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Judge denies local law firm's attempt to cease health care vaccine mandate

HoganWillig is representing more than 700 health care workers over New York State's COVID vaccine mandate for medical professionals.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A judge has denied a Western New York law firm's attempt to keep the state from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for medical professionals that goes into effect next week.  

The attorney's at HoganWillig have challenged many New York State pandemic restrictions, and now they are representing more than 700 healthcare workers from across the state over New York's vaccine mandate for medical professionals.

"We are put in a position where we are going to have a lot of clients come Monday that will have a difficult choice to make," attorney Corey Hogan said.

Hogan, an attorney and partner of HoganWillig, argued in court for a temporary restraining order to halt the vaccine mandate from going into effect for health care workers on Monday.

A judge did not grant that, but did grant a partial temporary restraining order for those with medical and religious exemptions that were a part of the lawsuit.

However, those exemptions were already made available to all health care workers due to a recent federal ruling.

Hogan said the main basis of their argument was that the mandate was made under an emergency order but he said the state no longer has a state of emergency in place to make such a mandate.

"This was adopted on what they call an emergency basis, after the state had already indicated that we are no longer in a state of emergency," Hogan said. "By doing so they avoided their responsibility; they have to even conduct informal hearings on a regulatory basis."

Hogan estimated that there are about 90,000 unvaccinated health care workers across the state. He argued after the pandemic, the health care system should not be strained further.

As of September 22, 84% of the state's hospital workers are fully vaccinated.

Next Friday, Hogan said he will be back in court to argue for a preliminary injunction.

"We're looking forward to the state being able to justify what they said in writing in terms of the claims that they are making, with respect to their concerns with the health care system," he said.

2 On Your Side reached out to Gov. Kathy Hochul's office for a response outside of business hours and are awaiting a response.

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