Jury Clears Doctors in Ritter Case

Actor ignored earlier medical advice, panel decides
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2008 4:00 PM CDT
John Ritter, star of the series "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," arrives with wife, Amy Yasbeck, for the 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Sept. 22, 2002, in Los Angeles.    (AP Photo/Laura Rauch, File)
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(Newser) – A California jury today cleared two doctors of negligence in a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the family of actor John Ritter, the LA Times reports. Lawyers charged that doctors failed to properly treat and diagnose Ritter when he arrived at hospital in 2003 complaining of chest pain and nausea. The 54-year-old star of "Three's Company" died of a torn aorta that night.

The jury found that Ritter ignored a radiologist's advice 2 years earlier to seek follow-up treatment after a body scan, which could have detected trouble. The doctors maintained that they followed standard procedure on the night of Ritter's death, which could not then have been prevented. The family had sought $67 million in damages.