Michigan Health System Employees Sue Over Vaccine Mandate

By Ivan Pentchoukov
Ivan Pentchoukov
Ivan Pentchoukov
Ivan has reported for The Epoch Times on a variety of topics since 2011.
September 7, 2021 Updated: September 9, 2021

A group of 51 employees of a Detroit health care organization filed a lawsuit on Sept. 6 challenging their employer’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The lawsuit argues that the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) violated the plaintiffs’ right to bodily autonomy and their right to reject medical treatment under interpretations of the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit seeks a court order declaring the mandate unconstitutional and unenforceable.

“We remain confident that vaccination is the most powerful tool we all have against the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond that, we cannot comment on pending litigation,” a spokeswoman for HFHS told The Epoch Times.

The HFHS had announced a vaccine mandate on June 29, advising staff and contractors to be vaccinated by Sept. 10. HFHS management warned that those who weren’t vaccinated by the deadline would face suspension and be given until Oct. 1 to receive the vaccine.

The lawsuit (pdf) cites data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to allege, contrary to the description provided on the VAERS website, that “13,627 deaths have occurred in the U.S. as a result of COVID-19 ‘vaccines.'”

The lawsuit goes on to cite an anonymous person, who identifies as a computer programmer, providing a “professional estimate” that VAERS data is underreported by a factor of five. The lawsuit uses the anonymous affidavit to allege that “65,000 Americans have lost their lives to these ‘vaccines.'”

“The Mandate requires that Plaintiffs choose between exposing themselves to potential harm or death or abandon their careers in health care,” the lawsuit reads.

A disclaimer on the VAERS website states: “VAERS accepts reports of adverse events and reactions that occur following vaccination. … While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness.

“The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. In large part, reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.”

The Michigan Legislature is considering a bill that would effectively ban employers from imposing vaccine mandates. Health care workers packed a hearing on the measure in August.

Most of Michigan’s largest hospitals and health care systems, employing hundreds of thousands of workers, have announced that they would begin enforcing a vaccination requirement for staff as a condition of employment.

Multiple surveys have shown that there’s considerable hesitation and resistance among health care workers to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, with three out of 10 workers not yet vaccinated. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, one in six health care professionals have said they would rather quit than get the shot.

Steven Kovac contributed to this report.

Ivan has reported for The Epoch Times on a variety of topics since 2011.