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Lawsuit: Race-based request sidelined Michigan nurse


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#31 MadHatter

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:34 PM

I wish I could say I was surprised by these responses, lol the huddle.

"Oh it's just some everyday racism, that black woman doesn't deserve any money. Tell her to go home."


Please explain why you think she deserves a big payday from this?



#32 Happy Panther

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:46 PM

So are you saying the hospital did not actively facilitate the racism in question?


The question is whether facilitating racism is a crime in this case.

#33 TheRed

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:22 PM

Please explain why you think she deserves a big payday from this?


That's up to the courts to decide.

People sue and occasionally win for far more unjust and frivolous matters on a daily basis.

The question is whether facilitating racism is a crime in this case.


Since when is discrimination in the workplace based upon ones race not against the law?

#34 Happy Panther

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:27 PM

Since when is discrimination in the workplace based upon ones race not against the law?


It probably is. But the quote was "facilitating racism."

There has to be intent and damages and other stuff as we have discussed.

Just being racist isn't usually a crime in this country.

#35 PhillyB

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

smoots hit the nail on the head. extenuating circumstances aside, the hospital refused to let her do a job she was qualified to do based on race (and thus kowtowing to a complete fuging asshole.) i'm not going to say the administrators realized this is precisely what they were doing (they probably saw it as simply diffusing an ugly situation with the most immediately easy solution) but that doesn't excuse what it was.

#36 TheRed

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

It probably is. But the quote was "facilitating racism."

There has to be intent and damages and other stuff as we have discussed.

Just being racist isn't usually a crime in this country.


Refer to the note on the medical chart stating no care from blacks allowed. That isn't intent or enabling of racism?

The father didn't write that, and he didn't physically force anyone in the hospital to participate in that.

You can bet some people are going to lose their jobs over this. No company will tolerate that poo because they don't want lawsuits, the discrimination kind especially.

#37 pstall

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:47 PM

ironically with some karma mixed in. this dude is probably going to make her alot of money and she will transfer and keep being a nurse.

so many biz's fall over themselves to AVOID even the mere threat of a lawsuit.

#38 carpantherfan84

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:35 PM

No. What they did is try to avoid making an already bad situation worse.

You're already dealing with an off-kilter individual. Who's to say if you tell him the nurse is still gonna work with his kid that he doesn't wait in the parking lot and assault her (or worse)?

Hospitals quite often have to deal with people who are not all there. Sometimes that means doing things they might not want to in order to keep things from escalating. What happened in this story is exactly that kind of situation.

Again, take a look at HPs post above and tell me if you can make a legal justification for damages.

Whether or not you agree with the result, the hospital was trying to do the right thing in a lousy situation. Having to accommodate a nimrod like this guy sucks, but anybody who works with the public can tell you it happens, and sometimes there's not a thing you can do about it.

It's a crappy story, but tons of crappy stories happen every day. Not all of them are grounds for lawsuits. This is one of them that just isn't.

And sad to say, as far as the one guy in this who does actually deserve to pay some kind of penalty, there's no standing there either. You can't sue somebody for being an ass.



Im just curious and I mean no insult but my question is, do you agree with the hospital? Or rather would you have done the same thing? I ask because I am trying to understand your point of view and I cant seem to follow.

I guess philosophically you have to decide if the business has a greater responsibility to its employees or to the patients. The customer is always right and all that. I mean hospitals always give you the room you want, or the doctor you want. They bend over backwards to ensure that the remote is always within arm distance and you never have to wait for a nurse to answer your page when you want a glass of water or a fluffy new pillow. Hospitals have the BEST customer service in the world!!!! I think you get my point.

Racism has a torrid history in this country and because of that there have been laws made specifically to cover it. In the case of civil suits the jury will have a lot of freedom to decide what is proper compensation but there can be no doubt that the hospital made a decision that goes against acceptable business practices when it comes to racists. The bottom line is that racism is not a protected point of view in public places. The fact that they honestly made this concession is appalling considering the unscrupulous practices that are normal in a hospital.

#39 Mr. Scot

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:31 PM

Got the chance tonight to run this story past a lady who's been a nurse for over 20 years to get her opinion.

Her response: Hospitals consider that every patient or patient representative (such as a family member) has a right to have a say in how they're cared for.

I asked "does it have to be a reasonable request to be honored?" She said no, it doesn't. Whatever requests they make, a hospital will attempt to honor as long as it's possible to do so. The only occasion where it might be denied would be if it were something that might actually be detrimental to the patient's treatment.

In her experience, she's seen a lot of off the wall requests, though she could remember very few being race-based.

The most frequent request? She said it was very common for Muslim men to insist that only female medical personnel be allowed to touch their wives. Male doctors or nurses may treat them, she said, but only if they do not touch them. I asked if some had also requested that no Jewish personnel be assigned to their family members, and she said yes, she'd heard that before too, though not as frequently.

One patient she remembered actually took their wife out of the hospital as they were waiting for a procedure because they found out the only anesthetist available was a male, and they refused to allow this (she didn't specify whether this person was Muslim or whatever).

Her opinion of the lawsuit? "Worthless" she said. The patient / patient's family is allowed to have a say in their care, even if the person in question happens to be stupid. She also agreed that consideration would be given as to whether not granting the request might provoke trouble from the patient or their family, and said such situations would be avoided as much as possible.

So were they right to do this? It's a no-win for the hospital honestly. The best summary I could give you is that the request itself was wrong, but the hospital choosing to honor it rather than to provike the guy over it was indeed the best course of action.

And I'm with HP on the outcome. She'll likely either get nothing or a very small settlement. The hospital can rightly say that no actual harm came to the nurse (but there might have been if the situation had become tense) and that they were honoring a patient's right to have a say in their care, ignorant though it might be.

Bottom Line: The husband was wrong (and an idiot) and he's the bad guy here, not the hospital. The hospital made the best decision they could given the circumstances. The only negative that befell the nurse was hurt feelings, and you can't really claim damages based solely on that.

#40 TheRed

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:19 PM

Oh how fascinating Mr. Scot, where did this nurse you know get her law degree from?


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