Beaumont Health is facing a federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by a nurse who says she was told not to care for a patient because of her race.
Teoka Williams works as a Registered Nurse at Beaumont's Dearborn campus. Her lawsuit alleges that while working on the unit on 8 North on October 2, 2017, she overheard a patient say she did not want a "Black B****" taking care of her.
The lawsuit alleges that Williams told the Clinical Manager about the comment and that Clinical Manager then talked to the patient, who told her she did not want Williams to care for her.
The Clinical Manager then allegedly told the patient that she would "move" Williams and that the patient would not have to see her anymore.
The lawsuit alleges that the Clinical Manager then told Williams she was not to go into the patient's room and if either patient in the room needed care a white nurse named Olivia was required to go into the room.
The lawsuit alleges that there were times when the patients in the room needed care and Williams was forbidden from doing so because of her race.
Williams' lawsuit contends that she told Human Resources about the incident and was told that patient requests are honored all the time and that the next time it happened, she would be taken off the assignment altogether.
The lawsuit contends Beaumont violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. It is asking for compensatory and punitive damages, as well as court costs and attorney fees, as well as any other relief that Williams may be entitled under the law.
Beaumont has not yet responded to the complaint. The issued the following statement to 7 Action News:
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.
Read the full complaint below: