Did Neil Armstrong wrongfully die? The hospital paid $6 million to keep details of his death secret: report
Portrait of Astronaut Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11 mission (NASA photo)

The family of astronaut Neil Armstrong blamed a Cincinnati hospital for his 2012 death, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

"His two sons contended that incompetent post-surgical treatment at Mercy Health – Fairfield Hospital had cost Mr. Armstrong his life, and even one expert retained by the hospital would find serious problems with his care," The Times reported.

"The hospital defended its handling of the case, but paid the family $6 million to settle the matter privately and avoid devastating publicity, documents show. The hospital insisted on keeping the complaints and the settlement secret," the newspaper reported.

The bombshell report comes amidst public praise for the astronaut, who was the first person to walk on the moon a half-century ago.

"Armstrong had undergone bypass surgery in early August 2012, and his wife told The Associated Press afterward that he was 'amazingly resilient' and was walking in the corridor. But when nurses removed the wires for a temporary pacemaker, he began to bleed into the membrane surrounding the heart, leading to a cascade of problems that resulted in his death on Aug. 25," the newspaper reported.