John Ritter, a Golden Globe and Emmy award winning actor and comedian died a sudden death in 2013.
Doctors ruled his death was unavoidable. Amy Yasbeck, his widow did not believe that her husband could not be saved by doctors. At the time John was being treated at Saint John’s Hospital in Los Angeles. She ended up suing the two doctors and received more than $14 million in settlements. As reported by court records also included was a $9.4 million settlement from Saint John’s Hospital where he passed away in Burbank, CA.
Attorneys for the two doctors said that they did everything they could to save his life but we’re not successful. Doctors eventually found out that he was suffering from an aortic dissection, a tear in the largest blood vessel in the body.
John was on the set filming “8 Simple Rules” and began feeling nauseous and fainted around 7:15. Dr. Lee said he was showing abnormal tests that seemed to show he was having a heart attack. John was treated with medication that is normally given for people that are showing signs of a heart attack. The drug that he was prescribed was s known to exasperate symptoms of aortic dissection.
Doctor Lee immediately performed an emergency cardiac catheterization. And at that point an aortic dissection was found, and he realized he made an error on the diagnosis, but it was too late. Once John was formally pronounced dead, there was no autopsy performed. Doctor Lee’s lawyer said, “I’m comfortable that a reasonable juror would understand that Dr. Lee was between a rock and a hard spot and had to make a judgment call.”
State regulators further did an investigation and found that the hospital was negligent. Chest X rays were not performed. In 2001, his wife filed the lawsuit against Dr. Lotysch who did a full body scan at Health Scan America to see if there were any heart abnormalities. It was reported by the Doctor he was in perfectly good health.
Amy said that none of the doctors or the hospital never condoled her and never made an any admission of guilt or made an apology to her and her family. Amy was seeking $67 million in damages as compensation for the “malpractice” suit for his life and value of his filming 8 Simple Rules.
Unfortunately, at the trial in March of 2008, the jury cleared both doctors of any negligence, and Amy and John’s family lost by 3 to 9 vote.
Ironically, Celebrity actor John Ritter of Threes Company legendary TV show star passed away on his daughter Stella’s fifth birthday on September 11th, 2003.