Hurley settles race discrimination lawsuit - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Hurley settles race discrimination lawsuit

Posted: Updated:
A photo showing a page of the lawsuit filed by the nurse. A photo showing a page of the lawsuit filed by the nurse.
  • More newsMore>>

  • Ukraine parliament ratifies EU pact

    Ukraine parliament ratifies EU pact

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:31 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:31:53 GMT
    The city council in Donetsk says three people have been killed and five wounded in shelling overnight in the city in eastern Ukraine.More >>
    Ukraine's parliament ratified an agreement to deepen economic and political ties with the European Union on Tuesday, and passed legislation to grant autonomy to the rebellious east as part of a peace deal.More >>
  • Syrian aircraft crashes in city held by IS group

    Syrian aircraft crashes in city held by IS group

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:01:54 GMT
    A Syrian military aircraft crashed into the de facto capital of the Islamic State group on Tuesday, killing at least eight people.More >>
    A Syrian military aircraft crashed into the de facto capital of the Islamic State group on Tuesday, killing at least eight people, as thousands of residents fled to nearby villages in anticipation of expected U.S....More >>
  • US to assign 3,000 from US military to fight Ebola

    US to assign 3,000 from US military to fight Ebola

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-09-16 12:52:50 GMT
    The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to...More >>
    The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local...More >>
FLINT, MI (WNEM/AP) -

Hurley Medical Center in Flint has settled a lawsuit that alleged racial discrimination between a nurse and hospital staff.

Nurse Tonya Battle was at the news conference where Hurley made a joint statement regarding her racial discrimination lawsuit.

The decision comes after a marathon negotiating session Thursday, according to the nurse's husband. Friday, both sides acknowledged they have reached a settlement.

According to court documents, she was caring for a baby when the child's father made a request that no African-American nurses take care of his baby. The father then showed the nurse a swastika tattoo.

"It was just unbelievable. I was just dumbfounded somebody would be making that request. I just felt like I was taken back in time," said Battle, when asked how she felt about her incident.

According to the lawsuit, the hospital didn't assign any black nurses to the baby during the hospital stay, which lasted more than a month. The lawsuit also refers to a note taped on a hospital clipboard, "No African-American nurse to take care of baby."

"I don't think that his request should have been honored. I think that every nurse in the NICU here at the medical center is qualified to take care of every baby, and we do, every patient. We don't see color, I don't think, I don't, when I'm taking care of a baby, I don't see color," said Battle.

It's been called one of medicine's "open secrets" - allowing patients to refuse treatment by a doctor or nurse of another race.

The Michigan cases are among several lawsuits filed in recent years that highlight this seldom-discussed issue, which quietly persists almost 60 years after the start of the civil rights movement. Friday night, Hurley's CEO held a news conference to say the hospital will use this case and move forward.

"We will use the circumstances of this issue for future training sessions to make sure employees are prepared to appropriately handle situations like this," said Hurley CEO Melany Gavulic.

The American Medical Association's code of ethics bars doctors from refusing to treat people based on race, gender and other criteria, but there are no specific policies for handling race-based requests from patients.

"Obviously there was a problem there, so we can bring it to light and work together so it doesn't happen again," said Battle, who hopes this lawsuit and settlement will be another proof racial discrimination is not acceptable in the workplace.

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Powered by WorldNow