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“Jeopardy!” Champ’s Parents Sue Hospital After His Death

“Jeopardy!” Champ’s Parents Sue Hospital After His Death

Before the beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek passed away in 2020, one of the last champions he hosted was Brayden Smith. Smith, a five-time champion from Henderson, Nevada, would win a substantial sum of money as a gameshow champ but would pass away shortly after his stint on the show.

One year after his death, the champ’s parents are alleging wrongful death in a medical malpractice lawsuit against several doctors, nurses, and a healthcare group. They believe that if it weren’t for the actions of these parties, their son would still be alive today.

The Death of Brayden Smith

According to the lawsuit and reports, Brayden Smith, 24, was a young man who suffered from ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation to develop in the inner lining of the large intestine. One way of treating the condition is through surgery.

In January 2021, Brayden underwent surgery to treat his condition. After the surgery, the hospital discharged the young man without incident. However, Brayden would be dead the next month due to a blood clot that developed in his lungs.

Allegations of Medical Malpractice

Brayden’s parents are alleging medical malpractice on the part of various doctors and nurses and the hospital where the operation took place. According to the parents, the doctors and nurses who treated her son failed to meet specific medical standards of care when they did not provide Brayden with anticoagulants shortly after his surgery.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

A wrongful death is a death that occurs due to the negligence, recklessness, or unlawful actions of another. Under Nevada law, the executor of a deceased person’s estate or specific surviving family members are authorized to bring a wrongful death claim. Those specific family members are:

  • The surviving spouse
  • The decedent’s domestic partner
  • The children of the decedent
  • The parents of the decedent if no surviving spouse, partner, or child exists
  • The siblings of the decedent if there is no spouse, children, or parents
  • The next closest family member in the absence of a spouse, partner, children, parents, or siblings

Regarding the final bullet point, stepchildren may also have standing to bring a lawsuit when no other family member exists.


Damages are the various types of compensation involved in wrongful death cases. Both economic and non-economic damages are available and may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages and future earning abilities
  • Health insurance benefits
  • Bills for medical devices and equipment
  • Costs associated with hiring homecare workers
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of benefit to heirs
  • Survivors’ grief

Punitive damages may also be available in wrongful death cases. Punitive damages are awarded when a wrongdoer has engaged in especially bad conduct. In the case of Brayden Smith, the young man’s parents are demanding punitive damages in the amount of $15,000 in addition to the economic and non-economic damages they are seeking.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the time allotted for legal action in a particular circumstance. In wrongful death cases in Nevada, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the victim’s death. If the parents or the executor of the decedent’s estate file a claim after two years, the claim will more than likely be dismissed.

In Brayden Smith’s case, the parents took swift legal action and filed the claim roughly a year after their son passed away. Although they had a year left, filing when they did likely made their case much stronger than if they had waited. Delays have a negative effect on many aspects of a case. For example, delays can cause problems in gathering evidence.

The Rise of a Hometown Hero

Brayden Smith made his debut on “Jeopardy!” in December 2020. From his first day battling others in a contest of knowledge, Brayden’s local community and communities across Nevada followed the young man’s efforts on the show. By the end of his five-day winning streak, Brayden would amass a total of $115,798 in winnings.

The prize money was impressive. But what was perhaps more noteworthy about Brayden’s stint on “Jeopardy!” was that Brayden would be Alex Trebek’s final champion before Trebek left the show and passed away.

Consult with an Attorney Who Cares

If you have lost a loved one due to the actions of another, you deserve to be compensated for your losses.

Silberstein, Awad & Miklos have represented numerous family members of deceased individuals and can potentially help you get justice. Contact our office today to have an experienced wrongful death attorney review your case at no charge.