UPDATED: Lawyer Suing Ochsner Lafayette General, Lourdes Speaks
Story updated to include audio featuring attorney Jimmy Faircloth and information about his background.
The former counsel to Governor Bobby Jindal has filed a lawsuit on behalf of employees of Ochsner Lafayette General and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in an attempt to prevent them from implementing their employee COVID-19 mandates.
Alexandria Attorney Jimmy Faircloth filed that lawsuit on behalf of 46 Ochsner Lafayette General employees and 37 Lourdes workers around noon Monday in the 15th Judicial District Court. That's according to court filings obtained by KPEL. Lafayette attorneys G. Shelley Maturin, Cary Bryson, and Angela Bryson also signed the lawsuit as attorneys for the plaintiffs.
The two lawsuits accuse the hospitals of violating their employees' privacy rights by requiring them to receive one of the three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. The suits also claim Louisiana law grants each individual to "obtain or reject medical treatment," a tenant the lawsuit says is "long-recognized by the courts in the context of informed consent and the tort of invasion of privacy." The lawsuit states the hospitals are "attempting to force the plaintiffs, and others, to undergo vaccination for COVID-19 over their personal objections and in disregard of their uniquely well-informed understanding of the virus and treatment options."
"They are based on Louisiana law exclusively," Faircloth said on the Moon Griffon Show on Tuesday. "What exists on the books is that you have employers who are mandating vaccines, and I believe that offends the Louisiana Constitution and Louisiana statutes and the cases that interpret those. That's at a very basic level what this suit is, and I think we're right."
Faircloth says this lawsuit serves more than just the purpose of stopping the vaccine mandate.
"Yes, we're trying to win the litigation, but we're also trying to inform a larger issue that is very, very important that's going on in our country right now," Faircloth said. There's a much bigger fight that's happening, and this lawsuit is just one chess move in that process."
Faircloth and his fellow attorneys are asking the court to place a temporary restraining order on the hospitals to prevent them from going forward with their vaccine mandate deadline until the court can hear the case and make a decision on whether to issue a permanent injunction. Ochsner Lafayette General's vaccine deadline for employees is October 29; Our Lady of Lourdes's, October 31.
You can read and download both lawsuits by clicking the icon below.
You can listen to Griffon's full interview with Faircloth by clicking the icon below.
Who Is Jimmy Faircloth?
The plaintiffs' lead attorney, Jimmy Faircloth, has three decades of legal experience. He served two years as Governor Bobby Jindal's executive counsel. He left that position to run for the Louisiana Supreme Court. He returned to private practice after losing that race. He also went on to represent Governor Jindal and other state agencies in the final five years of the Jindal Administration.
Faircloth is no stranger to lawsuits related to COVID-19.
Faircloth represented bar owners who challenged Governor John Bel Edwards's authority to order bars closed during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Faircloth and his clients lost that case in federal court. District Judge Martin Feldman said while Faircloth and the bar owners made a "strong case," they failed to "overcome the deference due state
officials during this pandemic." You can read that full ruling below.
Faircloth also lost cases in which he defended Governor Jindal. The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled against Faircloth when he defended Jindal's plan to fund private schools with public money. Faircloth also lost in federal court when he challenged the federal government's authority to withhold education dollars connected to the adoption of Common Core.
What are Ochsner Lafayette General and Our Lady of Lourdes saying?
At last check, neither Ochsner Lafayette General nor Our Lady of Lourdes have filed responses to Faircloth's petitions. Once those responses are filed and/or once the hospitals issue statements, we will update this story.