The parents of five-time “Jeopardy!” champion Brayden Smith filed a lawsuit against a Las Vegas-area hospital Monday over the death of their 24-year-old son.
Smith died on Feb. 5, 2021, after succumbing to complications from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, after undergoing a colectomy — a colon removal surgery — at the St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena Campus in Henderson, Nevada, on Jan. 15, 2021, CBS Las Vegas reported.
His parents, Scott and Deborah Smith, alleged negligence and medical malpractice against the hospital, its corporation Dignity Health, and a handful of individual staffers in a 14-page civil complaint seeking punitive damages greater than $15,000 and an unspecified amount in compensatory damages, The Associated Press reported.
The suit alleges that Smith’s death was “preordained” by the medical staffs’ lack of standard care by not providing “heparin or anticoagulants” in the aftermath of the surgery, according to the CBS Las Vegas. The parents said their son also developed “pulmonary emboli” which reportedly led to his death. (RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’ Reacts To Champion Brayden Smith’s Death At 24)
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“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,” Robert Murdock, the parents’ attorney, alleged in a statement, the AP reported.
A doctor hired by the couple’s attorney said the medical staff “dropped the ball,” inevitably leading to Smith’s death, describing his deteriorating health conditions on arrival to the hospital in the suit, CBS reported.
“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,” the doctor said. “He was having over 10 bloody bowel movements per day, was in pain and was tachycardic.”
Smith won five games in a row and earned nearly $116,000 as a contestant on the popular game show in October 2020. “Jeopardy!” mourned the loss of the 24-year-old champion in a February statement.
“The JEOPARDY! family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith. He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed,” the statement read.