John Ritter’s Widow is At it Again

Amy Yasbeck, widow of John Ritter, is going after more people who were connected to her late husband’s heart treatment on the night he died. In her crosshairs are radiologist Matthew Lotysch and cardiologist Joseph Lee, to the tune of $67 million. She’s already received $9.5 million from Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burback, where died September 11, 2003. She’s also received more than $4 million from other civil lawsuit targets.

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center was cited a month after Ritter died by state regulators for failing to take a chest X-ray that was ordered by the ER doctor. Lotysch’s lawyer states that Ritter’s heart attack wasn’t preventable, but Yasbeck counters that Lotysch should have noticed Ritter’s enlarged aorta during the full body scan Ritter received in 2001. Yasbeck believes that if the doctors would have treated his enlarged aorta instead of treating it as a heart attack, he could’ve survived.

Yasbeck is prepared to undergo the jury trial and the revelations of her finances. She states that the importance of this trial will highlight what other families are going through when their loved ones have similar health problems.

I have to wonder, she’s already received over $13 million for her husband’s death. How much more does she want? Will $67 million bring him back? Nope. I’m no fan of the modern medical system, but I do have my misgivings about her reasons for wanting more, more more! If she does win this lawsuit, then I hope she donates every last penny she made off her husband’s death to those families she purports she’s going to trial for.

Update: In response to all the comments we’ve had on this post, Anni would like to reply. That means me. First off, I love to see how much you guys read us here at HollywoodHeartbreaker. Secondly, John Ritter’s widow is going to do what she  wants. Of all the outrage I’ve seen over the topic, how many of people can really say, that if their husband died wrongfully at the hands of medical assistance, that they would not want “more, more, more”? Mike, “greedy white people”? I think you should take a look at some statistical evidence, when it comes to which races are trying to get more money out the government. Christian, “as a radiologist”, there isn’t much room for error in the medical world, when Americans already pay millions of dollars per year to the medical industry. Hypothetically, if I’m paying a fortune to save my husband’s life, the procedure better damn well be perfect. Jeanne, you have my every condolence for your loss. Money can’t replace a life, but Amy Yasbeck has -more- than every right to suck the system out of every penny she can get from them. Doctors are desensitized to devastation; but I bet the loss of those golfing trips, and Hawaiian vacations are getting a little hard to bear.  MD: As a medicalprofessional, do you believe really deserve pain and suffering has a cost? Would you attach a specific price to yours, if the positions were reversed? Lisa and Self-Righteous Blonde: I feel ya’. To all my readers, much love! Keep up the comments, and I’ll keep answering you.

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#1 Self-Righteous Blonde on 01.25.08 at 8:15 pm

In the hypothetical circumstances that a doctor -killed- my husband (and medical malpractice is just as good as murder, in the sense that it’s the same as third degree murder) then no, I disagree with the story. Because there isn’t a price tag on a human life; I would not only sue everyone involved, but then I’d start all over again, in an endless cycle of lawsuits, until they were all bankrupt. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but financially raping the assholes that killed your man sure does feel good.

#2 Lisa on 01.26.08 at 10:08 pm

I gotta agree with Self-Righteous Blonde, on this one.

#3 MD on 02.03.08 at 7:49 am

It sure is bad that John Ritter died of an aortic dissection at a young age – but to hold the physicians liable for his death is just ludicrous. While I am very sorry for his widow and children – Heart attack in his age group is at least 100 times more likely than what Mr. Ritter had, an aortic dissection. The public has the misperception that if Dr. Lee had made right diagnosis initially, Mr. Ritter would be alive today. I would say unlikely.

While all the details of Mr. Ritter’s tragic case are not known, Dr. Lee’s decision to treat Mr. Ritter as a heart attack is not-even-close to malpractice, based on the evidence that has been released thus far. There is a difference between “malpractice” and “bad outcome”.
Dr. Lee had to make a tough judgement call with a dying patient. To assert that he “killed” Mr. Ritter is absolutely preposterous, given the evidence currently available.

The real story here is disparity in justice between “average joes” and “celebrities”. I can assure you if Mr. Ritter was retired on Medicare or middle class or poor or very young — there would be no trial, because no attorney would take the case (not enough money to justify a trial). The MICRA law in California limits the amount of “pain and suffering” to $250,000, whereas economic losses have no limit. This functionally discriminates against patients who are either too young to have a fully developed career, retired, or who have retired. This sad story highlights the disparity of justice available to different members of our society.

As a longtime fan of Mr. Ritter, I am very sorry to see his life end this way, and I am very sorry for his family. But to hold Dr. Lee responsible based on the evidence available to public, is wrong. Mr. Ritter had a bad, bad problem, and Dr. Lee apparently made a decision based on the clinical picture, urgency of the situation, and the percentages. As a physician, we make hundreds of decisions daily that can have dramatic consequences – and sometimes those decisions are ill-fated. “Bad outcome” does not equal “malpractice”.

