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 lawsuit, filed more than four years ago against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, was set to go to trial next month. But lawyers for Paxton’s 30-year-old wife, Louise, and their two children, James and Lydia, filed a notice with the Los Angeles District Court that they had agreed to settle the case.
“The matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties,” attorneys for plaintiffs Bruce Broillet and Steve Heimberg said in a statement.
The conditions are confidential, the lawyers said. Emails requesting comment from the defendants were not immediately returned. The deal has yet to be approved by a judge.
Paxton, who starred in films such as ‘Apollo 13’, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Aliens’ and on television series including ‘Big Love’, died on February 25, 2017.
The cause was a stroke that came 11 days after surgery to replace a heart valve and repair damage to the aorta, 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 did not have the experience to perform, and that he downplayed the risks of the procedure.
The misguided treatment caused Paxton to suffer excessive bleeding, cardiogenic shock and a compromised coronary artery, the suit claimed, saying Cedars-Sinai knew Khoynezhad had a tendency to “operate out of the ordinary and display sub-optimal judgment”.
The defendants said in court documents that Paxton and his family knew and understood the risks of the procedure, and voluntarily went ahead with the operation. According to the defendants, 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 on the matter.
Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Paxton was one of the busiest actors in the industry from the early 1980s until his death, with nearly 100 credits, including “Twister” and “Weird Science.” He was starring in the CBS drama series “Training Day” when he died.