Judge dismisses vaccination mandate lawsuit against Louisiana hospital

A judge on Sept. 23 dismissed a lawsuit brought by employees of Ochsner Lafayette (La.) General Medical Center seeking to halt the hospital's COVID-19 vaccination requirement, according to news station KTBS.

Workers filed the lawsuit Sept. 20 in the 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette, alleging the hospital's mandate violates their rights to make their own healthcare decisions.

Plaintiffs cited an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal Sept. 16, in which Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD, an associate professor at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, writes that the vaccines "reduce but don't prevent transmission."

But Judge Thomas Frederick declined workers' request for a permanent injunction against the vaccine mandate, according to KTBS, saying there was no cause of action in the case and that Lafayette General, a private organization and part of New Orleans-based Ochsner Health, took actions that are not unconstitutional.

Ochsner Health is mandating all employees be vaccinated by Oct. 29, according to a news release shared with Becker's Aug. 24. Contractors, students, volunteers, agency nurses and vendors must also be inoculated. 

Meanwhile, Jimmy Faircloth Jr. of Alexandria, La., attorney for the employees, told KTBS he will appeal Mr. Frederick's decision.

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