‘No Black Nurses’ Lawsuit: Tanya Battle Sues Hospital Alleging Supervisor-Supported Discrimination
Feb 19, 2013 12:03 PM EST
An African-American nurse, Tanya Battle, is filing a lawsuit alleging supervisor-supported discrimination at the Hurley Medical Center, in Flint, Michigan. Battle claims the Michigan hospital agreed to a man's request for no black nurses' care for his newborn, reported on foxnews.com.
The Flint Journal reports Battle sued on Monday, citing "seeking punitive damages for emotional stress, mental anguish, humiliation and damage to her reputation."
The 49-year-old nurse said officials at Hurley Medical Center in Flint fulfilled a father's request last October that only white nurses take care of his white child.
Battle's lawsuit claims a note was posted on an assignment clipboard reading, "no African American nurse to take care of baby."
She said the note was later removed, but that black nurses were never assigned to care for the baby for about a month because of the request. While patients can choose doctors (women may choose female gynecologists, for example) and what hospital they use, there are also laws prohibiting discrimination, according to Lance Gable, an associate professor of health law at Wayne State University Law School told the Detroit Free Press.
A supervising nurse spoke with the father who told him he didn't want African-Americans to care for his child; the supervising nurse, also reported by the Free Press. The lawsuit states he told the nurse in charge that he didn't want any African Americans taking care of his baby, then he pulled up a sleeve showing a tattoo believed to be a Swastika.
While it is not uncommon for parents to express specific wishes to hospitals in regard to the care of a baby, discriminating against race appears to violate any civil rights acts that were established in order to prevent racial discrimination, according to the Examiner.