruptly ruled against the Complaint. In a terse six-page Dismissal Order, the Judge recognized the injections are “experimental and dangerous,” yet regarded the plaintiffs’ claims as “false and irrelevant.”
The Judge then declared “inapplicable,” the plaintiffs’ claim that Methodist’s policy violates the federal stature governing emergency use of medical products, but he does not say why that statute is inapplicable.
The Judge also appeared to rely heavily on the now-discredited “protection of the public” rationale, despite the fact that, as we now know, the injections neither prevent transmission to others nor confer immunity.
In his conclusion, the Judge minimizes Nurse Bridge’s claims, stating there was “no coercion,” but cites no source for his conclusion. He condescendingly states Nurse Bridges “can freely choose to accept or refuse a Covid-19 vaccine; however, if she refuses, she will simply need to work somewhere else.” The Judge concludes, “…every employment includes limits on the workers’ behavior in exchange for his remuneration. That is all part of the bargain.”
In other words, Nurse Bridges is faced with a classic Faustian bargain. Despite her previous willingness to treat seriously ill and dying patients before the policy, her job now hinges solely on her willingness to take a permanent, irreversible -- perhaps injurious and deadly -- injection.
Methodist proudly boasted its trailblazing effort to become the first major healthcare system in the nation to require injections for all its employees. In a three-page April 2021 “President’s Letter,” Methodist pressures employees to take the injections for the “safety of the patients,” to be “examples for those who are hesitant to get vaccinated” and to “show the world that we trust the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.” The plaintiffs obviously disagree, and present strong arguments to the contrary that the injections are indeed not safe.
Although the Judge indicated the plaintiffs could request a medical or religious exemption, the hospital was also the first in the nation to mandate the flu vaccine in 2009 for all employees. It’s unknown if any of the plaintiffs previously took the flu vaccines or received an exemption.
No evidentiary hearing was ever held
The plaintiffs' Appellant's Reply Brief deadline is now set for March 4, 2022
Stay Dissolved in Case Against the Biden Administration and OSHA Rule Implementing a Vaccine or Testing Mandate for Businesses with Over 100 Employees
In re: MCP No. 165, Occupational Safety & Health Admin. Rule on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing, 86 Fed. Reg. 61402
Dec. 16, 2021Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
On December 17, 2021, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a split 2-1 decision, dissolved the nationwide stay on the OSHA rule which had been in place since November 2021. OSHA had published its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on November 5, 2021, requiring businesses with greater than 100 employees to require their employees to be vaccinated or regularly tested.
This is a loss for those employees opposing vaccination mandates, yet it is likely that this is headed to the Supreme Court for a final decision.
After the November 5, 2021, OSHA ETS, the stay, on November 6, 2021, had been issued by a 3-0 vote of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. That was followed by petitions in several circuits, leading to a lottery to select a circuit to decide the multidistrict litigation. The Sixth Circuit was chosen by that lottery to decide whether the OSHA ETS is a lawful exercise of the administrative agency’s power.
The December 17th ruling by the Court panel ruled it is, though the panel did not address the ETS’s vaccination deadlines of December 6, 2021 and January 4, 2022. As it stands now, OSHA will not enforce compliance with the vaccination requirement until January 10, 2022 and with the testing requirement until February 9, 2022.
The Sixth Circuit panel noted that OSHA has wide discretion in how it ensures worker safety in workplaces and referred to the danger of unvaccinated workers in the workplace, and noted that a virus that causes bodily harm is within the ambit of OSHA’s role.
The panel was not persuaded by the Fifth Circuit’s argument that the OSHA ETS was an impermissibly large expansion of OSHA’s power. Nor was it persuaded by the Fifth Circuit’s argument that the timing of the ETS, long after the beginning of the pandemic, meant that OSHA was not responding to an emergency. OSHA countered that argument with an assertion that it was the rise in Delta and the approval of vaccines that played into its issuance of the ETS. Further, the Court was not persuaded by the argument that potential exposure to COVID-19 must be shown, in order to qualify for the “grave danger” requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), finding that COVID-19 was a grave danger, generally to workplaces.
The panel also found that there was no irreparable harm to the employees because of the masking and testing alternative available to them, considering the harms to be “entirely speculative.” It is the danger to the public of the virus that empowers OSHA, according to the Sixth Circuit panel.
The findings of the Sixth Circuit panel run in stark opposition to the Fifth Circuit’s findings in BST Holdings, L.L.C., et al. v Occupational Safety and Health Admin, Department of Labor, et al.
