Judge Calls Nurse's Comparison of COVID Vaccines to Nazi Medical Experimentation 'Reprehensible' in Ruling

A lawsuit filed by employees of a Houston hospital system over its requirement that all staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine was tossed out by a federal judge, who condemned the lead plaintiff's comparisons to Nazi medical experimentation, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes of Houston ruled lead plaintiff Jennifer Bridges' argument that the vaccine is "experimental and dangerous" to be false. Hughes also called Bridges' allegations that the inoculation requirements are akin to Nazis' forced medical experimentation on prisoners in concentration camps "reprehensible."

The judge concluded that requiring vaccinations as a condition of employment was not coercion.

"Bridges can freely choose to accept or refuse a COVID-19 vaccine; however, if she refuses, she will simply need to work somewhere else. If a worker refuses an assignment, changed office, earlier start time, or other directive, he may be properly fired. Every employment includes limits on the worker's behavior in exchange for remuneration. That is all part of the bargain," Hughes ruled.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Anti Vax
A lawsuit filed by employees of a Houston hospital system over its requirement that all staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine was tossed out by a federal judge, who condemned the lead plaintiff's comparisons to Nazi medical experimentation. Above, rally-goers hold signs protesting vaccines at the World Wide Rally for Freedom, an anti-mask and anti-vaccine rally, at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire on May 15, 2021. JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images

The Houston Methodist Hospital system suspended 178 employees without pay last week over their refusal to get vaccinated. Of them, 117 sued seeking to overturn the requirement and over their suspension and threatened termination.

Jared Woodfill, a Houston lawyer representing Bridges and the other clients, promised an appeal.

"All of my clients continue to be committed to fighting this unjust policy," Woodfill said in a statement. "What is shocking is that many of my clients were on the front line treating COVID-positive patients at Texas Methodist Hospital during the height of the pandemic. As a result, many of them contracted COVID-19. As a thank you for their service and sacrifice, Methodist Hospital awards them a pink slip and sentences them to bankruptcy."

Employees had a June 7 deadline to complete their immunization.

In a Tuesday memo, the hospital system's CEO, Marc Boom, said that 24,947 employees had complied with the vaccination requirement and that 27 of the 178 others had received the first of a two-dose vaccine and wouldn't be fired if they got their second. The rest are subject to termination.

He also wrote that 285 other employees received medical or religious exemptions, and 332 were deferred because they were pregnant or for some other reason.

Vax
A lawsuit filed by employees of a Houston hospital system over its requirement that all staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine was tossed out by a federal judge, who condemned the lead plaintiff's comparisons to Nazi medical experimentation. Above, Kevin Fisher (left), of Quincy, Massachusetts, receives his second shot of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from RN Katherine Francisco, of Avon, Massachusetts, at a mass vaccination clinic on May 19, 2021, at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Steven Senne/AP Photo