July 2022

Faegre Drinker Achieves Full Dismissal of COVID Vaccine Mandate Claims Against the City of Northfield

A cross-office, multi-disciplinary team of Faegre Drinker attorneys helped the City of Northfield achieve a full dismissal of claims alleging constitutional and statutory violations in connection with a COVID vaccine mandate at Northfield Hospital + Clinics. It is the latest victory by Faegre Drinker in defending vaccine mandates across the country.

In November 2021, former employees of Northfield Hospital + Clinics sued the city and other defendants, alleging that the hospital’s vaccine mandate was unlawful. In May 2022, the Hon. Patrick J. Schiltz of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota dismissed all constitutional and statutory claims against the city and also dismissed some claims against the hospital and its board. The court dismissed the Minnesota statutory claim and certain federal claims embedded in the plaintiffs’ civil rights claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 with prejudice. The court also dismissed certain constitutional claims without prejudice. On July 11, the parties filed a stipulation dismissing with prejudice the sole remaining claim against the city. The stipulation also dismissed the same claim against the hospital. A few remaining claims against the hospital will proceed.

Faegre Drinker’s defense of the city was led by business litigation partner John Ursu, and the team included business litigation partner Anne Ricchiuto, who has successfully defended COVID vaccine mandates at hospital and university systems, and labor and employment associate Terran Chambers. In this matter, Faegre Drinker jointly represented the City of Northfield with Amy Gernon of Gernon Law, a Northfield law firm. Bassford Remele represents Northfield Hospital + Clinics and its board members.

“We are grateful to the City of Northfield, the mayor and the city council for the opportunity to defend the city in this case,” Ursu said. “We were especially fortunate to work alongside talented counsel like Amy Gernon, Jonathan Norrie and Teresa Knoedler. We are pleased to see justice served.”

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