John Ritter's Family Near Wrongful Death Settlement

An agreement is reached in a hospital lawsuit over the actor


The family of late actor John Ritter has reportedly reached a tentative settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif., where the actor died in 2003.

“There is an agreement in principle,” attorney Rory Hernandez tells the Associated Press. “But we still have to follow the legal procedure.” The agreement is expected to be finalized Friday. No financial details are being divulged, and the hospital will release a statement in a few weeks, says Hernandez.

Court documents show that Ritter’s widow, Amy Yasbeck, claimed damages in excess of $25 million. Yasbeck and Ritter’s four children accused the hospital of negligence when they filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Sept. 3, 2004.

Ritter, who was then starring on 8 Simple Rules, collapsed on the set of the ABC show on Sept. 11, 2003. The 54-year-old actor was admitted to the hospital complaining of chest pain, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. He died later that night.

His family claims Ritter was misdiagnosed “at least twice and underwent improper and unnecessary procedures” during his hospital stay.

Doctors said Ritter was killed by an aortic aneurysm, though a physician retained by the defense said Ritter’s death was already “a reasonable medical probability” at the time he went into the hospital, reports the Los Angeles Times.

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