Bill Paxton’s family is suing a hospital and the surgeon who performed the Titanic actor’s heart surgery shortly before he died for negligence and wrongful death.
They claim Los Angeles’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre and Dr Ali Khoynezhad misrepresented the risks of the unnecessary and “maverick” operation that the surgeon was not experienced with, according to court files.
Paxton, who appeared in dozens of films including Apollo 13 and The Terminator, died at the age of 61 in February last year, 11 days after the procedure to repair an aneurysm.
His widow Louise and their children James and Lydia Paxton are seeking undisclosed damages, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Friday.
The defendants failed to disclose that Dr Khoynezhad “was going to use a high-risk and unconventional surgical approach with which he lacked experience”, lawyer Marsha Barr-Fernandez wrote.
They also allegedly “misrepresented and/or concealed information relating to the risks of surgery”, which the lawyer described as “maverick”.
The lawsuit said that after undergoing the procedure, Paxton suffered multiple complications including excessive bleeding and cardiogenic shock, where the heart muscle is so damaged it can no longer pump enough blood for the body.
Dr Khoynezhad, now working at a different hospital, is believed to have left the site without arranging adequate care before Paxton suffered the complications, the lawsuit added.
The actor, born in Fort Worth, Texas, was starring in US broadcaster CBS’s Training Day series when he died.
Tom Hanks led the tributes, calling his Apollo 13 co-star a “wonderful man”.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre is yet to respond to a request for comment and Dr Khoynezhad did not immediately reply to an after-hours message.