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African American Nurse Sues Hospital – Claims She Was ‘Banned’ From Looking After White Baby

//hospital wnemtv

Feb. 15 2013, Published 6:16 p.m. ET

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An African American nurse is suing a hospital for racial discrimination , claiming they prevented her from caring for a white baby because of the color of her skin.

Furthermore, the medic – who has worked at Hurley Medical Centre in Flint, Michigan for 25 years – alleges the ban was imposed at the request of the child’s father -- and that a note was placed by hospital staff in the patient's file stating, "No African American nurse to take care of baby."

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According to the lawsuit,  Tonya Battle was working in the intensive care unit tending to a sick newborn last October when the incident happened, WNEM TV5 is reporting.

The father allegedly asked to speak with a supervisor after saying he “did not want any African-Americans" taking care of his baby.

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Battle's lawsuit states that during the conversation the father rolled up his sleeve to reveal a Swastika tattoo.

“When Battle returned for work the next shift she found the note," the lawsuit claims.

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“It was shocking to her. She was very upset. She was very offended. She was in disbelief," Julie Gafkay, the attorney representing the nurse, told WNEM TV5.

Adding that the alleged note was, “on the outside of the patient's chart and visible for anybody to see.”

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Although the alleged note was later removed, Battle claims the discrimination continued.

“Even though the hospital claimed they weren’t going to continue to follow that – they weren’t going to discriminate – they continued to de facto discriminate against my client and the other African-American nurses," Gafkay said.

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“For the next month they never assigned any African-American nurses to care for that child.”

Adding, “The problem that my client has is not necessarily that the request was made. People will have their prejudices and biases.

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“The problem is the hospital actually granted the request.”

The hospital released a statement in response to news of the lawsuit: "Hurley Medical Center does not comment on past or current litigation."



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