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Bill Paxton's family claims wrongful death in lawsuit

When a doctor provides negligent care to patients, they could be sued for wrongful death if the patient passes away because of the doctor's treatment. Our readers may remember seeing news reports that actor Bill Paxton underwent heart surgery to replace a valve and repair an aortic aneurysm in early 2017, and experienced complications before dying of a stroke 11 days after the surgery. Paxton's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the surgeon and hospital responsible for treating Paxton, claiming that they were negligent in their diagnosis, management and treatment of Paxton.

The family claims that the doctor and hospital misrepresented information regarding Paxton's surgery, stating that the hospital and doctor failed to fully disclose that the doctor lacked experience with the high risk and unconventional surgical approach used to treat Paxton. Additionally, the family claimed that the doctor was away from the hospital when Paxton started to experience complications and did not arrange for continuous care, resulting in a delay in treatment.

Both the surgeon and hospital are denying liability in this matter and claimed that the actor was well-aware of the high-risk nature of the surgery. They also alleged that Paxton had an existing medical condition that made the surgery even more dangerous, and that Paxton and his family were aware of this.

Maryland surgeons may be liable for a patient's injuries or death if they fail to explain the risks of a procedure in a way that the patient can understand or fail to fully disclose all risks of a procedure. If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of a risky procedure, you may discuss your case with an attorney to see if you have a legitimate claim against your doctor for medical malpractice.

Source: People, "Bill Paxton's Surgeon and Hospital Deny Responsibility for His Death," Mike Miller, May 3, 2018

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