Lawsuits filed against Ochsner Lafayette General, Lourdes over worker COVID vaccine requirement

Louisiana
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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A pair of lawsuits have been filed within the 15th Judicial District Court on behalf of healthcare workers employed by Ochsner Lafayette General and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center who believe the hospitals’ COVID-19 vaccine mandates are unconstitutional.

A press release was issued on Monday, Sept. 20 by attorney Jimmy Faircloth. It states in part, “Acadiana nurses and hospital staff are being forced to make an impossible choice — choosing between their conditional rights and their jobs.”

The lawsuit against Ochsner Lafayette General refers to the defendants, 47 in total, as “Ochsner Heroes,” and the 36 defendants in the suit against Lourdes as “Acadiana’s Front Line Heroes.”

It says that the “frontline heroes” are being “vilified” by the hospitals for wanting to make their own decision when it comes to whether or not they take the COVID vaccines.

“With courage and almost two years of virus fighting under their belts, these actual heroes are now taking action against their employers’ unconstitutional COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” the release says.

The lawsuits cite the following laws and statutes in defense of healthcare workers being able to make the choice in getting vaccinated:

  • Statute La. R.S. 40:1159.7 – “Right of an adult to refuse treatment as to his own person not abridged”
  • Hondroulis v. Schuhmacher, 553 So. 2d 398, 414 (La. 1989) holding that Article 1, § 5 establishes the right to decide whether to obtain or reject medical treatment)
  • Snider v. Louisiana Medical Mut. Ins. Co., 2013-0579 (La. 12/10/13); 130 So.3d 922, 930 (“The informed consent doctrine is based on the principle that every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done to his or her own body.”)

Obtaining informed consent to medical treatment is an individualized process and cannot be accomplished by generalizations or mandates. As explained by the Louisiana Supreme Court, “[w]ithout pertinent case-specific information patients would lack the capacity to reason and make judgments on their own. They would therefore be deprived of the freedom to personally decide intelligently, voluntarily and without coercion whether to undergo the recommended treatment.” Snider, 130 So.2d at 930 n.7.” Ochsner and Lourdes have no legitimate interest in the personal healthcare decisions of its employees and staff, and surely do not have the right to override an employee’s decision to forego medical treatment for the purpose of protecting the individual from his or her own healthcare decisions.

Faircloth

Faircloth claims in the press release that the hospitals are attempting to accomplish a governmental objective that the government itself is prohibited from accomplishing.

The press release concludes, “At the end of the day, we believe these frontline workers have a clearly protected right; while Ochsner and Lourdes have no authority. Protecting employees from themselves and the public at large is not a lawful cause. In fact, it contradicts the individual right itself.”

Read the Ochsner lawsuit here:

Read the Lourdes lawsuit here:

Read the full press release here:

For more information, visit www.LouisianaForMedicalFreedom.org.

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