These majority and dissenting opinions will undoubtedly be compared and thoroughly analyzed in detail over the next coming weeks. The Attorney General of Texas has already announced that he will be taking the case to the Supreme Court.
It seems highly likely that this case may be one of the very first to be accepted and heard by SCOTUS on the non-emergency docket, especially if the Sixth Circuit en banc hearing is denied, as it's a case of great national importance and there is a split in the Circuits.
Case Filed on Behalf of Federal Employees Against the Biden Administration and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Alleging Violations of the Federal Code of Regulations and Unconstitutionality of the Executive Order No. 14043
Health Freedom Defense Fund, et al. v. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., et al., 21-cv-02679
Nov. 11, 2021Middle District of Florida
On November 12, 2021, several Department of Defense employees filed suit against Biden’s September 9, 2021 Executive Order No. 14043. The Plaintiffs include distinguished employees, such as a purple-heart service member and a Department of Justice Intelligence Research Specialist, along with Air Force personnel and an Air Traffic employee.
The Plaintiffs assert that they have a right to personal bodily integrity, a right which the government cannot intrude upon by mandate. The Complaint alleges, “At issue is American virtue. It comes to the court through the lens of the right to self-determination and bodily autonomy encompassed within the right to privacy.”
The suit was filed asserting violations of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment Substantive Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. The suit argues that the case should be evaluated in terms of strict scrutiny: that the “medical treatments are a substantial burden” and that the Defendants cannot meet their burden to show that “the Mandate is narrowly tailored to meet a compelling interest.” Plaintiffs additionally raise claims that their rights are being violated under parts 293.105 and 293.504 of Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
The case was brought by Health Freedom Defense Fund, along with Federal Employees for Freedom, on behalf of over 6000 federal employees. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief. Click here to access the Complaint
Case Against the Biden Administration, DOD, and Department of the Navy Alleging Discriminatory Treatment and Retaliation for Legally Exercising Rights Under Free Exercise Clause
U.S. Navy Seals 1-26, et al. v. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., et al., 21-cv-01236-P
Nov. 08, 2021U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
On November 9, 2021, Navy Seals and other Navy personnel filed a federal suit against the Biden Administration, the DOD, and the Secretary of Navy (the ”Defendants“) asserting the Defendants refused to grant religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in violation of federal law and statues.
The suit was filed under the U.S. Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Department of Defense regulations, and the Department of Navy regulations. The suit asserts the denial of Plaintiffs' fundamental right to their free exercise of religion, and it also seeks protection from improper agency action.
Plaintiffs attack the Defendants’ administration of the Navy Vaccine Mandate for refusal to grant religious and medical exemptions, and for retaliatory actions because of exemption requests. The DOD and Navy regulations recognize religious and medical accommodations for immunizations under RFRA and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, however, Defendants’ actions are not recognizing this, the suit asserts. Plaintiffs additionally raise claims that their rights are being violated under the APA, and that the actions of the military agencies are not the least restrictive means of accomplishing their purported interests.
Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as actual and nominal damages.
Case Against the Administration and OSHA Rule Implementing Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Businesses With Over 100 Employees
BST Holdings, L.L.C., et al. v. Occupational Safety and Health Admin., Department of Labor, et al., Case: 21-60845
Nov. 05, 2021Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
On November 5, 2021, Petitioners, including numerous corporations and the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah filed an Emergency Motion to Stay Enforcement of the OSHA vaccine mandate Pending Review & to Expedite Review, pursuant to FRAP 18(a)(2)(A)(i).
FRAP 18(a)(2)(A)(i) allows for the filing of emergency motions to stay agency actions directly in the federal courts of appeal, instead of first filing with the agency, if it can be shown that "moving first before the agency would be impracticable." Petitioners asserted that first moving before OSHA would be “futile." The Petitioners alleged 10 violations in the suit. They are violations of the:
In support of the alleged claims, the Plaintiffs argued that the mandate Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) put forth is neither a “workplace rule” nor “responsive to an emergency,” and that vaccination status is not a workplace issue but a public health issue; that there is no need for an “emergency rule” for a pandemic that has been ongoing for two years; that the Petitioners are likely to succeed on the merits that the ETS exceeds OSHA's statutory authority; that OSHA only has authority over workplace-related hazards, not hazards which can be found worldwide; that the ETS does not address a “grave danger”; that OSHA previously came to an opposite conclusion than they have now; that the 100+ worker requirement makes no sense; that vaccinated people can still spread the disease; that Covid-19 is not a toxic substance or agent; that OSHA’s vaccination requirement, or alternative (to have a weekly test & wear a mask), is both overinclusive and underinclusive; that Petitioners meet the three criteria for a stay, and will suffer irreparable harm without a stay and; a stay won't harm OSHA, it is in the public interest, and expedited review is warranted.
