3rd Michigan hospital faces suit alleging it honored patient request for care only by white nurses

A nurse filed a federal racial discrimination lawsuit against Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn (Mich.) for agreeing to a patient request for no black caregivers, according to a News 5 Cleveland report.

In the lawsuit, Teoka Williams, RN, alleges that on Oct. 2 she heard a patient say she did not want any black caregivers. Ms. Williams says she told the clinical manager, who then spoke to the patient. The clinical manager then reportedly told Ms. Williams not to enter the patient's room or care for her. A white nurse was asked to care for the patient.

Ms. Williams also alleges that she told the human resources department about the incident and was told "patient requests are honored all the time and that the next time it happened, she would be taken off the assignment altogether," News 5 Cleveland reports.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as court costs and attorney fees, according to the report.

This is the third Michigan hospital since October 2017 to face a racial discrimination lawsuit related to honoring patients who requested white caregivers. Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health and Zeeland-based Providence Christian Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center were both accused of similar wrongdoing.

In a statement furnished to News 5 Cleveland, Beaumont said, "While we cannot comment on the specifics of this case because it is pending litigation, we can say that Beaumont’s highest priority is providing a safe environment that is free from discrimination for both our patients and staff, and delivering care with compassion, dignity and respect."

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