RANSTON, R.I. (WJAR) — A Cranston-based dentist is taking Rhode Island state officials to court, saying their actions barring him from caring for his patients are unconstitutional.
Dr. Stephen Skoly, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, last practiced on Oct. 1, when he was ordered by the Rhode Island Department of Health to stop seeing patients after his medical exemption for a COVID-19 vaccine was denied.
“I have no alternative but to file this complaint in federal court,” he said. “I’m glad I did it at this point although it’s been an adventure.”
The 34-page complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island Friday against Gov. Dan McKee and former and current state health officials.
It argues state violated Skoly’s rights by failing to grant him a vaccine exemption. The lawsuit is backed by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom of Prosperity, which Skoly chairs. According to a news release from the center, Rhode Island has “awarded hundreds of related exemptions,” but denied Skoly.