HOUSTON - Hospital workers plan to appeal a judge’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against Houston Methodist Hospital’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy.
"We kind of figured this would happen, but that’s okay," said registered nurse Jennifer Bridges. "We will take it where it needs to be, all of the way to the Supreme Court."
More than 100 of Jennifer’s coworkers have been protesting the controversial policy for weeks.
On June 7th, Houston Methodist Hospital system suspended 178 staff members without pay, and if they don’t get vaccinated for COVID-19 by June 21st, they’ll be fired. So far, 117 of the employees have sued to overturn the new COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
According to Bridges, she won’t be getting the COVID-19 vaccine because it’s not FDA approved and she already recovered from getting sick with the virus. Bridges says she still has COVID-19 antibodies.
"People have fled here from other countries to escape this sort of thing, and now they’re dealing with it here," said Bridges. "This is the most absurd thing we’ve ever encountered [in the United States]."
On Saturday, a U.S. District Judge dismissed the lawsuit. According to the court document issued by Judge Lynn Hughes, "This is not coercion. Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus. It is a choice made to keep staff, patients and their families safer."
Bridges says she plans to appeal the judge’s decision.
"Once we plead our case I think everybody will see a completely different side of it," said Bridges. "Hopefully we can get some laws created and protect people across the nation. So, they don’t have to go through this."
Dr. Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist responded to the judge’s decision with the written statement below.
"We can now put this behind us and continue our focus on unparalleled safety, quality, service and innovation," said Dr. Boom. "All our employees have now met the requirements of the vaccine policy and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Our employees and physicians made their decisions for our patients, who are always at the center of everything we do. They have fulfilled their sacred obligation as health care workers, and we couldn’t ask for a more dedicated, caring and talented team."