The next day, on Saturday November 6, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal granted the Petitioners’ motion and stayed the ETS mandate, finding that there were "grave statutory and constitutional issues" with the mandate.
The Chabad Rabbinical Court, in NYC, Issued a Halachic Ruling Forbidding the Administration of Covid-19 Vaccines to Children, Pregnant Women, Healthy Adults of Child Bearing Age, Older Adults, and the Elderly
Chabad Rabbinical Court
Nov. 02, 2021New York, New Jersey
On November 1, 2021 and on the 26th of Marcheshvan (the second month of the Jewish calendar), the Rabbinic Court in New York and New Jersey rendered a decision to forbid certain members of the Jewish community from taking any of the Covid-19 "vaccines."
In the Rabbinical Court, after hearing testimony from vaccine experts, including Dr. Robert Malone (the doctor who invented the mRNA vaccine), other doctors who invented the mRNA technology, and members of the Jewish community who had suffered injuries due to the Covid vaccine, the Court determined that the risks of the vaccines exceed the level of concern allowed for by Halachic standards.
Specifically, the Court determined that, as per the teachings of the holy Torah:
“It is absolutely forbidden to administer or promote the vaccines to children, adolescents, young men or women:”
It is forbidden for pregnant women to receive the injection because due to the currently known and future unknown harms the injections cause, it may be considered "a violation of the prohibition of sterilization or preventing fertility." Also, included in this population of persons prohibited from taking the Covid injections "are all healthy adults of child-bearing age.”
Due to significant breakthrough cases of Covid-19 among the elderly who have received the injections, and because there is no indication that there is a substantial difference between those who have received the mRNA injections and those who have not, the Rabbinical Court cautioned against older adults and the elderly taking the vaccines, and urged that they error on the side of not taking the shots, and instead pursue safer and effective alternative treatments.
The order instructed that those who have received mRNA injections should distance themselves for a minimum of two weeks from any pregnant woman so that any side effects from "shedding" are minimized.
It is prohibited by Leviticus 19:14 to put a stumbling block in front of a blind person. As such, members of the Jewish community are forbidden from verbally encouraging, offering monetary incentive or other bribes, verbally pressuring or actually threatening or coercing employees or others to receive the mRNA injections.
A Several State Suit Against the Biden Administration’s COVID Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors
The State of Georgia et al. v. Biden et al., 21-cv-00163,
Oct. 29, 2021U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia
On October 29, 2021, the States of Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia sued the Biden Administration for Declaratory, and Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive Relief under the U.S.Constitution, Art. 3 Sec. 2, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), from the federal vaccine mandates pertaining to federal government contractors in their respective states.
Plaintiffs’ claims arise under the Admin Procedure Act, 5 USC. §§ 702–703, and the United States Constitution, U.S. Const. art. III, § 2.
The states attack:
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB’s) "Determination of the Promotion of Economy and Efficiency in Federal Contracting Pursuant to the Executive Order No. 14042” dated 9/28/21 as violative of the APA. The states allege that the OMB determination is phrased in conclusory terms, contains no research, no supporting evidence, and violates the notice and comment requirements of the APA. The Complaint enumerates numerous adverse impacts on federal contractors located in the plaintiff States.
EO 14042 as violative of the Procurement Act, 40 USC 101, 121, and of federal procurement policy, 41 USC 1707 (A). The Plaintiffs assert that the EO 14042 is unconstitutional under Art. 1, Section 1, as it is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to OMB, with no statutory enabling legislative authority from Congress, the legislative branch; a violation of separation of powers; an improper exercise of authority under U.S. Const. Art. 1 Sec 8 and the Tenth Amendment, as improperly infringing on the authority of the States.
The Plaintiff’s additionally allege that EO 14042 violates the Spending Clause and of the APA, 5 USC Sec. 706. Plaintiff States seek Declaratory, and Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive relief, against the "broad-sweeping, unlawful, and unconstitutional COVID-19 vaccine mandate.”
Case Against the Health Care Facilities Alleging They Are State Actors Subject to Coercive Measures By the Federal Government
Darling, et al. v. Sacred Heart Health System, Inc., et al., 3:21-cv-01787-TKW-HTC
Oct. 27, 2021U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
On October 27, 2021, a group of 164 health care employees and contractors of Ascension Health Alliance and several of its North Florida hospitals sued them over their COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
The suit alleges U.S. Constitution as well as Florida State Constitution violations, including that Sacred Heart Heath Systems is a state actor, that the vaccine mandates violate the Plaintiffs’ right to privacy under the Florida state Constitution, and the mandates discriminate in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act.
