Alexander Morris of the Four Tops files racial discrimination lawsuit against Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital.

Alexander Morris, lead singer of the legendary Four Tops, has filed a federal lawsuit against Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Warren, Michigan, alleging racial discrimination after staff members assumed he was “delusional” when he claimed he was part of the iconic group and placed him in a straitjacket.

Morris, 53, who joined the Four Tops in 2018, went to the hospital on April 7, 2023, with “clear symptoms of cardiac distress.”

He was experiencing difficulty breathing and chest pain, and was placed on oxygen, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in the Eastern District of Michigan.

However, when he informed a nurse and a security guard in the emergency room about his identity and security concerns due to stalkers and fans, they didn’t believe him.

A doctor ordered a psychological evaluation, and Morris was restrained for at least an hour and a half.

“It was a terrifying experience to be in the middle of a medical emergency, to be placed into restraints, to have my oxygen turned off, my personal effects taken from me, and no help from the doctors and nurses because of the color of my skin. Racial profiling nearly cost me my life,” Morris said in a statement released by his attorneys.

Alexander Morris, who has a “significant known history of cardiac disease” including the placement of stents and a defibrillator, was ultimately diagnosed with a heart infarction that may require a transplant, pneumonia, and suffered three seizures during his hospital stay.

However, his treatment was delayed because hospital staff did not believe he was part of the famed Four Tops group.

After checking in, Morris was allegedly racially profiled by a nurse, a white security guard, and a white male emergency room doctor, who wrongfully assumed he was mentally ill.

They told him he needed a psychological evaluation because they did not believe he was a member of the Four Tops.

The staff removed Morris from oxygen and pursued the psychiatric evaluation, ignoring his symptoms and significant medical history.

The lawsuit claims a security guard was instructed to place Morris in a restraining jacket and remove his belongings.

When Morris asked to prove his identity with his ID card, the security guard allegedly told him to “sit his Black a– down.” Despite this comment, none of the nursing staff intervened.

Alexander Morris’ pleas for help were ignored when he struggled to breathe and requested the restraint device be removed and his belongings returned so he could seek treatment elsewhere.

“He was told he was not free to leave; thus, he was falsely imprisoned and deprived of his personal property. During this time, his medical condition continuously declined and he was denied the medical treatment he desperately needed,” the suit states.

Morris’ wife went to the nursing station to collect his belongings and witnessed the situation.

She informed a security officer of Morris’ identity, and Morris showed a nurse a video of him performing at the Grammys.

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It was then that the nurse realized he was indeed a member of the Four Tops and informed the emergency room doctor, who canceled the psychological evaluation.

The restraining jacket was finally removed, and Morris was placed back on oxygen after being restrained for approximately 90 minutes.

Alexander Morris was offered a $25 gift card to Meijer as an apology, which he refused.

The ordeal delayed Morris’ treatment despite his severe condition and caused him “severe mental and psychological suffering,” the suit says.

It 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. Morris is seeking more than $75,000 in damages at a jury trial.

“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,’” Morris said in his statement. “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.”

An Ascension Hospital spokesperson stated: “We do not condone racial discrimination of any kind. We will not comment on pending litigation. The health, safety, and well-being of our patients, associates, and community members remain our top priority. We remain committed to honoring human dignity and acting with integrity and compassion for all persons and the community.”

Watch the original news report below.

Thank God Mr. Morris survived that absolutely ridiculous and life-threatening ordeal.

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Source: NBC News

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