Attorney Jimmy Faircloth talked to KEEL about the lawsuits filed against Ochsner Health System, claiming the healthcare giant has no right to mandate its employees be vaccinated against COVID.

Faircloth, representing healthcare workers in Shreveport and Monroe, filed suits against Shreveport's Ochsner LSU Health, Ochsner St. Mary Medical Center and Ochsner LSU Health in Monroe.

What's the legal principle involved?

"It's about whether we have a fundamental right to refuse medical treatment," Faircloth begins, "I think these (workers) clearly do.

"Right now, the suit's only about healthcare workers, but I've literally received hundreds of emails and calls from employees in every imaginable sector. It's really an extraordinary phenomenon to watch what are non-political people say, 'Wait a minute! I don't want to do this!' and there's an incredible pushback coming."

What do the plaintiffs want?

The Alexandria attorney adds that the plaintiffs in both suits are requesting a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to put a hold on the Ochsner vaccine mandate.

Is there any chance of a settlement?

And Faircloth is not optimistic about an early settlement. "I think it's unfortunate," he says, "I would love to see these companies say, 'Wait a minute. These numbers are changing. The virus is waning. The vaccine's efficacy doesn't seem to be as strong as originally thought it was.' Let's pull back on this policy or extend the deadline and give everybody a chance to take a breath and see where this goes.

"I think that makes eminent sense, but I don't think that's going to happen. I think these decisions were made months ago and unfortunately, I think corporate dictates have taken over and are overruling common sense."

And what about the vaxx mandate for spouses?

Faircloth also calls the Ochsner the vaccination mandate of employee spouses on the system's health insurance "draconian, unnecessary and pure coercion."

"When they did that," he says, "It signaled a pretty stubborn commitment that, 'We're going to force people to do this."

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