Former Employees Fire Shot in Confluence Health Lawsuit
Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Confluence Health over its firing of unvaccinated workers have taken the latest shot before the case goes back to court.
Nearly 100 current and former employees are part of a class action suit. In the past week, they've asked for denial of a motion to dismiss the case by Confluence Health.
They're also seeking to have the cost of responding to the motion, $9,280, paid for by the health care provider.
In Addition, the two sides are locked in a fight on whether expert testimony from a COVID vaccine critic, Dr. Peter A. McCullough, should be allowed in the case.
Confluence Health is represented by Seattle-based lawyer Jeffrey A. James, who filed the motion to dismiss on May 26, and also filed the motion to strike McCullough's declaration.
James claims the court has no jurisdiction over vaccine mandates. "The United State Supreme Court has been clear that the legislature is the proper forum to argue the scientific basis for vaccination mandates and such arguments should be excluded from the courtroom, " wrote James.
James also claimed the declaration in the workers' lawsuit from Dr. McCullough should be stricken since the arguments are for the Legislature, not the court to decide. He also claimed the declaration does not contain relevant information. and advocates for the disregard of the rule of law.
The former and current employees are represented by East Wenatchee attorney Steve Lacy, who filed the class-action lawsuit after Confluence enforced the state’s vaccine mandate for health-care workers.
Lacy claims the Governor's vaccine mandate never required Confluence to fire its unvaccinated employees.
He also says the testimony of Dr. McCullough provides much evidence that firing the workers was a "scientifically unsound approach" that doesn't protect other workers or patients at Confluence Health.
Lacy further claims the firings were unnecessary because nearly all the employees possessed natural immunity after having worked directly with COVID-19 patients.
In addition, Lacy said there will be evidence on the record that, once developed, would prove the employers goal could not be achieved and that the firings were likely politically or monetarily based, and were thus, unjustified.
"It is possible, and based on hearsay, potentially true, that this employer took the action to discharge so-called 'unvaccinated' employees to up its percentage of vaccinated staff and thus gain a monetary award from the Biden administration," said Lacy. "Only discovery will reveal if this is true."
Lacy continued to defend Dr. McCullough's statement, saying it is "relevant and material on the issue of whether Confluence can provide overriding justification for firing hundreds on long serving, loyal health care workers."
The workers claim Dr. McCullough's declaration "does not advocate for the disregard of the rule of law", but "contains relevant information and medical opinion testimony examining the knowledge available to the Defendants when they decided to issue discharges of the plaintiffs, such as whether the "jabs" affected transmissibility of COVID-19."
McCullough's Declaration dismisses dismisses COVID-19 vaccines as not being effective in preventing the spread of the virus among vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and not effective in improving workplace safety.
A hearing for motions from both sides in the lawsuit is scheduled for two weeks from Thursday in Douglas County Superior Court, July 21 at 9:30am.