Four Tops Member Sues: Hospital Thought I Was Crazy

Alexander Morris alleges Michigan facility had him restrained when he told them he sang with group
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2024 11:32 AM CDT
Updated Jun 16, 2024 7:20 AM CDT
Four Tops' Member Sues Hospital, Alleges Bizarre Mixup
Roquel Payton, left, Alexander Morris, Ronnie McNeir, and Duke Fakir of the Four Tops perform at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in 2022 in Indianapolis.   (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

A relatively new member of the legendary MoTown group the Four Tops is suing a Michigan hospital over treatment he deems racist. The most unusual part of Alexander Morris' lawsuit is that it alleges hospital staffers thought he was mentally ill when he informed them he sang with the group, reports the BBC. In fact, the suit alleges that security staffers at Ascension Macomb Oakland Hospital in Detroit placed him in a restraining jacket, and a white security guard ordered him to "sit his Black a-- down" when he continued to object, per the Detroit News.

Morris, 53, went to the hospital in April 2023 with "clear symptoms of cardiac distress," the lawsuit states. After he informed a nurse that he was concerned about security because he was a member of the famous group, a doctor ordered a psychological evaluation and had him restrained. He remained in the jacket for about 90 minutes, being released only after he was allowed to show a nurse a video of him singing with the group, per the Washington Post. Morris joined the group—known for classics such as "I'll Be There"—in 2019; three of its original four members have died.

Morris was eventually diagnosed with a heart condition and pneumonia, according to the lawsuit, in which he seeks $75,000 in damages. Morris "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," per the suit. The hospital would not comment on the specifics but said, "We do not condone racial discrimination of any kind." (More Four Tops stories.)

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