Four Tops Singer Sues Hospital for Profiling Him and Ordering Psych Eval

When Alexander Morris said he was a member of the legendary vocal group, he alleges they didn’t believe him and took him off oxygen

The Four Tops, with Alex Morris taking the lead, on Feb. 3, 2023 during MusiCares Persons of the Year Honoring Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Alexander Morris sued a Michigan hospital and two staff members who, according to the Four Tops singer, didn’t believe him when he said he was a member of the legendary Motown group and ordered a psychological evaluation.

Morris said that he was racially profiled and/or profiled due to a perceived mental disability after arriving at the emergency room. He was taken off of oxygen and a white security guard told him to “sit his Black ass down” at one point, according to the lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court and reviewed by TheWrap.

In April 2023, Morris was transported to Ascension Macomb Oakland Hospital’s ER in an ambulance as he faced difficulty breathing and chest pain, according to the suit. He was on oxygen and had a history of heart disease, but after he shared that he was a member of the Four Tops with the doctor, the decision was made to remove him from oxygen and seek a psych evaluation.

He was later diagnosed with a heart attack that could require a transplant, as well as pneumonia. He also had three seizures while at the hospital.

When he arrived at the ER, Morris told a nurse and security guard that he was a member of the Four Tops and had security concerns due to stalkers and fans, according to the suit. Morris alleges that he was subsequently “racially profiled” and/or profiled “based upon a perceived disability” by nurse Holly Jackson, security guard Greg Ciesielski and ER doctor Brandon Harris Fishman. The suit notes that Ciesielski and Fishman are white, with Jackson and Ciesielski as named defendants along with the hospital.

“The health, safety and well-being of our patients, associates and community members remains our top priority,” an Ascension spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap. “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.”

An order was placed for a psychological evaluation for Morris because they didn’t believe he was a singer or member of the Four Tops, the suit notes. Fishman interviewed Morris and the singer told the doctor of his difficulty breathing and chest pain.

The defendants and Fishman “wrongfully assumed he was mentally ill when he revealed his identity as a celebrity figure. Defendants and/or Brandon Harris Fishman, DO made the decision to remove him from oxygen and pursue a psychiatric evaluation instead despite his clear symptoms of cardiac distress and significant medical history.”

When Morris asked if he could prove his identity by showing his ID card, the security guard ordered him to “sit his Black ass down,” according to the suit — it states that Morris had valid ID on him and could easily have been identified as a member of the group.

“None of the nursing staff intervened to stop the racial discrimination and mistreatment of Plaintiff,” the suit states. “Plaintiff told medical staff he was having difficulty breathing and asked for the oxygen back but was ignored.”

The doctor “ordered a psychological evaluation for Plaintiff instead of ordering the emergency medical treatment he needed,” the suit states.

When he tried to leave, he was told he was not free to do so, with the suit alleging that he was falsely imprisoned. Several security guards were called and surrounded Morris.

“During this time his medical condition continuously declined and he was denied the medical treatment he desperately needed,” the suit continues. “During this entire incident Plaintiff was not being treated for his medical emergency, namely a severe heart condition and pneumonia.”

When his wife arrived, he explained to her that they believed he was delusional, according to the suit. She confirmed that he was a member of the Four Tops but he continued to be held in restraints. After Morris offered to show a nurse a video of him performing at the Grammys, the nurse realized that he was telling the truth and informed the doctor, who canceled the psych eval.

His restraint jacket was removed after an hour and a half and he was placed back on oxygen. After his identity was established, the suit adds, he was offered a $25 gift card to Meijers as an apology. Morris declined the gift card.

Another security guard later contacted Morris and told him that guard Ciesielski had made racist comments and jokes to coworkers about Black people and “frequently used excessive force with patients.” The other guard also alleged that he witnessed employees tamper with the internal incident report about what happened with Morris.

Morris is the newest member of the group after joining in 2019. The group’s hit songs include “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch),” “Baby I Need Your Loving” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There.” Just one member of the original Four Tops, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, remains a member, following the deaths of the other three.

Comments

2 responses to “Four Tops Singer Sues Hospital for Profiling Him and Ordering Psych Eval”

  1. Renee Lovelace Avatar
    Renee Lovelace

    WHY do white folks hate us so much? Just, WHY?

    1. S. Nolte Avatar
      S. Nolte

      Yes a lot of white people do hate black people. I don’t know why, they’re just disgusting racists. This story is absolutely awful and after a 30 year career in nursing I am sad to say these things happen far more often to black patients. It is wrong and it is evil. 

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