Litigation Actions

The California chapter of CHD has several legal cases in process as well.

NYC’s Failure to Honor Teachers’ Duly Filed Religious Exemptions

Kane v. DeBlasio

Court: SDNY, 2nd Circuit
Lead Attorney: Sujata Gibson

Summary

This First Amendment case challenges an unconstitutional and blatant discriminatory New York City vaccine mandate for all teachers and educators. Originally, the mandate contained no accommodation for religious beliefs as required by statute. When legally challenged to provide one, the Mayor did so, but excluded all but two religions from protection — only to then openly advocate that any religious belief that conflicts with the Catholic Pope be denied. Plaintiffs argue that such a denial violates the First Amendment right to religious freedom. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the Plaintiff’s legal challenge. Attorney Gibson believes that this case has a strong chance of prevailing and will set precedent that religious exemptions against vaccine mandates must be recognized. Lead plaintiff Michael Kane, a NYC special education teacher terminated under that discriminatory policy now works for CHD as a grassroots organizer.

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NEW YORK STATE

NY State Healthcare Worker Vaccine Mandate

Dr. Doe, M.D. et al v. Hochul et al

Court: NDNY
Lead Attorneys: Sujata Gibson (with Nelson Madden Black)

Summary

This case challenges the New York State healthcare worker vaccine mandate. Plaintiffs are medical professionals and healthcare workers who were either suspended or terminated for failure to comply with COVID vaccine mandate based on sincerely held religious beliefs. Initially, the State defendants were enjoined from enforcement against those with religious exemptions as a result of a preliminary injunction entered in the related case, Dr. A v. Hochul. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the preliminary injunction. In order to exhaust administrative remedies, Plaintiffs have filed EEOC charges and are awaiting right-to-sue letters. In addition, Plaintiffs have filed a Writ of Certiorari along with amicus briefs. The State defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss and Plaintiffs’ Response is due later in May.


FEDERAL

Senator’s Demand Amazon Censor a Book on COVID with RFK, Jr. Forward

Mercola v. Senator Warren

Court: West Dist. WA Fed. Ct.
Lead Attorneys: Jed Rubenfeld, Nathan Arnold, Rene Wicklund

Summary

Plaintiffs filed suit against U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren for First Amendment Constitutional violations against free speech. In Fall 2021, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to Amazon demanding an “immediate review of Amazon’s algorithms to weed out books peddling “COVID misinformation,” and specifically singled out Dr. Joseph Mercola’s book, “The Truth about COVID-19” in which Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wrote the forward. Warren’s letter was an attempt to intimidate Amazon into dropping the book — akin to modern-day book burning and censorship of constitutionally protected speech. The issues raised in this case go against SCOTUS precedent in Bantam Books v. Sullivan whereby the U.S. Supreme Court held that state officials violated the First Amendment by sending letters to booksellers in an effort to censor free speech.

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CALIFORNIA

Governor’s State of Emergency Orders

Orange County Bd. of Education v. Newsom

Court: Orange Co. CA Sup. Ct.
Lead Attorneys: Scott Street, Robert Tyler

Summary

CHD, CHD-CA and Orange County Board of Education filed a lawsuit against Governor Newson in an effort to end the COVID-19 state of emergency that has been in effect since March 2020. Attorneys filed a motion for preliminary injunction, partly in response to Governor Newsom’s maskless appearance at a Stadium in Los Angeles County that hosted the Super Bowl. Attorney Scott Street representing the board stated, “This case seeks to restore the normal process of governance and to ensure transparency and accountability in the political process.”

This case has had some impact as Governor Newsom rescinded the stay-at-home orders and has terminated 90% of his pandemic executive orders He has also indicated his intent to terminate the COVID state of emergency soon. However, to account for recent developments and keep the pressure on, attorneys filed a Second Amended Complaint and have served a deposition notice on the Governor. The motion was held on and the complaint is being amended. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are still demanding discovery from the State.

