The Michigan Supreme Court overturned a summary judgment against a black doctor who claimed that Oakwood Hospital-Seaway Center discriminated against him when he exercised staff privileges there.
The doctor alleged that the hospital’s chief of staff and several physicians unfairly subjected him to charges of unprofessional behavior and administrative hearings to try to drive him out of the facility.
The doctor sued under a provision of the Michigan Civil Rights Act that guarantees the public full use of all public facilities. The hospital argued that in his professional capacity, the doctor does not qualify as a member of the public. But the state Supreme Court disagreed.
The case provides an avenue for workers who are not employees to claim race discrimination when working in public facilities.