Maryland moviegoers may remember that Bill Paxton starred in big box office blockbusters such as “Twister,” “Titanic” and “Aliens” throughout his career. He also graced the small screen in television shows such as “Big Love,” which aired on HBO. He died on Feb. 25, 2017, just days after undergoing a surgical procedure on his heart at the age of 61. Now, his family has filed a lawsuit claiming that medical malpractice took his life.
The family alleges that the surgeon failed to disclose all of the potential risks involved in the operation to them or Paxton. Moreover, they claim that the surgeon was not qualified to perform the unconventional and highly risky procedure. Even though his official cause of death is listed as a stroke after heart surgery, the family believes that his death could have been prevented.
Allegedly, the surgeon’s lack of experience reportedly led to post-surgical complications that led to the stroke. The lawsuit not only involves the surgeon, but also the hospital where the operation took place, Cedars-Sinai. The family says that the trust they and Paxton placed in the hospital staff and the surgeon was betrayed. However, it may be up to the courts to determine whether Paxton’s medical care fell below the accepted standards of care.
Paxton’s family could have a long road ahead of them since medical malpractice lawsuits are notoriously challenging. The level of medical expertise required in many cases alone can make these cases problematic. This is due, at least in part, to the need to differentiate between unfortunate circumstances and medical error. Anyone in Maryland believing that a medical mistake took the life of a loved one may find it comforting to know that they do not have to go through this process alone.
Source: CNN, “Bill Paxton’s family files wrongful death suit“, Sandra Gonzalez, Accessed on March 4, 2018