A wrongful death/negligence suit filed by relatives of the late actor Bill Paxton against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and two physicians appears headed for a late winter jury trial after lawyers told a judge Thursday that mediation was unsuccessful.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven J. Kleifield said trial of the case against the hospital and Drs. Ali Khoynezhad and Moody Makar is scheduled for March 14, more than four years after the suit was brought in February 2018 by the actor’s widow, Louise Paxton, and the couple’s children, James and Lydia Paxton.

“I hope the new (coronavirus) variant won’t interfere with that trial date,” Kleifield said during a brief status conference in the case.

Prior to the trial, the judge is scheduled, on Jan. 19, to hear a motion by lawyers for the hospital to strike the plaintiffs’ claim for punitive damages, in which the family members allege that Cedars-Sinai and Khoynezhad intentionally interfered with and thwarted their request for an autopsy to cover up the cause of Paxton’s death.

The actor’s death certificate states he died of a stroke on Feb. 25, 2017, 11 days after surgery to replace a heart valve and repair aorta damage. He was 61.

“The heart surgery recommended to Bill Paxton was not indicated,” the suit states. “Mr. Paxton did not meet even Khoynezhad’s own criteria for such a surgery.”

Khoynezhad was a cardiothoracic surgeon employed by Cedars-Sinai who was known prior to the Paxton death to practice what has been testified to by the hospital staff as “cowboy medicine,” according to the suit.

“In Khoynezhad’s quest to generate more surgeries and higher numbers, he continued to push the envelope and pushed to do surgeries on cases that were marginal at best…,” the suit states.

In addition, Khoynezhad was commonly referred to among the staff as “AK-47,” the title of an assault weapon, the suit states.

Khoynezhad no longer works at Cedars-Sinai. Makar was the anesthesiologist during the Paxton surgery.

Paxton had supporting roles in the films, “Apollo 13,” “Titanic” and “Aliens.”

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