Trevor Noah Sues Orthopedic Surgeon and NYC Hospital for Alleged Negligence

Trevor Noah filed a lawsuit claiming he has suffered "severe emotional distress and great physical pain" as a result of the alleged negligence of an orthopedic surgeon and a New York City hospital.

By Samantha Schnurr Dec 20, 2021 6:01 PMTags
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Trevor Noah is suing an orthopedic surgeon and the Hospital for Special Surgery, alleging negligence after he underwent an unspecified procedure in November 2020. 

According to legal documents filed in November and obtained by E! News, the Daily Show host was a patient of shoulder, elbow and knee specialist Dr. Riley J. Williams III between August and December 2020, including for surgery, at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. In the complaint filed by Noah's attorneys, the late-night host accused both Williams and the hospital, along with their agents, servants and/or employees, of performing and rendering diagnosis, management, care, treatment and surgery in a "negligent and careless manner," constituting "professional negligence." The lawsuit also claims the defendants were negligent and careless in their alleged failure to treat and care for Noah in a "careful and skillful manner" and allegedly failed to use approved methods in his care, treatment and the surgery performed. 

Among Noah's claims of negligence are failure to diagnose and properly treat his condition, prescribe proper medication, discontinue certain medication and use proper exams to diagnosis his conditions. In the lawsuit, he also claims those involved failed to inform him of the "risks, hazards and alternatives to the treatment and medical care and assistance rendered so that an informed consent to said treatment could be given."

"A reasonably prudent person in the position of the plaintiff," the lawsuit states, "would have refused the treatment rendered, had they been so informed of the risks, hazards and alternatives to the treatment rendered."

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In addition to those claims, Noah's lawsuit also alleges that the Hospital for Special Surgery, "prior to the granting or renewing of privileges or employment of defendants, doctors, nurses and others involved in plaintiff's care, failed to investigate the qualifications, competence, capacity, abilities and capabilities of said defendants, doctors, nurses and other employees and failed to make sufficient inquiry relevant to the capacity, capability, ability and competence of said persons rendering treatment."

Because of this, Noah alleges that he was treated by "physicians, nurses and/or employees" of the Hospital for Special Surgery who "were lacking the requisite skills, abilities, competence and capacity, as a result of which plaintiff sustained injuries and complications," the lawsuit reads.

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According to the court documents, the 37-year-old TV commentator claimed he was "rendered sick, sore lame and disabled" as a result of the alleged negligence, "sustained severe and painful personal injuries; sustained severe nervous shock, mental anguish, severe emotional distress and great physical pain; was confined to bed and home for a long period of time; was compelled to undergo hospital and medical aid, treatment and attention; has suffered loss of enjoyment of life" and "was prevented from engaging in his usual occupation for a long period of time."

"Since some of his injuries are of a permanent nature," the lawsuit claims, "he will continue to suffer similar damages in the future." E! News has reached out to Noah's rep and attorney for further comment as well as Dr. Williams. 

A media spokesperson for The Hospital for Special Surgery told E! News in a statement, "HSS received a complaint filed on behalf of Mr. Trevor Noah. We have shared with Mr. Noah's attorney a detailed rebuttal to the claims, which are meritless. Due to HIPAA we are restricted by law from addressing publicly specific aspects of the treatment of any patient. HSS is committed to excellence in the care we provide to each of the more than 150,000 patients we treat each year. This commitment has made HSS the world's leading academic medical center specialized in musculoskeletal health, consistently ranked #1 in orthopedics globally and nationally."

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