SEATTLE (AP) _ Nine workers are suing Western State Hospital, saying their bosses illegally accommodated a violent patient's request to be cared for by only white security attendants.

The plaintiffs say that after a patient with a history of attacking hospital workers requested only white security attendants, managers agreed, and hospital executives declined to investigate when the workers complained about the policy.

A spokesman for the Department of Social and Health Services, which runs the hospital and is named as a defendant in the federal lawsuit filed Thursday, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The lawsuit says that last month a nurse left a shift note declaring “No Blacks No Joey to F8'' _ meaning that neither blacks nor Asian Filipino plaintiff Joey Lopez should be assigned to the patient's ward.

Another nurse says that when she refused to comply with that directive, she was ordered to send the lightest-skinned of three minority attendants to care for the patient.