BY MAIRE O’NEILL
A group of more than 100 Los Alamos National Laboratory employees has filed a lawsuit against LANL Director Thom Mason, LANL Medical Director Sara Pasqualoni, MD, and Triad National Security LLC regarding LANL’s policies with respect to COVID-19 vaccination, testing and wearing masks.
The lawsuit, which was filed September 27 in First Judicial District Court, has been assigned to District Judge Jason Lidyard. The plaintiffs in the case are represented by attorneys Jonathan Diener and Vanessa L. DeNiro of the Truth & Justice Law Firm and the complaint is for “violation of the right to refuse unwanted and medically unnecessary care, discrimination, retaliatory discharge, medical negligence, negligence and injunctive relief”.
The employees maintain the vaccination, testing and mask protocol is “tortious, unconstitutional, contractually violative, discriminatory, actually cruel and malicious in certain respects, contrary to science, medicine and well-recognized constitutional principles of bodily integrity, privacy, and freedom of choice regarding medical treatment”. The complaint states that the employees have been informed that if they are not vaccinated by Oct. 15, they will be terminated from their positions. It says that although requests for medical and religious exemptions may be submitted, Mason advised on September 20 that anyone with an approved religious exemption would be placed on leave without pay until COVID-19 has sufficiently diminished.
The complaint also states that the actions and failures to act of the Mason, Pasqualoni and Triad “constitute common-law battery, amount to retaliatory firings under New Mexico law, violate public policy….requiring consent to treatment”, discriminated against the employees in violation of the New Mexico Human Rights Act and the New Mexico Constitution and “constitute medical negligence”.
Immediate injunctive relief is being requested from the Court “to prevent termination or to be reinstated if relief is not granted by October 15, as well as damages, in the event injunctive relief is not granted and for some wrongs which injunctive relief will not address”.
The complaint and supporting documents including affidavits from some 34 named employees and 79 John or Jane Does add up to 259 pages. Many of the plaintiffs describe their attempts to obtain medical or religious exemptions that have been denied.