A member of the iconic Motown group The Four Tops is suing a Michigan hospital for racial discrimination, alleging that staff assumed he was delusional when he told them he was in the group and putting him in a straitjacket, believing him to be mentally ill when he had presented at the ER for chest pains.

Alexander Morris, who joined the quartet in 2018, arrived at Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Warren, Michigan in April, 2023 with “clear symptoms of cardiac distress.” After being placed on oxygen, Morris told a nurse and a security guard that he was a member of the Four Tops and had security concerns thanks to stalkers and fans. But they didn’t believe him, and instead ordered a psychological evaluation and restrained him for at least an hour and a half.

In the lawsuit, Morris accuses the hospital, the nurse and the security guard of negligence, racial discrimination, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In a statement released by his lawyers, Morris said, “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 receive no help from the doctors and nurses because of the color of my skin. Racial profiling nearly cost me my life.”

Morris was eventually diagnosed with a heart infarction that may require a transplant, pneumonia, and also suffered three seizures during his hospitalization.

In his statement, Morris said, “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.’ I filed the lawsuit to hold the hospital accountable for the way I was treated and to protect the younger generations from racism in health care.”

As an apology for how he was treated, Morris was offered a $25 gift card to Meijer, which he refused.

A spokesperson for the hospital said in a statement made this week, “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 remains our top priority. We remain committed to honoring human dignity and acting with integrity and compassion for all persons and the community.”