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A Nurse Is Suing Her Hospital For Discrimination After Being Called a 'Black B*tch' By A Patient

Teoka Williams, a registered nurse at Beaumont Health in Dearborn, Michigan, filed a lawsuit against the hospital for racial discrimination.

Her employer honored a patient's request who refused to be tended by a "black bitch."

The African American nurse complained to her Clinical Manager about the disgruntled patient during her shift on October 2, 2017.

Williams, who has worked at the hospital for 10 years, said during the shift she had been assigned two patients in a room. One of the patients said she did not want a "black bitch" to treat her.

According to ABC 7, the lawsuit alleged the hospital manager told the patient she was going to "move" Williams so she would no longer be in her care.

The manager then relayed this information to Williams and instructed her to avoid entering the patient's room, even though the other patient sharing the same room required her assistance.

Williams was replaced during her shift by a white nurse named Olivia.

After reporting the discrimination to Human Resources, Williams was told "patient requests are honored all the time."

But then Williams was told a repeat of another incident—even though Williams had done nothing wrong except being assigned to a racist patient—could result in Williams' dismissal after 10 years at the hospital.

And therein lies the issue.

A patient complaint made about Williams race—forcing another nurse to be assigned to the case—was treated by the hospital the same way a legitimate patient complaint would be.

Williams felt "harassed, humiliated and discriminated against" over the incident.

The lawsuit claims the unit had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

Williams is seeking punitive damages, as well as reimbursement of her attorney and court fees.

The nurse's attorney, Julie Gafkay, told ABC:

"She was very upset because she is a good nurse. There's no reason she should be excluded from caring for [her other] patient. She was segregated based solely on her race."

The patient was "lucid enough to make a racist comment in saying that she didn't want a black bitch caring for her." Lucid patients that refuse a doctors care are not brought a series of new doctors until they find one they like. They are categorized as refusing medical care.

Gafkay continued:

"She is standing up against racism when work discrimination is in the work place. Her hope is that this doesn't happen to another caregiver."


When ABC reached out to Beaumont hospital, they issued this official statement:

"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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