The family of actor Bill Paxton has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a Los Angeles hospital and the surgeon who performed his heart surgery shortly before the actor died. According to an NBC Los Angeles news report, the lawsuit was filed against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and alleges that the surgeon used an unconventional surgical approach that is high risk and “unnecessary.” The lawsuit also alleged that he lacked the experience to perform that particular procedure and downplayed the risks.
Complex, High-Risk Procedure
The complaint states the hospital knew that the surgeon in question, Dr. Ali Khonezhad, had the tendency to engage in “maverick surgeries.” According to the lawsuit, the misguided treatment caused the 61-year-old Paxton to suffer excessive bleeding, cardiogenic shock and a compromised coronary artery. His death certificate said he died from a stroke 11 days after surgery to replace a heart valve and repair aorta damage.
The wrongful death lawsuit was brought by Paxton’s widow, Louise, and children, James and Lydia. It seeks unspecified damages and reserves the right to add more defendants who work for the hospital as their roles and names become clear. The surgeon has since left Cedars-Sinai for another hospital. Paxton, who played major supporting roles in films such as “Apollo 13,” “Titanic” and “Aliens,” died just about a year ago.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death is defined as a fatality that is caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. A number of different fatal incidents could give rise to wrongful death lawsuits such as drunk driving crash, an incident where a person dies in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, a workplace accident, deaths caused by defective autos or other defective products, etc.
Wrongful death lawsuits are adjudicated in civil courts. So, while a defendant may be prosecuted in a criminal court of law, that same defendant could also face a wrongful death lawsuit in the civil justice system. It is also important to note that an individual does not have to face criminal charges in order to face a wrongful death lawsuit. In order to be successful with a wrongful death case, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing caused the victim’s death and that the decedent’s survivors suffered monetary damages as a result.
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit include medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. Wrongful death cases can be complex. If you have lost a loved one as the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, an experienced California wrongful death lawyer can help guide you through the legal process and help you secure justice and fair compensation.