The suit charges that Ascension is acting under color of law as a state actor in that they are doing the bidding of the federal government who has coerced and encouraged the companies to act in ways that violate the Constitution. The suit states, “Ascension Group is a state actor under both the Public Function Test and the State Compulsion Test, since it is undertaking public health functions traditionally the exclusive prerogative of the state, and has been coerced and significantly encouraged by the federal government to violate the Plaintiffs’ Constitutional rights.” The Plaintiffs further allege that the federal government has entered into the Defendants’ decision-making process, such that the Defendants’ choices may be deemed those of the federal government.
The action seeks injunctive and declaratory relief and seeks a TRO against the implementation of the vaccine mandate deadlines.
DC Complaint Against the Biden Administration, A Challenge to Federal Vaccine Mandates on Constitutional and Federal Statutory Grounds, Complaint for Injunctive Relief and a Temporary Restraining Order
Church et al. v. Biden, et al. 1:21-cv-02815
Oct. 24, 2021U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
On October 24, 2021, a Complaint was filed by federal civilian employees and military members from several federal government agencies against the heads of all respective Administration agencies challenging the federal mandate EO 14043 and the August 24, 2021 DOD Memorandum mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. The Complaint asserts violations of the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause, Fifth Amendment Equal Protection Clause, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA).
The suit asserts that Defendants violate Plaintiffs' First Amendment right to free exercise of their religion because: the agencies target certain "agency" employees without mandating vaccination of other agency employees from the White House, NIH, NIAID, EOP, and CDC; there was an intentional effort to deprive Plaintiffs’ of their exercise of their religious beliefs; agencies submitted Plaintiffs’ to intrusive questionnaires without reason to question the sincerity of their beliefs; and agencies set “non-deadlines” for submission of requests for accommodation for the sole purpose of collecting data on Plaintiffs that they had no right to collect.
The Complaint also asserts that agencies: violated RFRA when they effectively prohibited Plaintiffs from seeking and receiving religious exemptions and accommodations; violated the Equal Protection Clause when they required different things (mandatory vaccines for some, but not for others) of similarly situated employees and discriminated against Plaintiffs based on their sincerely held religious beliefs; and violated the FDCA because Plaintiffs are being denied their statutorily provided option under the Act to accept or refuse the administration of the vaccine.
Plaintiffs seeks injunctive relief and a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).
Oregon Complaint Opposing the Forced Injection of an Experimental Drug
Johnson, et al. v. Brown, et al., 3-21-01494
Oct. 12, 2021United States District Court, District of Oregon, Portland District
On March 1, 2022, Plaintiffs filed an Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Corrected Amended Complaint. Oral argument will be heard on the motion.
Plaintiffs had filed a Corrected Amended Complaint on January 10, 2022. The Defendants had filed a Motion to Dismiss that Complaint on February 8, 2022.
Note, the State of Oregon plans to lift the mandatory Covid-19 injection requirement for state workers on April 1. It's unknown, however, to what extent this will moot the case.
The Plaintiffs include state workers - who will likely benefit from the lifted mandate - but a fair number of them are healthcare workers (including nurses, pharmacists, and even physicians in private practice) who may likely have to continue their fight against the federal CMS injection mandate.
The CMS Covid-19 injection mandate applies to almost all healthcare workers or any eligible staff working at a facility that participates in Medicare or Medicaid programs.
On October 12, 2021, a Complaint and Temporary Restraining Order were filed against Oregon Governor Kate Brown, by Attorney Stephen Joncus to enjoin the Oregon vaccine mandates, under Executive Order 21-29 (“EO 21-29”).
In EO 21-29, the Governor is requiring one of the state’s largest workforces —state executive branch employees and workers— to be vaccinated by October 18, 2021, subject to exceptions for disabilities, medical conditions, and sincerely held religious beliefs. Additionally, in OAR 333-019-1010 and OAR 333-019-1030, the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) is requiring healthcare providers and school staff to be vaccinated, subject to exceptions, by October 18, 2021.
The Plaintiffs' argument centers around the claim that the government cannot mandate the use of experimental or investigational drugs, such as the COVID-19 vaccines are. The Complaint draws upon the ruling in the anthrax case, Doe v. Rumsfeld, 297 F. Supp. 2d 119 (D.D.C. 2003), the Nuremberg Code and the line of cases dealing with the right to bodily integrity. The Complaint asserts the right to due process under the 14th Amendment, the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment under Section 1983, the Supremacy Clause, and rights under ORS § 431.180.
