Defense attorneys argued that the actor's death could not have been prevented, and their clients treatment was within the standard of care. Plaintiff's attorney Moses Lebovits accused Dr. Joseph Lee of making several mistakes on the night of Sept. 11, 2003, at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in closing argument. Ritter had become ill on the set of the sit-com "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." He was taken to Providence Saint Joseph's across the street from the Burbank studio complaining of chest pain, nausea and dizziness. Ritter is survived by his widow Amy Yasbeck and his daughter Stella as well as his children from his first marriage to Nancy Morgan: Carly, Tyler, and 27-year-old Jason.
Civil suit was filed Sept. 3, 2004, against Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, the Burbank Emergency Medical Group and several doctors. The recent Glendale Superior Court trial death with the claim against radiologist Matthew Lotysch -- who allegedly failed to detect the actor's enlarged aorta and Lee who subsequently treated Ritter. Plaintiff's counsel argued that,
"It only takes common sense to know that they should have taken a chest X-ray." Counsel also argued that Lee should have gotten a more complete medical history about Ritter and the severity of his chest pain. Lee wound up using an intra-aortic balloon pump, which Plaintiff's counsel called "absolutely the wrong treatment."
Ritter apparently had a large ascending aortic aneurysm with a severe dissection and died shortly after the procedure. Lawyers for the two doctors countered that proper procedures were followed. Stephen Fraser, attorney for Lotysch, argued that the plaintiffs' expert witnesses used "flawed science." A chest X-ray had allegedly been ordered on Ritter before Lee even arrived at the hospital and Dr. Lee had no reason to believe the X-ray hadn't been done.
Prior to this trial, the Ritter family had already received more than $14 million in settlements, including $9.4 million from the hospital where Ritter died, according to the Los Angeles Times.