The former game show contestant died in February 2021 following colon removal surgery, according to court documents.
Brayden Smith
Parents of late Jeopardy contestant Brayden Smith sue Las Vegas hospital after his death
| Credit: jeopardy/youtube

The parents of a late Jeopardy contestant are suing a Nevada hospital and nursing services company for alleged medical malpractice.

On Monday, Scott and Deborah Smith had filed a lawsuit against St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena Campus in Henderson, Dignity Health and Fidelity Home Health Services, in addition to multiple doctors and nurses, following their son Brayden Smith's death in February 2021 after colon removal surgery. He was 24.

The defendants have been accused of medical malpractice and negligence in relation to their handling of a January 2021 surgery to remove Brayden's colon. The five-time Jeopardy champion had been suffering from ulcerative colitis for an undisclosed amount of time.

"His last days were a nightmare," the lawsuit states. "His death was preordained by the misconduct of doctors and nurses. None of this had to be."

Robert Murdock, an attorney for Smith's parents, said in a statement to PEOPLE, "This lawsuit will shine a light not only on why Brayden unnecessarily died last year, but also on the failure to properly manage and teach about a new Ostomy. Moreover, though Brayden was a private person, the evidence will show the sheer hell he went through."

Murdock added, "With Brayden's sense of advocating for justice, we look forward to litigating this case." 

Dignity Health spokesman Gordon Absher told FOX 5 Vegas and KTNV that the company was "reviewing the case but do not comment on pending litigation."

Dignity Health did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment.

According to the complaint, Brayden underwent colon removal surgery at St. Rose Dominican on Jan. 15, 2021. One doctor, hired as an expert by Murdock and who reviewed Brayden's medical records, testified in court documents that Brayden "was a very ill young man" while hospitalized between December 2020 and January 2021, noting he was "malnourished" and "extremely weak" at the time.

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Brayden returned home on Jan. 19, but was back in the hospital three weeks later after he collapsed, per court docs. The former Jeopardy contestant died on Feb. 5 due to blood clots in the lungs, the documents state.

However, the lawsuit alleges that Brayden was never given Heparin or another anticoagulant, drugs used to prevent blood clots in the lungs after such a surgery.

"This surgery happens every day in hospitals across the country. Every day. And patients are taught properly, and they go on and lead extremely productive lives," Murdock told KTNV.

Now, the Smiths are suing for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages greater than $15,000, per court docs.

Brayden, who earned $115,798 during his run on Jeopardy, was one of the final contestants to film with late host Alex Trebek, who died in November 2020 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Trebek was 80.

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