The family of actor Bill Paxton has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the surgeon and hospital in Los Angeles that were involved in doing Paxton's heart surgery that is believed to have triggered his lethal stroke. According to a report in the Bay Area News Group, the 61-year-old actor died from complications after the surgical procedure about a year ago. His surviving family members filed the lawsuit against the surgeon and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The lawsuit alleges that the surgeon performed an improper surgery that led to the actor's death and that the hospital also played a part in the complications that led to Paxton's fatal stroke.
Allegations of Medical Negligence
The official cause of the actor's death was listed as a “stroke,” which he suffered 11 days after the surgery. The actor underwent the procedure on Feb. 14, 2017 to replace a heart valve and repair an aortic aneurysm, a condition where there is a bulge in the aorta, which is the largest blood vessel in the body. This type of bulge in the aorta could potentially lead to a fatal rupture. The condition is believed to have resulted from a heart condition, which Paxton said, originated from an illness he suffered as a child.
USC's Center for Health Journalism reported that individuals with the type of heart valve condition that Paxton had, often have aortic aneurysms. The report also said the surgery Paxton underwent likely caused a blood clot to form and travel to the brain, resulting in his stroke. The USC report pointed out that these types of risks should be discussed with patients before surgery. The lawsuit filed by Paxton's family states that the hospital and the surgeon “misrepresented or concealed” information about the risks of the surgery and that they did not properly explain the risks linked to this type of a surgical approach.
The lawsuit also alleged that the surgeon who performed the procedure did not have the necessary experience to perform it. In addition, the lawsuit said the surgeon failed to arrange for Paxton's continuing treatment and care and wasn't there to manage the complications he suffered. The surgeon left his position at the hospital soon after the actor's passing.
Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death
When a person dies in the care of a doctor or hospital due to medical negligence, the decedent's surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death against those parties. In such cases, the plaintiff must prove that the decedent did not receive the standard of care and that the death occurred as a direct result of the actions of the physician, hospital and/or other medical staff who were involved in the patient's care.
Medical malpractice cases can be complicated and challenging because they require not just evidence in the form of medical records and documentation, but also the testimony of experts in the medical field who can help corroborate the evidence. If you have lost a loved one as a result of medical negligence, please contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer who can help fight for your rights.