African American nurse sues Flint hospital over racist note

Nurse sues Flint hospital that allegedly fulfilled father's 'No African American nurse' request

Posted: Updated:
FLINT, Mich. (WJBK) -

A hospital in Flint is being sued by one of its nurses over allegations of discrimination. That nurse, who is African American, says officials at Hurley Medical Center fulfilled a father's request that only white nurses take care of his white child.

The lawsuit claims 49-year-old Tonya Battle, who has been with the hospital since 1988, found a note prominently posted on the patient's file that read: "No African American nurse to take care of baby."

According to court documents uncovered by WNEM reporter Liz Gelardi, Battle was caring for a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in October when the baby's father asked to speak with a supervisor. 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.

The lawsuit states the baby was re-assigned to another nurse.

Gelardi says hospital attorneys were made aware of the request and attempted to put it to an end. Battle's attorney, however, says the practice continued and no African American nurses cared for the baby during the child's month-long stay.

In a statement Monday, Hurley Medical Center said it "does not comment on past or current litigation."

Battle wants punitive damages.

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