Skip to main content

Nearly One Year After Jeopardy Champ Brayden Smith's Death, His Parents Are Taking Legal Action

Last year, the Jeopardy! family unexpectedly lost one of its own in former champion Brayden Smith. The young man died in February 2021 at the age of 24 due to complications following abdominal surgery. Now, nearly one year after his death, Smith’s parents are taking legal action against the hospital where he died. According to reports, they’re in the process of suing the medical facility. 

The hospital at the receiving end of the lawsuit is St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena Campus, which is located in Henderson, Nevada. This past Monday, in state court, Deborah and Scott Smith filed against several doctors and nurses and the Dignity Health corporation on the grounds of alleged negligence and malpractice. According to Fox 5 KVVU-TV, the Smiths are aiming to receive $15,000 punitive and compensatory damages, though specific details on those have yet to be shared. 

According to the news outlet, Brayden Smith suffered from ulcerative colitis, which is why he initially underwent surgery in January 2021. However, three weeks after being discharged, he apparently collapsed and was sent back to the hospital, where he died as a result of blood clots in the lungs. The recent lawsuit claims that Smith did not receive anticoagulants shortly after his operation. With this, the doctors and nurses are being accused of failing to meet medical standards of care. 

A spokesman for Dignity Health says that the company was reviewing the case but is not commenting on the litigation. Meanwhile, Robert Murdock, an attorney for the Smith family, released a statement regarding why his clients are seeking legal restitution:

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.

Viewers first began watching Brayden Smith’s Jeopardy! stint back in December 2020, and it didn’t take long for him to make an impression. The Henderson, Nevada native quickly dazzled fans with his vast knowledge and ultimately finished his run with an earned total of $115,798. What made his run even more special was that he appeared during the final episode hosted by Alex Trebek, who sadly died in 2020 following a battle with cancer. Fans enjoyed Smith’s efforts, and many subsequently named him “Alex’s Last Great Champion.” 

After the family publicly confirmed his passing, tributes poured in from Jeopardy! fans and former contestants. James Holzhauer memorialized his fellow game show alum with a social media post and made a donation to a memorial fund for students in Nevada, which was established by the Smiths’. Holzhauer later revealed that over $140,000 in donations had been collected. The game show itself also honored the late competitor during its Tournament of Champions

Few details, other than the ones listed above, have been made available on the lawsuit. At this point, it’s unclear as to when the general public can expect an update on the litigation.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.