The Complaint seeks: 1. Declaratory and Injunctive Relief; 2. Declaration that the State of Oregon's vaccine mandate is unconstitutional; 3. Attorney fees pursuant to 42 USC Sec. 1983.
UPDATE: On October 18, 2021, the court applied rational basis scrutiny and denied the Plaintiff’s motion for a TRO.
Employees Challenge UT-Battelle’s Forced Unpaid Leave Based on Granted Exemptions to the Vaccine Mandate, A Complaint Seeking a TRO
Bilyeu v. UT-Battelle, LLC, 3-21-cv-352
Oct. 12, 2021U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
On October 12, 2021, a TRO was filed by employees against UT-Battelle, LLC who required their employees to obtain a Covid-19 vaccination or an exemption.
The Defendant granted Plaintiffs’ exemption and as an accommodation, provided unpaid leave beginning October 16, 2021, for which the Plaintiffs assert was originally for an indefinite period. The Defendants now indicate the leave will be enforced for sixty days and then reevaluated.
The Plaintiffs are seeking a TRO enjoining the Defendant from placing Plaintiffs and similarly situated employees on unpaid leave. The Plaintiffs assert that without this relief they will suffer irreparable harm including possible loss of employment, loss of security clearances and inability to meet financial obligations for both shelter and education if the Defendant’s unpaid leave policy is maintained.
A Class Action Suit of Military Service Members and Civilians Against the Biden Administration, DOD and DHS
Navy Seal 1 et. al. v Biden, et. al., 8-21-cv-02429
Oct. 12, 2021U.S. Dist. Court, Middle District of Florida
On October 12, 2021, a multitude of military service members filed for class status in a suit against the Biden Administration, the DOD and the DHS challenging their vaccine mandate. The suit alleges violations of the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause in that the Defendants are not recognizing nor respecting the Plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs in their requests for religious exemptions from the vaccination mandate, while the Plaintiffs have offered and are willing to comply with reasonable safety alternatives to taking the vaccine.
Additionally, the class asserts that Defendants’ actions, in ignoring or denying their requests for religious exemptions, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The Plaintiffs also assert violations of the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), in that, despite misreporting by the media, there remains no fully FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine on the market. As such, the Plaintiffs have a right to refuse the shots that are, at this point, still experimental in nature. The DOD is not following their own directive that states they will only administer fully licensed and approved FDA vaccines; since there are none that exist, they are administering EUA products.
The suit seeks a TRO and preliminary and permanent injunction restraining Defendants from enforcing, threatening to enforce, or otherwise requiring compliance with the Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate.
Military Members Challenge the Vaccine Mandate on Federal Statutory as well as U.S. Constitutional Grounds
John Doe #1-#14, Jane Doe #1-2, et al v. Austin, et al, 3:21-cv-01211-TKW-HTC
Oct. 08, 2021U.S. District Court, Northern District Florida
On October 8, 2021, active-duty service members from each branch of the military filed a Complaint against the DOD challenging the DOD mandate for the COVID-19 vaccine, and FDA’s approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty on the grounds of violations of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), as well as violations of Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
The Complaint alleges the DOD and FDA violated the APA in that the DOD's vaccine mandate modified, or partially repealed existing DOD guidance, without the required notice and comment period, and that the FDA's approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine was done in record time for the purpose of unconstitutional vaccine mandates, rather than on findings that the vaccine meets statutory requirements, or that the vaccine has demonstrated long-term safety, efficacy, or public health benefits.
The Complaint asserts that the FDA has violated the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA), the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), and service members’ informed consent rights based on a bait-and-switch tactic that permits the EUA Pfizer and the FDA approved Comirnaty to be given interchangeably as if they were both fully licensed.
Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief and a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).
