Four Tops singer sues hospital ‘for putting him in straightjacket’ when he claimed he was famous

Alexander Morris alleges that staff at a Michigan hospital denied him care and subjected him to unnecessary psychiatric treatment

Nicole Vassell
Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:25
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Singer Alexander Morris is suing a Michigan hospital after he was allegedly restrained and accused of being “delusional” when they didn’t believe that he was the lead vocalist of the R&B and soul band, The Four Tops.

Morris has been a part of the Motown group since 2018, singing alongside founding member Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Ronnie McNeir, and Lawrence Payton Jr.

In legal documents filed on Monday (10 June), Morris claims he was denied the correct care during a visit to Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Warren, Michigan in April 2023.

Morris, 53, claims that he had been rushed to the hospital after he began experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath, due to his history with heart disease.

The complaint, however, alleges that medical workers stopped providing him with oxygen and subjected him to unnecessary psychiatric measures after Morris told them that he had “current security concerns due to stalkers and fans”.

After explaining that he was a member of The Four Tops, known for songs such as “Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” and “Baby I Need Your Loving”, Morris claims that employees called him “delusional” and placed him in a straitjacket, having “wrongfully assumed he was mentally ill when he revealed his identity as a celebrity figure”.

It is claimed that Morris asked to have the jacket removed so that he could leave and find a different hospital that would treat him, but was denied.

The lawsuit says that after a nurse finally believed Morris’s identity, the psychiatric test was cancelled and the hospital offered a $25 (£19) gift card as an apology, which Morris allegedly refused.

According to the filing, seen by People magazine, Morris is seeking compensation of at least $75,000 and requesting a trial by jury.

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The Four Tops (L-R): Lawrence Payton, Alexander Morris, Ronnie McNeir, and Abdul 'Duke' Fakir
The Four Tops (L-R): Lawrence Payton, Alexander Morris, Ronnie McNeir, and Abdul 'Duke' Fakir (Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Morris, who is Black, is suing the hospital, along with a nurse and a security guard involved in the alleged incident, for racial discrimination and other misconduct.

However, the security guard is said to have died in September.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Ascension hospital group said: “The health, safety and well-being of our patients, associates and community members remains our top priority.

“We remain committed to honouring 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.”

The Four Tops were founded in 1953 and went on to become one of the most successful American pop groups of the 1960s. Alongside groups such as The Temptations and The Supremes, The Four Tops are one of the central bands that propelled the Motown label to international recognition.

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