Judge Dismisses Vaccine Mandate Suit Against Ochsner Lafayette General
According to several news outlets, a Louisiana judge has tossed the lawsuit brought by employees of Ochsner Lafayette General, challenging its COVID vaccine mandate.
According to The Advocate, Judge Thomas Frederick of the 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette dismissed the lawsuit this afternoon.
The suit was filed by 48 employees of Ochsner Lafayette General not a month after the hospital announced that they would require all employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus as a condition of employment (barring any legal exemptions). The mandate goes into effect near the end of October.
Even though the plaintiffs claimed that receiving the vaccine would cause them to "suffer irreparable injury, loss or damage", the judge, according to The Advocate, didn't consider any of the evidence.
Judge Frederick's reasoning for dismissing the lawsuit is based on the fact that Ochsner Lafayette General is NOT a "state actor" but, instead, a private company. Since the hospital is private and not acting on behalf of the state, he said that the mandate is not unconstitutional.
Employees of Ochsner Lafayette General who do not receive the coronavirus vaccine by October 29 will be terminated, according to the hospital's new police.
Louisiana is an "at-will" state, meaning that an employer can fire an employee for any reason, save for an illegal reason.
Counsel for the plaintiffs plans to appeal the decision.
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