PICA Files Lawsuit Against UPenn Alleging Vaccine Mandate is Compelling Political Speech in Violation of the 1st Amendment
PA Informed Consent Advocates, Inc. v. University of Pennsylvania Health System et al., No. 5:21-cv-04415
Oct. 07, 2021U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
On October 7, 2021, Plaintiffs PA Informed Consent Advocates, Inc. (PICA), comprised of medical professionals, filed suit against University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS). PICA alleges that its members hold beliefs contrary to Defendant’s recent orders, and are under direct threat of termination because they have opted to refuse the mandated vaccinations and because they have refused to disclose their vaccination status. PICA asserts that the act of non-compliance of the vaccine mandates, be it for sincerely held religious reasons or more personal reasons, holds the intent, weight, and social effect of partisan political speech, because the Covid-19 vaccines are now completely politicized by the federal government. PICA asserts the UPHS action as a direct violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants, University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), Scott Ketcham, and Xavier Becerra have conspired to violate the First Amendment, compelling individuals to participate in political speech, and conspired to violate their Fourteenth Amendment rights. They accuse UPHS of being a state actor dutifully implementing the governments political agenda. Plaintiffs argue violations of Fourteenth Amendment rights to privacy and bodily autonomy by being forced to either take the shot, reveal their vaccine status or lose their livelihood. UPHS has attempted to and continued to harass, embarrass, and shame unvaccinated employees. Following its threat to penalize those who are unvaccinated, UPHS has formally terminated the contracts of a number of Plaintiff’s members. Plaintiffs note that UPHS already had in place standard vaccine exemption review policies which were recently made far more restrictive for COVID-19 vaccines using overly subjective methods “by leadership … wholly unqualified by any objective measure to make such a determination,” leading to inconsistently approve religious exemptions for employees it deemed as more valuable. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief and compensatory damages with the suit.
Ochsner Health Care Workers Filed a TRO Asserting Violations of the Louisiana Constitution
Hayes, et al. v. University Health Shreveport, LLC, dba Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, et al., No. 54,445-CW
Oct. 05, 20211st Judicial District Court, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
On October 5, 2021, a group of 39 nurses, employees, staff, and contract workers of University Health Shreveport, LLC dba Ochsner, sued Defendants for a TRO, preliminary and permanent declaratory relief and a declaratory judgment. Plaintiffs seek to enjoin Ochsner and the other health facilities from enforcing the Ochsner Mandatory Vaccination Plan against those health care employees who were not granted either religious or medical exemptions. The Plaintiffs assert the Ochsner Mandatory Vaccination Plan is unlawful and unenforceable against Plaintiffs, and seek the issuance of a Preliminary and Permanent Injunction prohibiting enforcement of the Ochsner Mandatory Vaccination Plan against them.
The lawsuit alleges violations of Louisiana State Constitution’s clear guarantee of the fundamental right to reject or obtain medical treatment, which is codified in Louisiana's statutes. Plaintiffs also argue that the settled science around the vaccine is that the Covid vaccines do not prevent transmission of the disease. As such, forcing the vaccine upon persons is, at best, a misguided effort to protect unvaccinated people from themselves, and at worst, is an attempt to coerce Plaintiffs to take medical treatment they don’t want under the guise of “workplace safety.” The mandate, the filing asserts, threatens to punish them for exercising their fundamental right to choose to refrain from taking the shot based on their informed decision.
On October 28, the state First Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Plaintiff’s TRO and enjoined any disciplinary actions and terminations the Defendants had planned.
DC Complaint Against the Biden Administration Opposing Vaccine Mandates of Federal Employees and Contractors - Asserting Unlawful, Manipulative, Coercive and Deceptive Tactics; Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
Costin, et al v. Biden/Austin, 1:21-cv-2484
Sep. 23, 2021U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
On September 23, 2021, a Complaint was filed by federal civilian employees and government contractors from several federal government agencies against President Biden and Secretary of Defense Austin seeking redress for unlawful, manipulative, coercive, and deceptive tactics in the proclamation and implementation of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Plaintiffs challenge Executive Orders 14042 and 14043 and Department of Defense Orders for the COVID-19 vaccine, asserting violations of the Fifth Amendment rights to Substantive Due Process and Equal Protection, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
As to the Fifth Amendment, the Complaint alleges that the government Defendants violate the Plaintiffs' right to Substantive Due Process because Plaintiffs “have a fundamental right to privacy,” liberty, and “right to bodily integrity” and informed consent... and a “competent person has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment.” Because the rights are fundamental, the vaccine mandates must survive strict scrutiny. The Complaint also alleges a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The mandates appear facially neutral, however, they are unconstitutional as applied, because they deny Plaintiffs the control over their own health decisions and create second class citizenship on the basis of religion. Since the vaccines are still under EUA, including the Pfizer product which is not fully FDA approved, the EO violates Plaintiff’s right to accept or refuse the vaccine, as required by the FDCA.
As to the APA, the delay imposed by the EO on those seeking religious and medical exemptions is a violation, the Complaint alleges. Significantly, the RFRA is violated, in that Plaintiff’s religious rights are substantially burdened, as it affects their ability to maintain and seek future employment, and to “abide by the principles, beliefs, morals, values, or practices of their religion,” and it “ostracizes Plaintiffs.”
