General Hospital's courtroom emergency as another COVID lawsuit moves forward

Posted Thursday, February 22, 2024 11:47:42 AM
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ABC and General Hospital are still facing legal action due to Disney's COVID vaccine mandate.

General Hospital is facing a lawsuit over a COVID vaccine mandate that was put into place in the fall of 2021. If you're thinking, "Didn't that get tossed out of court?" -- you're right. Sort of. This is a totally separate lawsuit.

In June 2023, a lawsuit brought by Ingo Rademacher (Jasper "Jax" Jacks) was dismissed. Rademacher filed a suit claiming that he was wrongfully terminated and dismissed from his role as Jax because he refused to comply with ABC/Disney's mandate that employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. Rademacher had claimed that religious beliefs kept him from getting the vaccine. ABC argued that Rademacher's refusal "was rooted in secular, philosophical/moral beliefs." A judge sided with ABC.

In January, Rademacher said he was appealing the decision because he felt he was really fired due to his political beliefs.

This second lawsuit has been brought by a father and son who both worked as crew members on GH. James Wahl and Tim Wahl refused to get COVID vaccinations, citing religious beliefs, and their lawsuit claims that they firmly established their religious beliefs.

However, according to Deadline, ABC disagreed, saying that after speaking to the Wahls, it was "unable to conclude" that the Wahls were "prevented from receiving the Covid-19 vaccine due to a sincerely-held religious belief, practice, or observance."

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Goorvitch issued the ruling that the lawsuit could go forward, stating, "Because this necessarily involves a credibility determination, it is difficult to grant summary adjudication of this issue. While defendant's counsel identifies seeming inconsistencies, plaintiffs raise sufficient facts to give rise to a triable issue, viz., their explanations of their religious beliefs."

To give this story a little more of a soap opera twist, it turns out the lawyer representing the Wahls, Scott Street, also represented Rademacher. In addition, the judge who ordered that the Wahls' case can proceed is the same one who tossed Rademacher's case out last summer.

Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) was also let go when ABC enacted its mandate. However, now that the COVID vaccine mandate is no longer in place, Burton is back at work as Jason and begins airing on March 4.

The Wahl vs. ABC trial is set to begin on March 11.

What do you think of the various lawsuits against ABC and GH? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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