A lawsuit against Henry Ford Health System and its executives over the hospital system's COVID-19 vaccine mandate has been withdrawn.
Court records show the 51 employees pulled the lawsuit Friday, only four days after filing in U.S. District Court in Detroit, after President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday to force hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid payments to mandate the vaccine.
Biden said Thursday he'd order all executive branch employees, federal contractors and millions of healthcare workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, and that his administration would issue rules requiring large private employers to mandate shots or testing.
Henry Ford Health announced its mandate in late June with a Sept. 10 deadline. Those who did not comply would face suspension until inoculated or be terminated after Oct. 1.
But the Biden administration's order means the federal government is now mandating the vaccine, not the health system.
The employees — who are mostly registered nurses, medical assistants, some physicians and administrative workers — sought a temporary injunction from the judge in U.S. District Court in an attempt to stop the mandate.
Kyle Allmen, partner of Clarkston-based law firm Von Allmen & Associates PLLC and lead attorney for the 51 employees, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Henry Ford Health deferred comment on the withdrawal.
In the suit against Henry Ford Health, the plaintiffs alleged the mandate violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which was written to give rights to immigrants and former slaves. Part of the amendment also clarifies due process.
The suit was scheduled for arguments on Friday but that was canceled after the plaintiffs withdrew the case.
Roughly 95 percent of the Henry Ford Health System's 30,000 employees are already vaccinated, the system announced Friday.