From “Aliens” and “Twister” to “Apollo 13” and “The Terminator,” Bill Paxton spent his life leaving a legacy most actors can only dream of.
However, the news of his death in February of 2017 shook family, friends, and fans of the beloved actor, who was 61 years old. He left behind Louise Newbury, his wife of 30 years, and his children Lydia and James Paxton.
Trouble first began when Paxton underwent heart surgery — a complicated procedure to repair an aortic aneurysm and replace his bicuspid aortic valve.
Nearly two weeks later, however, he was back in the hospital after suffering a stroke that ultimately took his life.
And now, almost a year after his death, Paxton’s family plans to seek justice for what they believe was a form of malpractice.
Just last week, Louise and Paxton’s two children brought on the wrongful death lawsuit against the surgeon, Ali Khoynezhad, who performed Paxton’s surgery, as well as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which oversaw the operation.
The filing claims that the surgeon failed to disclose to family members just how risky the surgical technique actually was and that it was “unconventional.”
To make matters worse, the file alleges that Khoynezhad lacked the proper amount of experience to perform such an operation and that it was “beyond the scope of his (hospital) privileges.”
The suit also claims that Cedars-Sinai knew Khoynezhad practiced procedures in such a way, often engaging in “maverick surgeries” and showing “suboptimal judgment.”
“Bill Paxton and his family trusted the physicians and staff at this medical facility but instead Cedars-Sinai betrayed their trust,” said Bruce Broillet, the family’s attorney, in a statement. “The surgeon’s actions resulted in this tragic and preventable death.”
According to the family, Khoynezhad had not even been in the operating room as complications from the surgery arose — including excessive bleeding, shock, and ventricular dysfunction.
As the complications continued, the family states the surgeon failed again in his response, neglecting his duty in providing continuing care and delaying treatment by not returning to the OR right away, which resulted in even more cardiac damage.
The result, according to the lawsuit, was another emergency surgery for the 61-year-old actor in order to repair what had been negligently damaged.
Thereafter, Paxton’s condition continued in a downward spiral until he passed away 10 days later.
And though the lawsuit is sure to bring on a new set of grievances, James has taken to his father’s career and will be following in Paxton’s footsteps to become an actor, with a series of projects already underneath his belt. And his father’s legacy and advice will never be forgotten.
“I’m very blessed to have him as my father, he’s shared so much wisdom with me. I look up so much to him and I think family business stuff is awesome,” James said. “One thing my dad taught me is I learn everybody’s name on a film set, everybody, as fast as I can. You become this crazy kind of weird family. That’s something that I learned and I think it’s very important.”
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