Confluence Health asks the court to dismiss a COVID lawsuit filed by former employees Washington

WATERVILLE – Confluence Health has asked the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against him after employees were fired or left for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Nearly 100 former and current employees filed a class action lawsuit in early April after Confluence imposed the state’s vaccination mandate on its health workers.

The plaintiffs want their work back and / or compensation for damages caused by their termination and other general damages. About half of the plaintiffs still work at Confluence Health, according to court documents.

Confluence Health filed a motion in the Douglas County Supreme Court on May 26 to dismiss the case.

Confluence Health claims that law and public policy prevent unvaccinated people from providing direct care to patients, according to court documents. The plaintiffs’ disagreement is a legislative issue, not a judicial one, said Jeffrey A. James, a Seattle-based lawyer representing Confluence Health, in court documents.

And natural immunity cannot be considered an exception, James said in court documents.

“Neither case law nor public policy allows unvaccinated people to continue to provide direct care to patients,” James said in court documents. “The legislature is the right forum to argue for appropriate measures to combat the pandemic.

The plaintiffs include Joy Doe, a former Confluence Health nurse who also resigned from her position on the Eastmont School Board to look for a new job.

May Tussy, a former Confluence Health business analyst, and Michelle Love-Wells, a nurse, are also plaintiffs in the case. They were recently among 34 candidates for open positions at Chelan-Douglas Health Council, but were not selected and were not among the 10 finalists in February.

The case against Confluence Health claims that employees were never allowed to prove that they had a natural immunity against COVID-19 and therefore to keep their jobs.

The former employees are represented by East Wenatchee lawyer Steve Lacey.

Confluence Health claims that the plaintiffs have exercised their private right to refuse medical treatment, but employers still have an obligation to minimize the spread of the virus and reduce the number of unnecessary exposures to vulnerable people, according to James.

And even with an approved religious or medical exception, the employer is not required to grant an exemption that “either causes or increases safety risks or a risk of liability for the employer.”

In October, Confluence Health granted 229 religious and medical exemptions and received 23 staff resignations. More than 100 requests for release were denied.

The premises for many staff members were either working from home or a 12-week leave.

Confluence Health is also asking the Douglas County Court to delete Dr. Peter McCullough’s statement from the record. McCullough is a cardiologist and vocal critic of COVID-19 vaccines, promoting other unproven, alternative treatments for COVID-19.

The McCullough statement said that COVID-19 vaccine mandates did not stop transmission, did not improve workplace safety, and that innate immunity provided better protection than COVID-19 vaccines.

Confluence Health claims that McCullough’s statement does not contain any relevant information about the trial, as the decision “whether to accept proposals for medical evidence contrary to the legislature’s vaccine mandate was decided (rejected) nearly 120 years ago by the Supreme Court.” US court, “James said.

James was referring to Jacobson v. Massachusetts when the Supreme Court ruled in 1905 that states and local health councils had the power to set vaccination requirements.

A hearing on both motions – to close the case and delete McCullough’s declaration – is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on July 21.

A girl attacked by a cougar in northeastern Washington over the holiday weekend

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