Plaintiffs seeks injunctive and declaratory relief.
A Complaint By Citizens and Business Owners, Challenging New York City's Emergency Executive Order Mandating a Vaccine Passport to Conduct Business Within the City
Dixon, et al v. DeBlasio, 21-cv-05090
Sep. 23, 2021U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
On September 13, 2021, residents of New York City, restaurant owners, gyms, parents of minors and others sued Mayor DeBlasio and others for their imposition of the vaccine card requirement via municipal emergency executive orders (EEOs) for entry into New York City restaurants, other "covered premises”, and events.
After the case was allotted, it was reassigned to a different judge. Plaintiffs asserted rights of bodily integrity, freedom of religion, freedom from racial discrimination, equal protection, freedom of association, parental rights, wrongful takings, and the 13th amendment, among other claims.
In a 27-page opinion, and after a cursory discussion of constitutional law, the preliminary injunction was denied. The court easily found a rational basis from the existence of the pandemic, and cited Trump v Hawaii, the travel ban case. The court concluded that Hispanics and African Americans could quickly remedy any adverse impacts by just getting vaccinated. No discussions of religious exemptions or "as applied" discrimination were made. No discussions of the continued transmissibility of the vaccinated, or of the ineffectiveness or the adverse reaction risks of the vaccines were made. [The court did note in footnote 24 that the "rational basis" calculus could change "if the long-term side effects of the vaccines turn out to be calamitous."]
In discussing the right of bodily integrity, the court only relied upon the 1905 Jacobson case, a 2012 New York case involving student vaccine mandates, and Klassen, which raised different issues concerning college students. The court did not discuss any of the many recent controlling constitutional precedents from the United States Supreme Court or from the Federal Courts of Appeal. The court also footnoted various articles from the New York Times and ABC News. The court also noted that the EEO's were not really a "mandate", since the unvaccinated could simply go elsewhere.
The preliminary injunction was denied, and Plaintiffs are appealing.
Texas Filing against United Airlines, Discrimination Based on Violations of Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Class Action Complaint
Sambrano, et al. v. United Airlines, Inc., No: 4:21-cv-01074
Sep. 21, 2021United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
On September 21, 2021, a Class Action Complaint was filed by United Airlines employees against United Airlines alleging discrimination under Title VII in that they failed in their duty to engage in the interactive process of providing reasonable accommodations based on religious or medical exemption requests, and instead informed them that they would be effectively terminated.
The suit also alleges retaliation of class members who engaged in protected activity (those making requests for religious or medical exemptions to United’s vaccine mandate).
The Class also asserts the same counts, failure to accommodate and retaliation, where the ADA is concerned. The Plaintiffs request certification of the class under FRCP 23(a) and (b); declaratory and injunctive relief; and compensatory and punitive damages.
On September 22, 2021, the Plaintiffs filed a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prevent United from placing any employees on unpaid leave or from denying any requests for religious or medical accommodations for timelines.
The court GRANTED the Plaintiff’s TRO on October 12, 2021.
Update: Feb. 17, 2022
On February 17, 2022, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, in a 2-1 appeals panel ruling, that a pilot and flight attendant will suffer “irreparable harm” from United Airlines mandate. The mandate requires them to be vaccinated or to go on unpaid leave, in violation of their religious objections. The court does not block United’s mandate, but rather directs a lower Texas court to consider blocking the requirement. The appeals panel directed the lower court to consider whether, among other factors, the employees are likely to win their case.
State of Arizona Complaint Challenging Why Illegal Aliens Are Being Treated Differently Than U.S. Citizens With Regard To Vaccine Mandates
Brnovich v. Biden, et al., No. 2:21-cv-01568,
Sep. 14, 2021U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
On September 14, 2021, on behalf of the State of Arizona and a federal employee, Arizona Attorney General, Mark Brnovich sued Pres. Biden, the Secretary of DHS and others, challenging the constitutionality of vaccine mandates applicable to federal contractors and employees. The Complaint and Amended Complaint make claims challenging the constitutionality of treating unauthorized aliens differently from U.S. citizens, and the authority of the federal government to issue these vaccine mandates.
The lawsuit alleges violations of the Fifth Amendment equal protection and due process clauses, as well as the Fifth Amendment right to bodily autonomy and to refuse medical treatment; Tenth Amendment Federalism principle; 41 USC 1707 (a), the Procurement Policy Act; 40 USC 101 and 121, the Procurement Act, and; 5
U.S.C. 706, Administrative Procedures Act. Additionally, the Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief against mandates forcing experimental vaccines distributed under EUAs under 21 USC 360bbb-3, seeking to make the experimental vaccines voluntary only. Further claims are made regarding violations of immigration procedures, and all attorneys’ fees and costs of litigation are sought under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 USC 2412.
