Councilman No Longer Part of Vax Suit by 1 Current, 1 Former Firefighter

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A judge cited First Amendment grounds in granting a Beverly Hills city councilman’s motion dismissing him as a defendant Thursday in a lawsuit filed by one current and one former Beverly Hills firefighter who challenged the city’s decisions in enforcing Los Angeles County’s health-care worker COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Plaintiffs Josh Sattley, who was fired for not getting vaccinated, and Ettore Berardinelli Jr., who was granted a religious exemption and is still with the department, sued the city of Beverly Hills and Councilman John A. Mirisch, alleging he infringed on their own free-speech rights as well as their civil rights.

But on Thursday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barbara M. Scheper granted Mirisch’s anti-SLAPP — Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation — motion, based on a state law intended to prevent people from using courts, and potential threats of a lawsuit, to intimidate those who are exercising their First Amendment rights.

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