NewsLafayette Parish


Attorney says he has filed suit against Ochsner, Lourdes

Posted at 2:06 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 18:27:10-04

UPDATE: We've received a response from Lourdes regarding the lawsuit.

Our vaccination policy was adopted with considerable study and input by numerous healthcare experts in a variety of relevant fields. Lourdes values all of its team members and respects their rights. Service in the healthcare industry involves unavoidable risks and special obligations. We feel strongly that we have taken appropriate measures to meet those obligations and mitigate the risks associated with the pandemic. Our Lady of Lourdes maintains its vaccination policy, which we believe to be consistent with the law and appropriate to the circumstances.

We also received a response from Ochsner regarding the lawsuit.

“We are aware of today’s filing and are unable to provide further comment about ongoing litigation. Employees with medical and religious objections are able to file exemption or deferral requests which are individually and thoroughly reviewed by a panel of experts. Our employee vaccination policy, which was announced on August 24 following full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, is moving forward as planned. This policy also follows the expanded vaccination requirements issued by the Biden-Harris administration in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Under this guidance, healthcare organizations that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs must establish and comply with vaccination mandates. We stand firmly behind the science and data that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination. We continue to serve as a source of truth and provide ongoing resources, education and vaccine opportunities to our employees and the community.”

Earlier today, we reported that an Alexandria attorney says he has filed suit against two Lafayette hospitals over their vaccine requirements.

Jimmy Faircloth, who at one time worked as former Gov. Bobby Jindal's executive counsel, sent out a press release Monday saying he had filed the suits on behalf of workers at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center.

At issue are the decisions both facilities made to require that all workers without a religious or medical exemption to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees who refuse to be vaccinated and don't have an exemption will be terminated. To read about the mandates, click here and here.

The lawsuits ask the court to issue a temporary restraining order against the mandates. The plaintiffs also are asking for a hearing on the issue, with their hope being that the court declares the mandates "unlawful and unenforceable," and issues a permanent injunction preventing the hospitals from enforcing their mandates.

In addition to Faircloth's firm, the Lafayette firms of G. Shelly Maturin and the Bryson Law Firm also have signed the petition.

Faircloth said he fax-filed the suits this morning; the Lafayette clerk's electronic system shows that the one against Ochsner was filed, but there's nothing yet on any suit filed against Lourdes; we're working to confirm that it has been received at the Courthouse.

"Theses mandates go against personal objections and completely disregard their uniquely well-informed understanding of the virus and treatment options," a press release from Faircloth states. "In the best possible light, these hospital mandates are a misguided effort to participate in a public health crusade by coercing private-sector employees to undergo medical treatment for their own good and the good of the public at large."

The lawsuits claim that the vaccines will not prevent transmission of COVID and will not eradicate the disease. They claim that the hospitals are trying to force them to take the vaccine as part of a public policy effort.

"In the best possible light, it is a misguided effort to protect unvaccinated persons from themselves and participate in a public policy designed to increase vaccinations at large," the Ochsner suit states. "Viewed for what it is, Defendant is attempting to coerce Plaintiffs' consent to medical treatment by threatening to punish their exercise of a fundamental right under the pretext of workplace safety."

According to records at the clerk's office, here's the list of the plaintiffs in the Ochsner suit. We've reached out to the hospital to verify that these people work there, and what their positions there are:

Theresa M. Nelson, LPN
Amanda Baudoin, OT
JonMichael Beard, RN
Ansley Bienvenu, RN
Elizabeth A. "Louise" Blanchard
Tina Boudreaux, NP
Emily Bourque
Hester P. Bourdier, RN
Cynthia Breaux
Shontelle Castille, RN
Mallory Chriceol
Deandra Collette, RN
Elizabeth Jill Daigle, RN
Chelsea Porter Dewveall, RN
Katherine Duck
Amy Duplechain, NP
Casey Faul
Brittney Freeman
Tanya Eaglin Gallow, LPN
Monique Gary, RN
Brandy Miliczek Gibson, RN
Danielle Guidry, RN
Dexter Guidry, II, CRNA
Arnie Hebert, RRT
Tammy Hebert-Briley, NP
Joni Junca
Paula Perron Landry, RN
Laurie LeBlanc, Pharm
Sylvia Mikell
Desi Milligan, RN
Avanti Morale
Dacia Ortego
Tracey Pellerin, RN
Maria Josette Perrin, Pharm
Myra Pete, RN
Marisa Prejean, RN
Brenda Proctor, NP
Naomi Russo, LPN
Jamie Schexnayder, RN
Kiley Bertrand Serrette, RN
Sommer Sheffield Begneaud, PA
Cody Shiers, RN
Melinda Sinclair-Smith, RN
Celia Spallino
Elizabeth Suire, RN
Jordyn Thibodeaux
Susan Thibodeaux

A copy of the Lourdes suit has been posted on the website of an organization called Louisiana for Medical Freedom.

Here's the list of plaintiffs from that suit. We've reached out to Lourdes to see if they will verify that these folks work there, and what their positions at the facility are:

Denea Aguillard, RN
Rebekah Angelle, RN
JonMichael Beard, RN
Jamie Berg, RN
Rhonda Bergeron
Ansley Bienvenu, RN
Karen Bienvenu, PT
Elizabeth A. "Louise" Blanchard
Michelle Bouillion
Brea Brinkman, RN
Neily Bundick, RN
Molli Cormier, EMT
Kelly A. Daniel
Katherine Duck
Erin K. Dufour, RN
Charles Fontenot
Rich Hargett, CRNA
Diane Hendry, RN
Abigail Mercer Johnson, RN
Katelynn Joubert, RN
Jessica C. Koski, RN
Tray A. LaCombe, Rad Tech
Heather LeBeouf, RN
Karen Levine, RN
Rachel Meaders
Diane O'Kelly-Farrell, RN,
Katherine Connor Self, RN
Shali Sellers
Jordan Smith, CRNA
Celia Spallino
Melissa Stein
Kyle Sweezy, RN
Kayla Trahan, RN
J. Hollister Vincent, RN
Dainelle Williams, RN
Phoebe Wranosky