Jury acquits doctors in actor's wrongful death lawsuit

May 1, 2008

A radiologist and a cardiologist were cleared of negligence in the diagnosis and treatment of actor John Ritter, whose family brought a $67 million wrongful death suit against the two physicians. Ritter, who achieved stardom from work on the TV sitcom "Three's Company," died of an aortic dissection in 2003. He was 54.

A radiologist and a cardiologist were cleared of negligence in the diagnosis and treatment of actor John Ritter, whose family brought a $67 million wrongful death suit against the two physicians.Ritter, who achieved stardom from work on the TV sitcom "Three's Company," died of an aortic dissection in 2003. He was 54.

The radiologist was accused of missing a warning sign two years earlier and the cardiologist of failing to take an x-ray when Ritter presented to the ER where he died. The radiologist's defense was that Ritter ignored advice to consult a specialist. The cardiologist's defense was that he did everything he could to save Ritter's life. The jury reached its nine to three verdict March 14 in favor of the doctors. Eight other medical personnel and the hospital settled earlier lawsuits with Ritter's widow and children, who received $14 million each.