Judge denies Dr. Michelle Fiscus claim to monetary damages

Dr. Michelle Fiscus
Dr. Michelle Fiscus(WSMV)
Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 3:13 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A federal judge has denied that Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the state’s former top vaccine expert, is entitled to money after filing a lawsuit against two state health officials.

In September, Fiscus filed a lawsuit against Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey and Chief Medical Officer Tim Jones as the defendants in the case. The lawsuit stated the leadership of made “stigmatizing and defamatory statements.”

Earlier this month, Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw granted a motion stating Piercey and Jones are “entitled to qualified immunity on plaintiff’s claims for money damages.” Crenshaw also denied Fiscus’ claim “for declaratory and injunctive relief.”

“It’s disturbing that state officials can slander someone, yet are given ‘qualified immunity’ because they are not ‘plainly incompetent,’” Fiscus said in a statement. “These individuals violated my constitutional rights, yet won’t be held responsible for the damage they have caused. Instead, this decision empowers them to repeat the action. That’s why we’re appealing.”

Fiscus was fired on July 12 after serving as medical director of the Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program at the Tennessee Department of Health.

The following is the timeline of events leading to and after the firing of Fiscus.

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