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Bill Paxton’s family reaches $1 million settlement with medical group in lawsuit over actor’s death


The family of actor Bill Paxton have reached a $1 million settlement with an anesthesiologist medical group following his 2017 death shortly after heart surgery, according to a new court filing.

Attorneys for defendants General Anesthesia Specialists Partnership and Dr. Moody Makar filed papers on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking approval of the settlement between Paxton’s family and the company. Makar was the anesthesiologist during the heart surgery Paxton had less than two weeks before his death on Feb. 25, 2017.

The anesthesia group denied responsibility for Paxton’s death, according to court records, saying it “contends that its personnel complied with the standard of care insofar as their involvement in the care and treatment of … Paxton, and nothing their personnel did or didn’t do caused or contributed to his death.”

The filing says the settlement is contingent on the court’s finding it was made in good faith.

Paxton’s death certificate says he died from a stroke, 11 days after surgery to replace a heart valve and repair aorta damage. He was 61.

General Anesthesia Specialists Partnership and Makar were added to a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit first brought by Paxton’s family in 2018.

Paxton’s widow, Louise Paxton, and children James and Lydia Paxton, are plaintiffs in the suit, initially filed against the Los Angeles hospital Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The suit alleged that the performing surgeon used a “high risk and unconventional surgical approach” that was unnecessary and that he lacked the experience to perform, and that he downplayed the procedure’s risks.

The treatment caused Paxton to suffer excessive bleeding, cardiogenic shock and a compromised coronary artery, the suit alleged.

An attorney representing the Paxtons did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. Lawyers for the anesthesia group and Makar also could not be reached.

Paxton was known for his work in blockbusters such as “Twister” and “Apollo 13.”

He first got a start in the 1970s playing minor roles. The journeyman actor played notable characters in “The Terminator,” “Weird Science” and “Aliens” in the 1980s, and he grew to have a larger profile in the 1990s in films such as “Tombstone” and “Titanic.”

Paxton also drew acclaim for roles on the small screen. He led the cast of the popular HBO series “Big Love,” and was nominated for an Emmy for his starring role on the History Channel miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys.”

A trial date is scheduled for September involving other defendants named in the suit, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the surgeon who performed on Paxton, court records showed.

Representatives for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

The Associated Press and Liza Torres contributed.

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