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Lawsuit claims Michigan hospital granted father's request for no black nurses

Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Mich.WJBK

An African-American nurse claims that a Michigan hospital agreed to a man's request that no black nurses care for his newborn.

Tonya Battle, 49, who is African American, said officials at Hurley Medical Center in Flint fulfilled a father's request last October that only white nurses take care of his white child.

According to Battle's lawsuit, filed last month in Genesee Circuit Court, the nurse found a note prominently posted on the patient's file that read: "No African-American nurse to take care of baby."

Documents uncovered by WNEM-TV show 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, Fox affiliate WJBK-TV reported.

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

Battle wants punitive damages.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.