At least hundreds of unvaccinated B.C. health care workers who lost their jobs during the COVID pandemic have filed a class-action lawsuit against provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Among the claimants is former lab technician, Terri Perepolkin, who has been without work for two years over her failure to comply with COVID vaccine mandates at her workplace. To afford B.C. living, she and her husband sold their Vernon residence after her dismissal from Vernon Jubilee Hospital, where she worked since 2004.
Perepolkin is currently a stay-at-home mom, who home schools their children, as of October 26, 2021. The province terminated her employment that November 18.
Meanwhile, she also started The United Health Care Workers of BC, a non-profit society for all health care workers in the province impacted by the mandates. Perepolkin told Castanet that her society currently has 107 members, whom she hopes will join the class action, once certified.
"Dr. Henry is still requiring the first two COVID shots to work in health care in B.C. – even though she has admitted that all workers who have the first two shots no longer have any protection from them," claimed the Vernon lab technician.
In addition, co-plaintiff Jedediah Ferguson, who worked at Cumberland Regional Hospital laundry since June 2015, also received a leave of absence before Interior Health fired her.
According to court documents filed on October 13, the plaintiffs tabled the action "on behalf of members of the class consisting of all unionized healthcare workers in British Columbia who have been subject to the COVID-19 vaccination status information and preventative measures order."
It asserts the Henry undermined their contractual employment agreements when she issued the public health order on October 14, 2021.
The plaintiffs claim she "acted with reckless indifference or willful blindness" by continuing to enforce the order.
According to the order, "vaccination is safe, very effective, and the single most important preventive measure for health professionals [...] to protect patients, residents and clients, and the health and personal care workforce, from [...] COVID-19."
The suit counters that claim, suggesting the COVID vaccine monographs are 'misleading,' while referencing the risk of sustaining an adverse side-effect from the jab, including blood clots. The plaintiffs seek damages for the alleged contract breach, "misfeasance" in public office, and the suit's certification.
The province had 21 days to respond from the action's filing, with no response reported as of writing.