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NEW YORK CITY

NYC’s Religious Exemption Process for All City Employees

New Yorkers for Religious Liberty, Inc. et al v. City of New York

Court: SDNY
Lead Attorneys: Sujata Gibson, Barry Black

Summary

A proposed class action lawsuit challenging New York City’s COVID vaccine mandate seeking declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, as well as damages, was filed alleging that the city violated the constitutional rights of employees who were denied religious accommodation from COVID vaccine mandates. Although the complaint for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order are still before the federal district court, the lawsuit is before the U.S. Supreme Court on an emergency petition. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are hopeful to actually litigate the science and show how these mandates are unnecessary under either strict scrutiny or a rational basis test and intend to present powerful stories and testimony of irreparable harm.

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VERMONT

School Mask Mandate Case

Children’s Health Defense v. North Country Supervisory Union

Court: Vermont Superior Court Orleans Division
Lead Attorney: Robert Kaplan

Summary

CHD filed a complaint against the North Country Supervisory Union with the goal of striking down its mask mandate, even though the supervisory union’s mandate was rescinded as of March 7. The complaint alleges that the defendant lacks the statutory authority to issue mask mandates and asks the court to consider evidence showing that masks do not stop the spread of COVID-19, but instead, have a negative impact on students, including making it difficult to breathe and harming respiratory health. In fact, the wearing of a mask “is a form of medical intervention and treatment that should be decided by the child’s parents, not a school or school official with absolutely no training or expertise in the medical field.” Therefore, this case is important not only in defending the fundamental right to parent, but to stop unconstitutional mandates. Plaintiffs request the court issue an order that voids any future attempts to reinstate mask mandates.

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FEDERAL

Testing Mandate, ADA

Corrigan v. Boston University

Court: US District Court of Massachusetts
Lead Attorney: Robert Meltzer

Summary

Plaintiffs filed a complaint when Ms. Corrigan was suspended from her studies at Boston University after the school failed to accommodate her disability, which she considers medically private, that precludes her from complying with its COVID testing protocol. The school required a specific testing regimen that provided for no alternative protocols for those unable to comply with the testing method mandated by the university. The claim, brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), charges that Boston University not only refused to provide an alternative method of testing to accommodate Ms. Corrigan’s disability, but also refused to engage in the requisite interactive process required to reach accommodation, and otherwise failed to provide an effective, comprehensive and meaningful grievance process. The complaint seeks declaratory judgment of the illegality of Boston University’s acts, and seeks to compel future legal compliance. Unspecified damages are also sought.

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FEDERAL

Censorship

Children’s Health Defense v. Meta Platforms, Inc.

Court: NDCA Dist. Court, Ninth Circuit
Lead Attorneys: Roger Teich, Jed Rubenfeld, Mary Holland, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Summary

In August 2019, CHD sued Meta Platforms Inc., also known as Facebook, its “independent fact-checkers,” and Mark Zuckerberg, alleging collusion with the U.S. government to censor CHD social media content, and racketeering to defund and malign CHD’s support and financial interests. The case was dismissed after a March 19, 2021 hearing. CHD argued its appeal in the Ninth Circuit on May 17, 2022 and is awaiting a decision.

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FEDERAL

Emergency Use Authorization of Pfizer COVID Vaccine for Ages 5-11

Children’s Health Defense et al. v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration et al.

Status: Complaint filed 01/24/2022
Lead Attorneys: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Robert Barnes
CHD Attorneys: Mary Holland, Ray Flores

Summary

FDA used its Emergency Use Authorization powers to authorize Pfizer-BioNTech, a dangerous drug, for minor children as young as 5 years old to address COVID-19, under the pretext of being in a two-year-long emergency. The FDA also, using its emergency powers, redefined this drug as a “vaccine” even though it did not meet the century-long definition of the term to include this new experimental biologic. The FDA failed to provide for any notice-and-comment period, failed to provide for any citizen petition recognition nor redress of petitioner concerns and grievances, claimed these emergency powers provided for no legislative limit beyond their expansive claims and even claimed these emergency powers prevent and preclude judicial review by citizens. The FDA has become an agency that declares its own law, enforces its own law and adjudicates its own law, with children now the sacrificial lambs for this precarious power grab.