The State is seeking declaratory relief as well as a TRO.
A Case Challenging the FDA’s Decision-Making Process and Approval of the Pfizer Comirnaty Vaccine
Children's Health Defense et al. v. Food and Drug Administration et al., 21-cv-00200
Aug. 31, 2021U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
Plaintiff Children’s Health Defense (CHD), et al., represented by Robert Kennedy Jr. and Robert Barnes originally filed a Citizens Petition in May 2021 and then filed this Complaint against the FDA seeking to vacate FDA’s August 23, 2021, licensure of the Pfizer “Comirnaty” vaccine. CHD alleged that the FDA’s actions to simultaneously license Pfizer’s “Comirnaty” vaccine while extending Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its BioNTech vaccine, that has the same formulation and that “can be used interchangeably” violates federal law because the EUA designation by statute is only to be used when “there is no adequate, approved, and available alternative” to the EUA approved product. Once FDA fully approved Comirnaty, the filing alleges, keeping BioNTech (or any other EUA approved vaccine) on the market is unlawful. The lawsuit contains a single claim/count: the “Failure to Abide by Federal Law as Abuse of Discretion,” which is filed as a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(A)). The claim asserts that FDA’s decision making did not follow the required procedures and was arbitrary and capricious and without reason as required under the APA. The Complaint also alleges that the FDA is deliberately misleading and confusing the public about the status of the vaccines by interchanging the words approval (which implies licensure) and authorization (which means not licensed). On 9/9/2021, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Stay the FDA's Biologic License. The next day the court denied the stay, finding that no irreparable harm had been shown. Plaintiffs filed an Amended Motion to Stay the FDA's Biologic License, alleging among other claims that the approval for Cominarty should not be granted at the same time that an EUA was still in effect for the same indication, and further alleging irreparable harm. The FDA filed a Motion to Dismiss. Both motions are pending with no hearing date set.
Student Lawsuit Against Rutgers University Challenging Vaccine Mandate For In-Person and Online Learning
Children's Health Defense Inc. et al. v. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey et al., No. 3:21-cv-15333-ZNQ-TJB
Aug. 16, 2021U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
On August 30, 2021, Children’s Health Defense (CHD) filed suit on behalf of college student Adriana Pinto and others against Rutgers University opposing the school vaccination mandate effective for the fall semester of 2021. The University vaccine mandate applied to all students, including those who attend online classes, and not just in-person classes. The policy excluded students enrolled in Rutgers fully on-line degree program and those claiming a medical or religious exemption.
Plaintiffs allege violations of the Supremacy Clause and ultra vires under NJ State law, claiming the university has no authority due to federal law preemption and exceeds it authority under state law. The Complaint alleges that the vaccination requirement is violative of the basic Fourteenth Amendment Constitutional right (and same granted under Article 1 of the NJ State constitution), as students have to informed consent and to refuse unwanted medical treatment, and to the equal protection guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment and the state constitution.
The suit also claims a violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983, acting under color of law, by intentionally depriving the Plaintiffs of their right to medical freedom, and violations of the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. The final claims in the Complaint are Breach of Contract and Estoppel/Detrimental Reliance due to the University stating that they would not require vaccines for students for the fall semester, of which the Plaintiff students relied on when they paid for upcoming classes.
The lawsuit sought general damages, declaratory and injunctive relief (TRO). On September 27, 2021, the court denied the TRO. The case continues.
Medical Students Challenge Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, A Complaint Against the College Challenging Vaccine Mandates as a Requirement of Enrollment - Complaint Settled
Magliulo, et al v Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, 21-cv-02304
Aug. 03, 2021U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana
On August 3, 2021, a Complaint was filed by medical students against Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, seeking to enjoin Edward Via College from enforcing vaccination as a requirement of enrollment, and from retaliating against, coercing, threatening, or discriminating against Plaintiffs for availing themselves of their right not to be vaccinated against their will.
The Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry wrote the Defendant a demand letter dated July 20, 2021 and filed a supporting amicus brief. An opposition was filed, and the TRO was granted by Judge Doughty on August 17, 2021. Shortly thereafter, the Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Contempt, alleging that the Defendants had immediately violated the TRO via an objectionable email attacking Plaintiffs and students.
Defendants filed a partial motion to dismiss which was set for November 2, 2021. Thereafter, the parties settled, and a Consent Judgment was filed, and the case was closed on October 19, 2021.
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