COVID-19 vaccination lawsuits against Cincinnati-area hospital systems voluntarily dismissed, will be refiled

Lawsuits filed by workers to block COVID-19 vaccination requirements at six hospital systems in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky have been voluntarily dismissed, but will be refiled, a law firm spokesperson told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Court records show attorneys representing the workers filed dismissals at the end of August, according to the newspaper's report, which was published by media partner Fox19.

Eric Deters, a spokesperson for Deters Law, which represents the workers, told the Enquirer the plaintiffs plan to refile, that the firm received "15,000 emails from Tristate hospital employees," and that more time is needed to create formal affidavits "in support of the claims."

"The information contained in these affidavits and emails," he told the Enquirer, "is going to prove that the hospitals colluded to work together, so these healthcare workers couldn't find another job in the healthcare system."

The emails "prove that these hospitals have acted in the most evil, corrupt way, to try to force half their healthcare workers to take a vaccine that they don't want," he said.

Lawsuits were filed Aug. 23 in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in Ohio against UC Health, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the Christ Hospital Health Network, Bon Secours Mercy Health and TriHealth. Another lawsuit was filed in Kentucky's Boone County against St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

UC Health, Cincinnati Children's, the Christ Hospital Health Network and TriHealth, all based in Cincinnati, and Edgewood, Ky.-based St. Elizabeth are requiring their system workforces to be vaccinated. Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health is requiring vaccination in its Cincinnati and Kentucky markets (Irvine, Ky., and Paducah, Ky.).

Hospital systems across the U.S. have encouraged vaccination against COVID-19 and said the vaccines are safe and effective.

The FDA granted full approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Aug. 23 for use in people ages 16 and older. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also said U.S. employers can legally require employees physically entering the workplace to get vaccinated.

In court documents, attorneys for St. Elizabeth called the lawsuit "a rambling manifesto setting forth various conspiracy theories" and said requiring vaccines "is merely an effort to protect its patients, associates and visitors from COVID-19," according to the Enquirer.

The attorneys for St. Elizabeth also said the lawsuit "made a mockery of the science behind COVID-19 and vaccines."

Read the full report here

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