Beloved Hollywood actor Bill Paxton passed away on February 25, 2017. He had suffered a stroke 11 days after undergoing heart surgery. Although his first surgical procedure, which was meant to repair a damaged valve and address an aortic aneurysm, was planned, Paxton also had to undergo a second emergency procedure the day after his first surgery to repair a damaged coronary artery.
In the aftermath of his passing, the star’s family sued multiple parties for Paxton’s wrongful death. Among them included the hospital where Paxton underwent surgery, the lead surgeon, and the General Anesthesia Specialists Partnership.
Paxton’s family’s specific complaints include accusations that the surgeon employed “high-risk and unconventional” methods which may have endangered his patient. Additionally, Paxton’s family and their attorneys pointed out that the surgeon was not in the room at the time when the actor developed complications which resulted in coronary artery damage and necessitated a second surgery. According to Paxton’s family and their lawyers, there is reason to believe that if Paxton had not been required to undergo this additional procedure, his health might not have continued to deteriorate, and he may have thus not passed away.
Paxton’s family reached a partial settlement with General Anesthesia Specialists Partnership for $1 million in February of 2022. In August of 2022, they reached another settlement with the hospital. According to the family’s attorneys, “The matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.”
As of this writing, the terms of the settlement have not been made public. It is unlikely that will change. The parties involved have mutually agreed not to disclose the settlement’s details.
Although Paxton’s family appears to have eventually recovered fair compensation for the loss of their loved one, this was not a foregone conclusion. As is often the case in medical malpractice lawsuits, they faced opposition from the defendant.
In court, the hospital’s defense was that both Paxton and his family had been made aware of the fact that the surgery he was to undergo carried with it the risk of potential complications. Knowing this, Paxton still willingly agreed to move forward with the operation. The family countered by arguing that the hospital had knowledge regarding the surgeon’s history of sometimes performing surgeries in a dangerous manner.
The anesthesiologist group with whom the Paxton family settled earlier in 2022 was more willing to arrive at a settlement, but they did not admit they were responsible for Paxton’s death. Instead, the group claimed a settlement was agreed to in order to avoid the potentially high costs of going to court.
High-profile stories such as these garner more media attention than typical medical malpractice cases. They remind us that even the family members of a famous celebrity are not guaranteed to immediately receive compensation when filing a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.
Recovering compensation in these circumstances requires a thorough understanding of the applicable laws. If you’re considering filing a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit, you can optimize your chances of securing proper compensation by enlisting the help of an experienced attorney.
That’s exactly what you’ll find at The Weitz Firm, LLC. Learn more about what our qualified Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 267-587-6240.