Filed Complaint


WASHINGTON, DC

City Council Minor’s “Consent” Law

Victor Booth et al v. Muriel Bowser

Status: Preliminary injunction prohibiting the Minor consent law granted on March 18.
Lead Attorney: James Mason
CHD Attorney: Rolf Hazlehurst

Summary

The D.C. City Council passed a bill to allow children to “consent” to any CDC-recommended vaccine without the knowledge or consent of their parents or guardians. This bill specifically looks towards having children consent to COVID vaccines without parent knowledge. The bill even requires schools to conceal vaccination information from parents. This bill became law; we collaborated with ParentalRights.org to sue on behalf of D.C. parents and children and CHD as this law violates many federal laws and Constitutional rights.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 18 issued an order granting a preliminary injunction prohibiting the mayor of the District of Columbia, the D.C. Department of Health and D.C. public schools from enforcing the D.C. Minor Consent for Vaccination Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Minor Consent Act) until further order of the court.

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NEW YORK CITY

Against Mandatory PCR Testing for Schoolchildren

Aviles v. DeBlasio

Status: Appeal in progress
Lead Attorney: Ray Flores
CHD Attorney: Mary Holland

Summary

CHD recognizes that polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is a linchpin of the COVID pandemic. The number of “positive cases” has determined isolation, quarantine and lockdown measures, even though PCR testing is inherently unable to determine infectiousness. CHD is an institutional plaintiff, together with parents of schoolchildren, challenging compulsory PCR testing as an emergency use authorization product that cannot be lawfully mandated.

The Southern District of NY held a preliminary injunction hearing January 14, 2021 it was denied. The lower court case is stayed since Plaintiffs appealed to the Second Circuit. Although NY schools no longer require parental consent to PCR testing as a condition for attendance, the case is not moot. It is capable of repetition, and requires review. Plaintiff’s Appellate Reply Brief is due last week of October 2021.

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NEW YORK STATE

Against NYS Health Commissioner for Statewide Mask Mandate

William Ouweleen v. Howard Zucker

Status: Filed 08/05/2021
Lead Attorney: Sujata Gibson
CHD Attorneys: Mary Holland, Ray Flores

Summary

Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the ongoing violation of his most basic rights, dignity, and safety. The NYSDOH lacks the authority to issue this Mask Mandate sua sponte, particularly after the enhanced emergency powers previously granted to the Executive branch have expired. This mandate is a clear violation of our most sacred laws under international law, federal law, and New York law.

Due in part to the lawsuit, New York State repealed the mask mandate a month early.

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NEW JERSEY

Against Rutgers University for Vaccine Mandate for Faculty, Staff & Students

Children’s Health Defense, Inc. et al v. Rutgers et al

Status: In progress; Amended complaint filed 10/19/2021
Lead Attorney: Julio Gomez
CHD Attorneys: Mary Holland, Ray Flores

Summary

Challenge to mandate on many grounds, including natural immunity, EUA federal law, substantive due process.

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FEDERAL

Against FDA to Revoke COVID Vaccine EUAs & Refrain from Licensure

Children’s Health Defense v. FDA

Status: Motion to stay filed; Anticipating a hearing date
Lead Attorney: Ray Flores
CHD Attorney: Mary Holland

Summary

On August 31, 2021, CHD filed suit in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Tennessee against the FDA and Acting Commissioner, Janet Woodruff seeking vacatur of the August 23, 2021 Licensure of Pfizer’s currently unavailable Comirnaty vaccine.

This suit is the natural follow up to the Citizen Petition submitted by Dr. Meryl Nass and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on May 16, 2021 which received over 30,000 public comments (thank you!). The FDA’s August 23, 2021 denial cleared the way for attorneys Robert F. Barnes and Derek Jordan of Barnes Law along with RFK, Jr., to file suit on CHD’s behalf. The Complaint alleges one sole count, “Failure to Abide by Federal Law as Abuse of Discretion — APA 5 USC 706(2)(A)”

“Defendants’ arbitrary and capricious authorization of the Comirnaty vaccine gives the misleading impression to the public that the currently available Pfizer vaccine is fully approved, when in fact it is not. What is available, according to the FDA’s own admission is actually the EUA, liability-free product.

