Health & Science

Houston doctor suspended for vaccine misinformation files $25 million defamation lawsuit against Methodist Hospital

The lawsuit accuses Methodist Hospital and Methodist CEO Marc Boom of making “false and defamatory” statements about Dr. Mary Bowden, an ear, nose, and throat doctor in River Oaks.

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
Dr. Mary Bowden filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against Methodist Hospital and CEO Marc Boom on July 25, 2022

A Houston doctor who previously sued Methodist Hospital after she was suspended for spreading COVID-19 misinformation has filed a second lawsuit against the hospital.

The newly filed lawsuit accuses Methodist and Methodist CEO Marc Boom of severely damaging the reputation of Dr. Mary Bowden — an ear, nose, and throat doctor in River Oaks who had her provisional privileges taken away last year after making claims online related to vaccine efficacy.

"Methodist and Boom retaliated against Dr. Bowden in an unprecedented manner. Without notice, they published false and defamatory statements to the press and on social media, affording no due process, acting contrary to and with reckless disregard for both the letter and spirit of Methodist's bylaws," the lawsuit reads.

The $25-million defamation lawsuit was filed in Harris County District Court Monday morning. During a press conference Monday, Bowden said Methodist’s decision to publicly oust her has forever changed her life.

“I want to clear my name and hold them accountable. Every person has a right to an unimpaired reputation,” Bowden said. “Thanks to Methodist, half the world thinks that I’m crazy and dangerous.”

Methodist declined to provide a comment about the newly filed lawsuit.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, Bowden told patients that she had done research suggesting "the vaccine is not working." In another email, she falsely suggested and then walked back a claim that Methodist was not treating unvaccinated patients, according to the Chronicle report.

In November, the hospital announced on Twitter that Bowden’s hospital privileges were suspended for “spreading dangerous misinformation” about COVID-19 vaccines which were “harmful to the community.”

As a result, Bowden resigned and filed a lawsuit in January asking for “financial documents detailing all revenue generated at Methodist Hospital through the COVID vaccination program.”

Methodist was the first hospital in the country to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for employees — 153 employees were either terminated or resigned after they declined to get the shot last year.

In response to the mandate, 178 hospital employees unsuccessfully sued the hospital to block the vaccine requirement from going into effect. The case was thrown it out by a federal judge in a scathing order blasting the plaintiffs’ arguments – which compared the mandate to Nazi experimentation – as “reprehensible.”

Read the full lawsuit below:

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