Baytown, TX asked in Health Care Law, Personal Injury, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Texas

Q: Can you sue for denying access to health care if laws enable unvaccinated people to overwhelm hospitals?

Just a thought experiment, but needed to be asked. Understandably, it would be difficult for a private citizen to file suit against the hordes of unvaxed choking the health care system, much like the novel SB8's workaround. While I understand the concept of sovereign immunity, I still wonder if a state could be held responsible for its citizens being unable to exercise their right to access health care (on their dime) due to laws that run contrary to evidence regarding public health (vax mandate bans vs. CDC guidelines) and result in personal injury from that inability. Theoretically, I should imagine if the US DOJ were to file such a suit, with similar argument against TX Dept of Education mask bans, then that immunity would disappear due to the Supremacy Clause. Just bringing it up since there is so much debate regarding vax mandates, federal overreach, etc. Long shot, but given the times, it wouldn't surprise me to see something like this coming down the pipe.

1 Lawyer Answer
Leroy Scott
Leroy Scott
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: It’s all a big giant scary mess. I cringe every time I see political leaders on TV saying parents, the vast majority of which are not virologists and probably do not even own microscopes, should decide whether vaccines are in the best interest of their children. What if parents decide they should have the freedom to decide if their children should eat or not?

Unfortunately, even if you do sue the state for passing a law you believe is unconstitutional and win, I don’t think you would be able to recover damages for personal injury.

Our system of government grants a lot of discretion to the people in charge and we just hope that they are competent and are acting in the best interest of the people. If they are not, we generally have to wait until it is election time again.

1 user found this answer helpful

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