The Lead Singer Of Legendary Motown Group Four Tops Sues Michigan Hospital For Racial Discrimination


Pedro Becerra / Contributor / Getty Images

Alexander Morris, the lead singer of the acclaimed Motown Group the Four Tops, has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against a Michigan hospital. The 53-year-old alleges that hospital staff at Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital thought he was “delusional” when he said he was a member of the group and placed him in a straightjacket.

The sultry crooner, whose medical history includes cardiac disease, a defibrillator, and stents, was transported to the emergency room in an ambulance in April of 2023 after presenting with difficulty breathing and chest pain and placed on oxygen.

A lawsuit filed June 10 alleges that after arriving, “he told a nurse and security guard that he was a member of the Four Tops and was concerned about stalkers and fans, the suit says. However, the workers didn’t believe him, and a doctor ordered a psychological evaluation and put him into a restraining jacket and removed his oxygen and his belongings,” CBS News reports.

Morris pulled out his identification to verify who he was; the security guard purportedly ordered him to “sit his Black a** down,” per the suit.

The singer requested medical care as he was still having difficulty breathing and re-requested his oxygen, but Morris claims his pleas for help were ignored. He tried to leave and seek care at another hospital, asking for the straightjacket to be removed, but this query also went unheeded. Allegedly, staff told him “he couldn’t leave.” Furthermore, he was continually denied care even though he was surrounded by security guards who were ensuring that he could not leave hospital premises.

According to the lawsuit, the hospital “blatantly refused to provide Plaintiff with medical treatment due to his race and/or perceived mental disability…Instead, Plaintiff received a deliberate misdiagnosis and received a lower standard of medical care based on his race that amounted to racial discrimination and delayed his actual diagnosis.”

When Morris’ wife arrived, hospital workers informed her about her husband’s delusions, and she confirmed with a security guard that Morris was a member of the Four Tops. But, still no one believed their story until Morris showed a video performance from the Grammy Awards to a nurse.

Maurice Davis, attorney for Morris spoke with CNN saying how his client was enduring “a clear medical emergency where he’s having chest pain, he has a history of heart problems, a history of strokes.  A situation like that calls for swift medical intervention.”

This entire confrontation reportedly lasted for approximately 90 minutes. After realizing their mistake, he was offered a $25 gift card to a grocery store “as an apology for the dehumanization and discrimination he faced at the hands of the hospital,” which Morris refused to accept.

Following the incident, another security guard from the hospital told Morris that the main guard he had been interacting with has made racist comments in the past to his coworkers and “‘frequently’ used excessive force with hospital patients.”

In a statement a spokesperson for the hospital said, “The health, safety and well-being of our patients, associates and community members remains our top priority…We remain committed to honoring human dignity and acting with integrity and compassion for all persons and the community. We do not condone racial discrimination of any kind. We will not comment on pending litigation.”

Morris is seeking “more than $75,000 in damages at a jury trial,” in his lawsuit, which “alleges racial discrimination, violation of civil rights, negligence, gross negligence, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.”

In a statement, Morris said, “I see all of these posts on social media like ‘driving while black,’ ‘walking while black,’ but I never imagined I would become a victim of ‘being sick while Black,’…I filed the lawsuit to hold the hospital accountable for the way I was treated and to protect the younger generations from racism in healthcare.”



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