Servicemembers File Class Claims Against Department of Defense Over Vaccine Mandate

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel


On September 24, 2021, class claims were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado against the U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austen, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock and the United States of America arguing that the defendants cannot force military members to submit to a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the amended complaint, named plaintiffs Daniel Robert and Hollie Mulvihill argue that the Department of Defense cannot force members of the military to receive a COVID-19 vaccination under existing military regulations, federal regulations, federal law and the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiffs argue that by mandating that service members receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the defendants are in violation of federal statutes that prohibits the use of any unlicensed vaccines on service members without their informed consent. The plaintiffs further argue that a well-established Army regulation allows documented survivors of an infection a presumptive medical exemption from vaccination because of the natural immunity acquired as a result of having survived the infection.

The plaintiffs are seeking to represent a class made up of all active and reserve members of the military and Department of Defense contractors who have been affected by the order to be vaccinated. The suit brings causes of action for violation of Administrative Procedure Act, violation of 10 U.S.C. Section 1107, violation of 10 U.S.C. Section 1107a and violation of 50 U.S.C. Section 1520. The suit is also seeking injunctive relief.

The case is: Robert et al. v. Austin et al., Case No.: 1:21-cv-002228, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

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