By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Current and former Employees of hospitals in Cheyenne and Douglas are suing their employers over their COIVD vaccination policies.
In a federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Dec. 22 by Buffalo attorney Nick Beduhn, two Cheyenne Regional Medical Center employees and six Memorial Hospital of Converse County employees asked a federal judge for an injunction against their employers to prevent the hospitals from enforcing their COVID vaccination policies. The lawsuit argues the policies are contrary to federal law and the U.S. Constitution.
“Plaintiffs contend that the policies issued and allowed by the (hospitals) are directly contrary to (federal law) … the Constitution of the State of Wyoming, and the … Federal Constitution; all of which protect the natural fundamental rights,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit stated that one of the plaintiffs, former CRMC registered nurse Christie Higgins, was employed by the Cheyenne hospital for more than 10 years before she was fired in mid-December. She received the Pfizer vaccine in April and almost immediately began suffering from adverse side effects, ultimately experiencing tremors and weakness.
In May, a neurologist diagnosed Higgins with a “Covid-19 vaccine related neurological disorder,” the lawsuit said.
In the lawsuit, Higgins said she was never told about “foreseeable risks and discomfort” of getting the vaccine.
The lawsuit added that “many other” CRMC employees were aware of Higgins’ situation and were hesitant to get the vaccine due to her side effects. They all face possible termination due to their refusal to get the vaccine.
“Worse yet are the nurses that are injecting the vaccines. Many have been told by their employer that they ‘cannot say anything negative’ about the vaccines with the treat (sic) of termination if they do,” the lawsuit said. “These nurses are required by federal law and regulation to fully inform the patient; and yet face being fired if they comply . . . They are literally in a situation that they must risk their license; or be fired.”
Most of the other plaintiffs were refusing the vaccine on “legal, ethical, scientific and strong religious/scientific grounds.”
The lawsuit also alleged that the available vaccines have not been vetted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but were approved for use under the adoption of emergency rules. It said as a result, no one can be forced to get the vaccine.
“In other words, there is currently NO FDA approved Covid-19 injection available anywhere in the United States. Every Covid shot in America remains under the (emergency use authorization) law and thus people have the ‘option to accept or refuse’ them,” the lawsuit said.
In late November, CRMC implemented its vaccination policy, requiring employees to either get vaccinated against COVID or submit to weekly COVID tests.
The MHCC has postponed implementing its vaccination policy until the end of January.
As part of his proposed national vaccine mandate, President Joe Biden called for the full immunization of all health care workers. Under rules issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health care facilities whose employees were not fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 could lose Medicare and Medicaid funds.
Wyoming and nine other states sued the CMS, claiming the agency lacked the authority to implement the requirement and a federal judge in Missouri has issued a preliminary injunction to block the requirement. Judge Matthew Schelp ruled that in trial, the states would probably be successful in their claims.
The injunction is in place in the 10 participating states at least until hearings into the lawsuit itself can begin. As a result, the length of time it will be in place is not known.
In addition to the health care workers, Beduhn is representing a number of plaintiffs in another federal lawsuit against the state of Wyoming, six school districts, five county health officers and more, asking that all mask requirements in place in some schools across the state be ruled unconstitutional and declared void.