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Discrimination case against health care facility dismissed

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Jan 15, 2019 at 9:00 AM

ZEELAND — A federal court case against a Zeeland nursing home has been dismissed.

The lawsuit was filed by seven black female certified nursing assistants who claimed they were racially discriminated against while working at Providence Healthcare, 285 N. State St.

Kimberly French, Gloria Reid, Tiesha Branch, Marquita Mills, Providence Ngoh, Valencia Washington and Latonya Johnson claimed Providence Healthcare management honored patients’ requests for white-only nursing care. They claim they were called racist names by the patients at the elderly care facility and, when the women complained about the caregiver switches, management retaliated against the nursing assistants.

Providence Healthcare was operated by the facility’s parent company, Providence Life Services. Providence Life Services divested from the property after the lawsuit was filed. The nursing home has since been sold to Illuminate HC, another health care company.

Providence Healthcare admitted in court documents that there was an incident in which one of the complainants was called a “black b****” by a cognitively impaired resident, but denied all other claims in the lawsuit.

The nursing assistants were suing for past and future wages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.

However, the case was dismissed last month upon request by the involved parties, and the defendants and plaintiffs are responsible for their own legal fees.

Had the lawsuit proceeded, a jury trial was scheduled for 2020.

A spokesperson for Providence Healthcare refused to comment on the matter as of press time.

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