CHD filed an amended Motion to Stay and anticipates a hearing date.


FEDERAL

Children’s Health Defense v. Federal Communications Commission

Children’s Health Defense et al. v. Federal Communications Commission

Status: Appealed
Case number: 21-1075 Appeal
Lead Attorney: W. Scott McCullough
CHD Attorney: Mary Holland

Summary

CHD, together with Environmental Health Trust, sued the FCC for failure to update its insufficient guidelines from the mid-1990s regarding the health effects of wireless technology. The FCC’s failure to update the science that it uses in its decision has led to widespread injury. Oral argument before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals resulted in CHD’s Historic Win!

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NEW YORK STATE

NYS  Regulation Disallowing Medical Exemptions from children’s treating physicians

Doe v. Zucker 

Court: NDNY, 2nd Circuit, SCOTUS

Attorney: Sujata Gibson

Summary:

Class action lawsuit challenging  NYS Dept. of Health medical exemption regulation which resulted in the removal of thousands of medically fragile children from New York State schools. The eight named plaintiffs were denied the right to even attend school online.  Plaintiffs assert that they have a fundamental right to protect their children’s lives in accordance with their doctor’s best medical judgment and that school principals are not qualified to substitute their own judgment about what is safe for these children. Emergency Writ was filed with the Supreme Court, which was denied. We are working on filing a Certiorari Petition to the Supreme Court on the merits.

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FEDERAL

Gardasil Cases

Various Federal Courts

Status: Active
Attorneys: Michael Baum, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Summary

Since 2019, CHD is supporting 35 lawsuits against Merck alleging the drugmaker knowingly concealed adverse events associated with its Gardasil HPV vaccine. These cases have been brought on behalf of young men and women who sustained life-altering injuries and devastating side effects. All have their own unique stories, with one thing in common — they all agree that if Merck had told the truth about the known dangers associated with Gardasil, they never would have consented to the allegedly “defective and dangerous” HPV vaccine.

List of Cases

  • Gramza v. Merck & Company Incorporated et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. AZ)
  • Balasco v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Rhode Island)
  • Walker v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. West. Dist. of WI)
  • Colbath v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. So. Dist. CA)
  • Herlth v. Merck & Co Inc et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Dist. Connecticut)
  • Flores v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Nevada)
  • Stratton v. Merck & Co Inc et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. South Carolina)
  • McElerney v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Mid. Dist. FL)
  • Humphries v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Cent. Dist. IL)
  • Dalton v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. East. Dist. of Michigan)
  • Muller v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. No. Dist. FL)
  • Sullivan v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. NJ)
  • Silver v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Mid. Dist. FL)
  • Malloy v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. East. Dist. Texas)
  • Butler v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Massachusetts)
  • Merino v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. AZ)
  • Atjian v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Cent. Dist. CA)
  • Bergin v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. West. Dist. NC)
  • Derr v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Mid. Dist. NC)
  • Fetters v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Cent. Dist. CA)
  • Hilton v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. West. Dist. NC)
  • Thomas v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. So. Dist. FL)
  • Vela v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. AZ)
  • Levy v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Cent. Dist. CA)
  • Hendrix v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. No. Dist. GA)
  • Wingerter v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. No. Dist. GA)
  • Raymer v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Nort. Dist. of IL, East. Div.)
  • Soileau v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Mid. District LA)
  • Counts v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. No. Dist. TX)
  • Landers v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. So. Dist. WV)
  • Landers v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Nort. Dist. of IL, East. Div.)
  • Wagner v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Nort. Dist. of IL, East. Div.)
  • Hoddick v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. Hawaii)
  • Lipscomb v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. No. Dist. IN, Ft. Wayne Div.)
  • Pennell v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al (U.S. Dist. Ct. No. Dist. OH East. Div.)

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Other Gardasil Updates


Other Legal Updates

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