Nurse Files Discrimination Suit Against Hospital

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

An African-American nurse claims a Michigan hospital agreed to a man's request that no black nurses care for his newborn.

Forty-nine-year-old Tonya Battle tells the Detroit Free Press she didn't know how to react when she learned about the request in October at Hurley Medical Center in Flint. Battle sued last month in Genesee Circuit Court seeking punitive damages
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Battle's lawsuit claims a note was posted on an assignment clipboard reading "No African American nurse to take care of baby." She says it was later removed, but claims black nurses weren't assigned to the baby's care for about a month.

Hurley President Melany Gavulic said in a statement Tuesday the father showed Battle's supervisor a swastika tattoo, which angered the staff. She says supervisors were concerned for the staff's safety.


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  • by Elaine Location: Location on Feb 23, 2013 at 05:09 PM
    If I was the nurse and found out the parents didn't want me to care for their baby I would be uncomfortable if I was assigned to caring for the baby. It shows the father's ignorance, becaue she may have been the best nurse with the most experience and knowledge that his baby could have benefited from but the parent still has a right to make the request.
  • by Anonymous Location: Location on Feb 22, 2013 at 12:33 PM
    Call me insensitive, but it is stories like this that keep racism, or feelings of discrimination alive. This also cheapens those who truly 100% have a discrimination case. If there were no other assignments she could do, then she might have a case, but she didn't lose work, she lost one assignment at the parent's request. If I cried everytime a male salesman was requested over me, a female, I would only make myself miserable. The parent has his beliefs, right wrong or indifferent, and as a caregiver, those beliefs have to be respected whether we agree with them or not.
  • by Anon Location: Lansing on Feb 21, 2013 at 10:11 AM
    Seriously, you realize if this were a gender issue, it would not be news. Parents have the right to determine who treats their child, just as adults have the right to choose who treats them. I don't agree with the reasoning behind this parent's choice, however I will support them over the nurse. As long as they didn't send every minority nurse home without pay, the hospital did nothing wrong.
  • by David Location: Charlotte on Feb 21, 2013 at 09:26 AM
    To Anon Feb.20th I want to thank you for telling the truth and not injecting race into the problem. Its nice to know that there are pepol weather black , white or latino or what ever are honest and caring. I to have been discriminated aginst too and I,m white but I make to choice to forgive not profit . God bless you in your job .
  • by anonymous Location: howell on Feb 20, 2013 at 07:41 AM
    being a nurse myself patients have the right to ask for who they want for care. This nurse is taking this too seriously the hospitals try to accomodate patient requests or they lose business. as long as she is not losing work time she should not take it personal. ps yes I am african american
  • by Hank Location: Jackson on Feb 19, 2013 at 10:01 PM
    Being in Flint, what are the odds of finding a white colored nurse anyways?
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