Federal judge OKs dismissal of suit blocking COVID vaccine mandate at Cincinnati hospitals

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A federal judge in Cincinnati Friday granted a plaintiff's motion to dismiss a lawsuit that sought to block COVID-19 vaccine mandates at five southwest Ohio hospital systems.

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Timothy Black accepted a request to dismiss the civil case with prejudice, meaning the plaintiffs listed cannot refile the same case in his court.

"This is not the first time plaintiffs have dismissed an action based on the same claims against the same defendants as in this case," the judge wrote.

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U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black

Black previously criticized lawyers seeking to block the mandates, saying they made false claims and espoused "unsupported conspiracy theories."

Eric Deters, a spokesman for Independence, Kentucky-based Deters Law, the firm behind a series of lawsuits against the mandates, did not respond Friday to a request for comment from The Enquirer.

In a video posted to Rumble Friday, Deters said the U.S. Supreme Court's recent 5-4 decision to uphold vaccine mandates for health care workers at facilities that receive federal funding, was essentially a decision against his firm's case and claims. The ruling came on the same day the court blocked the Biden administration's workplace vaccine-or-test mandate.

"I always like when I'm right, and I'll always admit when I'm wrong," said Deters, who retired from practicing law last summer after his most recent attempt to reinstate his suspended law license failed. "From the very beginning of the (vaccine) battle, I thought it was worth a shot that we file a lawsuit against the major health care systems to try to get injunctive relief and damages."

"Well, we failed to get the injunctive relief," he continued, adding that after that occurred, his firm realized "filing other lawsuits would be futile."

Protesters gather outside the Hamilton County Public Health headquarters in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Corryville, displaying anti-vaccine mandate signs to passing cars on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021.
Protesters gather outside the Hamilton County Public Health headquarters in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Corryville, displaying anti-vaccine mandate signs to passing cars on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021.

The lawsuit was initially filed on Aug. 23, 2021, and sought a judge to issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction so the hospital groups – Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the Christ Hospital Health Network, Bon Secours Mercy Health, TriHealth and UC Health – could not impose vaccination deadlines for employees.

Black denied that pleading in October.

In a statement, Cincinnati Children's spokeswoman Shannon Kettler said the hospital doesn't "comment on litigation."

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Suit blocking vaccine requirement at Cincinnati hospitals tossed

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