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Actor Bill Paxton’s Family Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Hospital

August 30, 2022

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, physician, or other healthcare worker causes an injury to a patient by a negligent act or omission. The negligence may be from mistakes in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.

Medical errors can happen to anyone, including well-known celebrities, athletes, and performers. In fact, medical malpractice led to the wrongful death of famous actor, Bill Paxton in 2017.

The wonderful actor and all-around good guy Bill Paxton died at the age of 61 on February 2017. He was the star of “Twister,” “Apollo 13,” and the HBO drama series “Big Love.” By all accounts, he was a real pro and pleasure to work with. Paxton had a stroke at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after undergoing open-heart surgery to correct an aortic aneurysm and replace a faulty heart valve. The surgery looked to be successful, but because of the stroke, the actor passed away 11 days later. The coroner determined that he died from a stroke after surgery-related complications.

Paxton’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital alleging that the surgeon used “high risk and unconventional surgical approach with which he lacked experience.” The lawsuit was based on the surgeon misrepresenting or concealing “information regarding to the risk of surgery.” Paxton and his family weren’t fully apprised of the risks involved with the procedure. The lawsuit alleged that the errors by the surgical team contributed to Paxton’s complications after the operation. The family’s complaint claimed that the hospital and surgeons were negligent in their diagnosis, management, treatment, and care of Paxton—and failed to disclose that the surgeon would be using unconventional surgical approaches and didn’t have the experience and training necessary to perform the procedure.

In February 2022, the family reached a partial settlement the anesthesiologist medical group, agreeing to pay $1 million.  In August 2022, shortly before the case was set to begin trial, the hospital and surgeon confidentially settled the remaining claims with Paxton’s family. The monetary amounts will not be public, a common requirement in medical malpractice settlements. The lawsuit resolved after over 4 years of litigation – showing that medical malpractice claims are a long and difficult battle – even for the rich and the famous.


As you can see, even actors can be the victim of medical malpractice. Medical mistakes and resulting injury can happen to anyone.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or death in surgery because of medical errors, you may bring a lawsuit for damages. A plaintiff must show that the doctor failed to provide a reasonable standard of care; and that caused the patient suffered physical injury and/or financial losses from the negligence.

For a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Michigan, contact Buchanan Firm. We can discuss your situation if you believe you’ve been injured as the result of a medical error.

Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after-hours, at home or in the hospital to accommodate you.

Contact us today!