The two doctors accused of misdiagnosing late actor John Ritter
's fatal heart condition have been cleared by a California court. The TV star's widow, Amy Yasbeck
, and the couple's eldest children launched a $67 million wrongful death case against cardiologist Joseph Lee and radiologist Matthew Lotysch at Glendale's Superior Court, following the actor's tragic and sudden passing in September 2003.
Yasbeck and her family claimed Dr. Lotysch failed to spot an enlargement of the aorta during a scan in 2001, while Dr. Lee was accused of missing an aortic dissection, and instead treated him for a heart attack on the day he was taken ill on the set of TV sitcom 8 Simple Rules... For Dating My Teenage Daughter
The family claimed Ritter's untimely death could have been avoided had Dr. Lee ordered a chest X-ray and not rushed his diagnosis at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.
The doctors' defense attorneys hit back, insisting Ritter's condition was an extremely rare one that would have killed the 54-year-old actor regardless.
And on Friday the jury found that Dr. Lee arrived after Ritter's diagnosis had been made and didn't have time to order an X-ray.
They also agreed that Dr. Lotysch had shown concern for Ritter's health after his 2001 scan and advised him to seek treatment from a physician - but the actor failed to do so.
The jury forewoman announced in court, "We feel very strongly that neither Dr. Lotysch nor Dr. Lee did anything wrong in this case."
Actress Yasbeck - who wed Ritter in 1999, ten years after working with him on comedy movie Problem Child
- said she had "the love of my life and my soul mate."
-Amy Yasbeck Pictures
-John Ritter Pictures
(This news article provided by World Entertainment News Network)