Suit: Hospital Granted Request for No Black Nurses

February 19, 2013 - 9:30 PM

Black Nurses Lawsuit

Melany Gavulic, CEO and president of Hurley Medical Center, makes a statement to the press outside Hurley Medical Center Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, during a protest in response to an African-American nurse's claim that the hospital agreed to a man's request that no black nurses care for his newborn. (AP Photo/The Flint Journal, Lauren Justice) LOCAL TV OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — 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.

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.