The Four Tops singer is suing the hospital after they didn’t believe he was in the group

  • The lead singer of the band Four Tops is filing a lawsuit against Ascension Macomb Oakland Hospital
  • Alexander Morris, who joined the legendary Motown group in 2019, claims staff called him “delusional” and denied him medical care.
  • He claims he was restrained for an hour and a half and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation

Four Tops lead singer Alexander Morris has sued a Michigan hospital for racial discrimination, alleging that staff called him “delusional” and denied him medical care after he told them he was a member of the legendary Motown group.

Morris, 53, filed a complaint against Ascension Macomb Oakland Hospital in Warren on June 10 seeking more than $75,000 and a jury trial following the April 2023 incident, according to documents obtained by PEOPLE.

He was allegedly restrained for an hour and a half and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation because hospital staff “wrongly assumed he was mentally ill when he revealed his celebrity identity.”

The hospital, a nurse and a security guard are listed as defendants, although the security guard appears to have died in September, according to an obituary. Morris’ attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on the defendant’s death.

“The health, safety and well-being of our patients, colleagues and community members remains our top priority,” an Ascension spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement. “We do not condone racial discrimination of any kind, and will not comment on pending lawsuits.”

Morris, who has a history of heart disease, says in the complaint that he was taken to a hospital emergency room after experiencing chest pains and difficulty breathing while on tour with his band.

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Alexander Morris (second from left) performing with the Four Tops in September 2022.

Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Upon arrival, he told staff that he was a member of the Four Tops, and had “current security concerns due to stalkers and fans.” The complaint says staff did not believe him, turned off his oxygen and performed a psychological evaluation instead of the emergency medical treatment he needed.

Morris says his requests for oxygen were “ignored,” and he was placed in a straitjacket. When he asked to have his handcuffs removed so he could leave and get treatment at another hospital, his request was denied, according to the complaint. He also claims the late security guard, who is white, asked him to “sit on his black ass” when he asked if he could show ID to prove his identity.

Eventually, Morris’ wife came to the hospital, and he told her that “doctors thought he was delusional,” the complaint says. Although his wife confirmed his identity, employees only believed him when he showed a video of himself performing at the Grammy Awards.

At that point, the psychological evaluation was canceled and the restraint vest was removed, the complaint says.

Morris was then re-oxygenated and was eventually diagnosed with a myocardial infarction that may require a heart transplant and pneumonia. He also had three seizures that day, according to the complaint.

The singer says he was offered a $25 gift card to a local department store as an “apology,” but he declined the gift.

“When our client presented to the hospital, he was racially profiled. The hospital staff and security guard were quick to assume that Mr. Morris was psychotic than successful because he was a black man,” his attorneys Morris Davis and Jasmine Rand said in a statement to PEOPLE. “He was mentally ill. He was still in the middle of an apparent medical emergency that required immediate medical intervention and the hospital had no excuse to deny him emergency medical treatment.”

Morris joined the Four Tops, known for 1960s hits like “I Can’t Help Myself” and “Baby I Need Your Loving,” in 2019.

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