The parents of “Jeopardy!” champ Brayden Smith have sued a Las Vegas-area hospital where their son died following abdominal surgery in February 2021, accusing its staff of negligent medical malpractice.
Deborah and Scott Smith, the mom and dad of the 24-year-old who won the iconic game show five consecutive times, filed their lawsuit Monday, naming defendants as St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena Campus in Henderson, Nevada; hospital corporation Dignity Health; and several medical staffers, FOX 5 of Las Vegas reported.
“This case is not just about death — Brayden suffered before he died because the hospital, its nurses, and the home health nurse failed to teach and take care of this young man with a new ostomy,” the parents’ attorney, Robert Murdock, said in a statement.
On Jan. 15, 2021, the 2020 graduate of UNLV who planned to attend law school and become a lawyer for the government, underwent a colectomy — a colon removal surgery — after suffering from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease.
“His death was preordained by the misconduct of doctors and nurses,” the new lawsuit, which names several doctors and nurses individually, states, according to CBS News. “None of this had to be.”
A doctor, hired by Murdock to provide expertise, added in court documents: “By the time Brayden was in the hospital in December of 2020 and January of 2021, Brayden was malnourished, was extremely weak, and was a very ill young man … He was having over 10 bloody bowel movements per day, was in pain and was tachycardic.”
A spokesperson for the hospital said CBS that the lawsuit was being reviewed and administrators could not comment on pending litigation.
Smith was hospitalized for days at the southern Nevada hospital prior to his death on Feb. 5, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported at the time.
He had gained national fame as a champion competitor during Alex Trebek’s final episodes before the beloved host lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Smith, who was described in his obituary as “a lover of knowledge and an advocate for justice,” won five games in a row and more than $115,000 during his stint on the show, which was taped in October 2020.
“The ‘Jeopardy!’ family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith,” the show said in a statement back in February. “He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed.”