John Ritter’s Wife Actress Amy Yasbeck Testifies During Wrongful Death Trial

March 3, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Amy Yasbeck, the wife of late actor John Ritter, resumed her testimony today in the wrongful death trial against the two doctors who treated her husband before his death. Yasbeck and Ritter’s children are suing radiologist Matthew Lotysch and cardiologist Joseph Lee for $67 million. Ritter died in 2003 from a torn aorta.

The Ritter family is accusing both doctors of failing to diagnose and provide the proper medical care for Ritter that could have saved his life. They say that Lotysch failed to detect an enlarged aorta during a 2001 scan and that Lee made a fatal error when he treated the actor for a heart attack instead of an aortic dissection on the day that he arrived at the emergency room in 2003.

Lotysch disputes their claim. During his testimony last week, he said that he told Ritter that the actor should see a specialist because he had triple vessel coronary disease. He also says that Ritter’s aorta looked normal at the time of the scan. Yasbeck claims that Ritter believed the scan results showed that he was in good health.

On Friday, jury members heard a voice message that Ritter left for his wife telling her that he was going to seek medical attention for what he believed was food poisoning. He died in the emergency room later that day.

Henry Winkler, Ritter’s friend, and Katey Segal, his co-star on the show “8 Simple Rules … for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” also submitted their testimonies on behalf of the plaintiffs. The show was considered a hit and Ritter’s family believes he would have made over $67 million if he had continued to appear on the show had he lived.

Ritter was a beloved film and television actor who also starred in the hit TV show “Three’s Company.” He died on September 11, 2003 at age 54.

Failure to diagnose, wrongful diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, providing a patient with the wrong medical treatment, surgical errors, and prescription errors are all too common forms of medical malpractice.

If you believe that you have been the victim of a medical error by a doctor, a nurse, or another medical provider In North Carolina or South Carolina, one of our medical malpractice attorneys can meet with you to discuss your case.

John Ritter’s widow, ex-wife testify in wrongful-death lawsuit, USA Today, March 3, 2008

Ritter Speaks at Wrongful-Death Trial, EOnline, February 29, 2008

Winkler testifies at Ritter trial, Los Angeles Times, February 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Actor John Ritter dead at 54,, September 12, 2003

John Ritter,


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