#4 Jeanne on 02.04.08 at 7:57 am

I lost my 22 year old son to an aortic dissection December 14, 2001. We knew about his condition and still were not always successful in getting the medical community to take this seriously. I was constantly being told he was too young, it was too rare, and not too worry it wasn’t serios. I had doctors tell me I was over reacting when my son struggled to breathe, and had chest pains. When I told them what his medical history was I have been told it was not possible. In the end they tried to save him but it was way too late.So we buried our son. Sadly my husband had the same condition and again we knew. He had surgery in 1992. His entire aorta dissected in 2001. He died Christmas day.
I lost my son and my husband in 11 days to aortic dissections. I understand why Ms. Yasbeck is suing and support it. I tried to get medical personel to listen and failed. I have no power to make those responsible accountable. So i just get to pay the bills and find a way to move forward.
I do blame some of the doctors, i told them the family history and it was ignored. so tell me what to do, I have one son left. How do I not worry half to death? I need her to win this case and start her foundation and all the publicity it brings.

#5 Christian Raddoc on 02.06.08 at 7:01 am

As a radiologist, I have seen many aotic dissections. In addition, not all dissections are associated with aneurysm (enlargement) of the aorta. Thus, the “missing of the enlargement” of the aorta on the CT from 2001 is not necessarily true. I feel for any patient or family of a patient who has suffered as a result of a medical error; however, this doesn’t seem like an error given the information published thus far. Physicians, and medicine in general, are imperfect. To believe that they are perfect and can answer every question, is unfortunate. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the only one who is perfect. Maybe we should try relying on Him instead of being such a litigious society. God Bless.

#6 mike on 02.09.08 at 10:40 am

white people make me sick, all y’all think about is money, you would sell your soul’s for money even if it meant living in hell for an enternity ( I’m not religious, nor do I believe in God’s, it’s just an analogy )

he’s dead, he was an OK actor in an average TV sitcom, who made a better living than most of us, he’s dead no amount of money is going to bring him back and to people like self righteous whitey up there ” your man” excuse me, you don’t own another human being, and if you love them, you let them go when it’s time for them to go

you’re going to go to, an accident, natural causes, whatever, you’re going to go, so if I were you I’d let go, unless you’re perfect, and from the way you express yourself I know your not, what is it in your life that you’ve done that you maybe didn’t get caught at that maybe you should be punished for ?

If I were on that jury, I say go to hell with this nonsense and pay the court cost’s for taking up the space that could’ve have been used by someone with real problems – and then she this Amy person justifie’s this greed by stating ” the money’s not for me, it’s for this whatever foundation in Ritters name” white people are full of it.

whenever you or one of your’s gets sick we have to all of a sudden listen to your whining on national TV well you jerks there are poor people all over this damned country who die from the very same disease’s, When Reeves died ( he broke his neck doing something that only rich whites can afford to do ) we all had to watch his pitful decline on wall to wall network coverage.

However when Richard Pyror died, how many of you even know what he died of, I hate white people, with a passion, and I hate everything thing you care about.

so enough already he’s dead, my brother died of AIDS the doctors didn’t know what it was until too late, says who, say’s me ? so I should sue – last year I went to the Doctor with belly pains, he gave me pain killers, he was wrong it was appendicitus, I should sue right, you know what…………

I passed a car that had gone into a ditch of the highway the other day, i looked it was a white women and 2 kids, I kept driving, I didn’t call 911, and i didn’t look back, thats how I feel about white people.

#7 Mary Griffin on 02.11.08 at 3:02 pm

I can’t afford health insurance because of greedy people like Amy Yasbeck. $67 million because of a heart problem?

Thanks Amy my two kids don’t have insurance so you can collect your retirement money. Did you sue your father’s doctors after he died of a heart attack? What if everyone sued over heart problems? There wouldn’t be any doctors left. Are you going to sue Oscar Mayer because of the bacon he ate? Maybe Jason’s mom should sue too?

#8 AK on 02.12.08 at 1:00 pm

Mike, you sound like a very ignorant person. I can not even believe you wrote that. It has nothing to do with being white that Ritter’s family is suing. Black people do it all the time, Kanye West is suing for his mother dying. Oh but you seemed to forget to mention that. May that be because they are black, and you just have a prejudice against whites. GROW UP!!! I have no prejudice towards black people, I would say the same if you were white. You are a DISGRACE to your race. From now on when you are mad about something maybe you should state your position as a person in general instead of a “black person.” Not all black people are like you. Thank god there are people who recognize that. You’re pathetic.

#9 HS on 03.07.08 at 11:39 am

You hit the nail on the head ” bad outcome dosen’t equal negligence”

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