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Medical association files suit over law barring vaccine mandates


The Montana Medical Association on Thursday announced that it has filed suit against Montana officials over a recently passed law that prohibits discrimination against those who have not been vaccinated, essentially barring employer-mandated vaccination requirements.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana in Missoula by the MMA and several clinics and individuals, targets H.B. 702 as it applies to the state’s physicians and hospitals, according to a statement by the MMA. Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and state Commissioner of Labor & Industry Laurie Esau are named as defendants.

The lawsuit, which does not seek to overturn the law that Gov. Greg Gianforte signed May 7, intends “to restore a physician’s ability to protect the safety of their vulnerable patients when providing needed medical services,” the statement reads.

The MMA said the law “directly prohibits physician offices from following long-held evidence-based practices that create the safest environment possible for our patients and employees. This includes the ability to take reasonable mitigation steps if an employee has not been vaccinated for infectious diseases, such as rubella, smallpox, polio, whooping cough, measles, mumps, and others.”