The late actor Bill Paxton passed away at 61 almost one year ago this month following complications from heart surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. On Paxton’s death certificate, “stroke after heart surgery” is listed as his official cause of death.

Recently, his survivors, who include his wife of three decades, a son and a daughter, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the medical facility and the cardiac surgeon who operated on their loved one.

According to court documents, his family thinks Paxton’s death was preventable. They allege that his surgeon employed “a high risk and unconventional surgical approach with which he lacked experience.” Further they accuse defendants of “misrepresent[ing] and/or conceal[ing] information relating to the risks of surgery.” As such, they consider those to be contributing factors in the post-surgical complications to which Paxton succumbed.

The attorney for the plaintiffs issued a statement that read, in part, “Paxton and his family trusted the physicians and staff at this medical facility but instead betrayed their trust.The surgeon’s actions resulted in this tragic and preventable death.”

Cedars-Sinai also issued a statement that indicated federal and state privacy laws prevented any comments regarding patient care in lieu of authorization in writing. They maintain, however, that “Nothing is more important to Cedars-Sinai than the health and safety of our patients.”

Paxton starred in Big Love on HBO and also had screen credits for roles in Aliens and Titanic.

While the specifics of each case are different, wrongful death litigation can be successful if it’s able to be proven that doctors and hospital personnel were negligent and knew or should have known that the medical procedure would cause or contribute to the patient’s untimely demise.

Source: CNN, “Bill Paxton’s family files wrongful death suit,” Sandra Gonzalez, Feb. 13, 2018