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John Ritter's Family Files Lawsuit Against Hospital

September 10, 2004|Robert W. Welkos

The family of television star John Ritter has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital and medical staff who treated the 54-year-old actor after he collapsed on the set of the ABC sitcom "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" last year.

The suit, filed Sept. 3 in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Ritter's wife, Amy Yasbeck, and four children, including actor Jason Ritter, claims Ritter's death was caused by "misdiagnosing his condition" and "failing to provide proper treatment in connection with an ascending aortic aneurysm that would have saved his life."

Ritter was stricken Sept. 11, 2003, and taken to the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center emergency room in Burbank. Death was attributed to a tear in his aorta. Rushed to the hospital complaining of chest pain, nausea and vomiting, the suit alleges, Ritter was misdiagnosed as having a heart attack.

"If the proper procedures had been followed to diagnose and treat Mr. Ritter's symptoms," the suit states, "he would be alive and well today."

The hospital said Thursday that it had not seen the lawsuit and that it was premature to comment.

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