UC Students Vaccine Mandate Case
Re: Legality of Vaccine Mandates as a condition to study at the University of Cincinnati
Facts of the Case
aka: Benjamin Lipp, et al. v. University of Cincinnati
- Dates: filed 12/10/2021
- Location: Hamilton County, Ohio USA
- Court: Common Pleas Civil Court
- Case #: A 2104238
- Plaintiff: Benjamin Lipp, et al.
- Defendant: University of Cincinnati
- Trial Type:
- Judge: Leslie Ghiz
- Status: Ongoing
- Verdict: TBD
Calling it a civil rights issue designed to check a university’s abuse of power, Akron-based Mendenhall Law Group filed a lawsuit against the University of Cincinnati (UC) and its board of trustees over the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. (4)
The action was introduced in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas on Wednesday and includes four plaintiffs: students Benjamin Lipp, Danielle Seymore, Katelyn Verbarg and Nicholai Lekson. Warner Mendenhall and Kyle Wenning are representing the plaintiffs. (4)
The plaintiffs all were students at University of Cincinnati. Three of the plaintiffs had received exemptions from the school’s vaccine mandates. One of the plaintiffs met the vaccination requirement but he objects to the University’s mandatory vaccine policy and the possibility of having to receive a booster shot to stay in school. (1)
Multiple students told The Ohio Press Network (OPN) that they have received coercive emails from UC officials, and those who have questioned the mandate have been subject to derogatory remarks, including “you freedom people are annoying.” (4)
Lipp, who is also a plaintiff, is 24 and a senior majoring in finance. He points out that the virus has a more than 99% survival rate for Ohioans in his age range and the vaccine does not prevent transmission or infection of the virus.
“Even as an unvaccinated student, I have low risk of dying from COVID, and I’ve had the virus, so that puts me in a different class because of my natural immunity,” he explained. “If someone else is vaccinated, why do I need to be vaccinated?”
His personal opinion aside, Lipp said that he chose to join the lawsuit as a plaintiff because he believes university officials are violating his rights.
“You don’t have to have an opinion on COVID-19 to agree with the lawsuit. It’s not about whether or not masks and the vaccine works. It’s about public officials not acting within legal authority,” Lipp said. “If they can get away with this, what else will they try? This lawsuit is important because it is designed to hold them accountable.”
In September, UC instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students, faculty and staff. Students were required to show proof of at least one dose of the shot by October 15 and two doses of the inoculation by November 15. (4)
The mandate applies to students and university employees who visit campus for class or work, and individuals who use campus facilities. Medical and religious exemptions to the vaccine requirement can be requested, according to the mandate. (4)
Students who do not comply by January 3 will be unenrolled from spring semester classes. Weekly testing is required between November 15 and January 3 for anyone not in compliance with the mandate. (4)
The website also includes: “The university will consider disciplinary measures in accordance with established policies for faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated or have not been granted an exemption before the beginning of spring semester. Discipline for represented employees will proceed in accordance with agreed-upon processes currently being discussed with their collective bargaining units.” (4)
OPN (the Ohio Press Network) was provided with numerous emails obtained by a public records request that show UC officials attempting to implement their COVID-19 vaccine mandate despite the passage of HB 244, which was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine and became effective on October 13. (4)
The legislation prohibits Ohio public schools from requiring vaccines not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HB 244 also says that public schools cannot discriminate against people not vaccinated by mandating that they perform different activities from their vaccinated counterparts. Schools covered by the bill include state colleges and universities along with public schools, joint vocational school districts, college-prep boarding schools and STEM schools. (4)
This case covers multiple issues including discrimination, abuse of power and government over reach, illegal mandates, sovereignty of their own bodies, and the veracity of the Covid and Inoculation narrative
According to the lawsuit filing, “this is a civil action for declaratory and injunctive relief involving the statutory and constitutional validity of UC’s vaccination and health measure mandates effective Sept. 1, 2021.
“By reason of Ohio Revised Code 3709.212 and Ohio case law, the defendants lack authority to order those not diagnosed with a disease or have not come into direct contact with someone who has not been diagnosed with a disease to wear masks, undergo testing or limit their activities.”
The filing adds that the mandate also violates Ohio Revised Code 3792.04 because UC is a state school of higher education and is “discriminating by requiring plaintiffs to engage in or refrain from engaging in activities or precautions that differ from the activities or precautions of an individual who has received a vaccine that has not been fully approved by the FDA.”
The school’s vaccine mandate violates revised code 3792.04. The mandate violates Article I, Section 1 of the Ohio Constitution in that it violates Plaintiffs’ right to refuse medical treatment. The Mandate violates R.C. 2905.12 to the extent that it coerces Plaintiffs from taking or refraining from actions over which they should have legal freedom by choice, by taking, withholding or threatening to take or withhold official action. (1)
“One of the things we have seen across the country is exactly what we are pointing out in this lawsuit, that authorities are stepping outside the bounds of their authority,” Mendenhall said. “That equals an abuse of power, and it’s happening at federal, state and local level and at colleges and universities. Our lawsuit is designed to check the abuse of power.”“We have autonomy in our medical-decision making,”… “It is unprecedented that a university would require an experimental medical procedure on students or masking.
“We are waking up to the fact that the COVID-19 injection is not stopping spread,” … “Those who get the shot do not provide protection to anyone else. It is absurd that people are mistreated because they choose to not get a shot.” He noted that natural immunity is overlooked and it can be at least six times stronger than the vaccine.
“We would like [university officials] to end all mandates and not treat people differently,”
source: Fox News
source: Canadian Covid Care Alliance
- Link to case as posted on Hamilton County Clerk of Court Website:
- PDF of case shared on Ohio Stands Up website:
- Plaintiffs’ Attorney: Mendenhall Law Firm
- Students file lawsuit against Univ of Cincinnati
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