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Bill Paxton's family settles wrongful death lawsuit with Los Angeles hospital

The suit, filed against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center more than four years ago, had been scheduled to go to trial next month. The terms of the settlement were not released.
MIPTV 2015 in Cannes France
Bill Paxton in Cannes, France, on April 13, 2014.Bebert Bruno / Sipa via AP file
/ Source: Associated Press

The family of the late actor Bill Paxton has agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit against a Los Angeles hospital and the surgeon who performed his heart surgery shortly before he died in 2017, according to a court filing Friday.

The suit, filed against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center more than four years ago, had been scheduled to go to trial next month. But attorneys for Paxton’s wife of 30 years, Louise, and their two children, James and Lydia, filed a notice in Los Angeles Superior Court that they had agreed to settle the case.

“The matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties,” plaintiffs’ lawyers Bruce Broillet and Steve Heimberg said in a statement.

The terms are confidential, the attorneys said. Emails seeking comment from the defendants were not immediately returned. The agreement must still be approved by a judge.

Paxton, who starred in films including “Apollo 13,” “Titanic” and “Aliens” and in television series including “Big Love,” died on Feb. 25, 2017.

The cause was a stroke that came 11 days after surgery to replace a heart valve and repair aorta damage, according to his death certificate.

The lawsuit, filed a year later, alleged that the surgeon, Dr. Ali Khoynezhad, used a “high risk and unconventional surgical approach” that was unnecessary and that he lacked the experience to perform, and that he downplayed the procedure’s risks.

The misguided treatment caused Paxton to suffer excessive bleeding, cardiogenic shock and a compromised coronary artery, the suit alleged, and said that Cedars-Sinai knew that Khoynezhad, tended to “engage in maverick surgeries and show suboptimal judgment.”

The defendants said in court documents that Paxton and his family knew and understood the risks involved in the procedure, and voluntarily went on with the surgery. The defendants’ said there was no negligence that led to his death.

The four-year legal battle was marked by frequent attempts by the Paxton family to extract more discovery evidence from the hospital, and frequent court hearings over the issue.

Paxton, who was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, was among the industry’s busiest actors from the early 1980s until his death, amassing nearly 100 credits, including “Twister” and “Weird Science.” He was starring in the CBS drama series “Training Day” when he died.