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Houston Methodist staffers' lawsuit challenging hospital's COVID vaccine mandate dismissed

A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 Houston Methodist staff over the hospital's policy requiring all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Driving the news: The staff had argued that the mandate was unlawful. But U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes said in her ruling, "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."

  • The hospital in Houston, Texas, suspended 178 employees without pay for 14 days last Tuesday for failing to comply the mandate.
  • Hughes had earlier this month denied the plaintiffs' request for a temporary restraining order to block the suspension, saying the public interest in "caring for patients during a pandemic far outweighs protecting the vaccination preferences of 116 employees" and noting the staff were "jeopardizing" their own health" and that of others.

What they're saying: Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist said in an emailed statement following the ruling: "We can now put this behind us and continue our focus on unparalleled safety, quality, service and innovation. All our employees have now met the requirements of the vaccine policy and I couldn't be prouder of them."

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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