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Actor John Ritter, best known from his days in the sitcom “Three’s Company”, died in 2003 at age 54 from a tear in the aorta, at a hospital in Burbank, California. Subsequent investigation by his family led them to conclude that the aorta tear was not treated correctly and, in fact, was misdiagnosed as a heart attack. The Ritter Estate, on behalf of his surviving relatives is now suing his health care providers for alleged medical malpractice.
The trial began Tuesday. Lawyers for the Ritter Estate allege that a radiologist did not warn Mr. Ritter of an enlarged aorta that purportedly should have been revealed two years prior to his death and that on the night of his death the treating cardiologist failed to order proper tests that would have diagnosed his condition. The family is asking for $67 million. Presumably much of those damages constitute a claim for lost earnings for the future lost because of this death. California has a medical malpractice cap of only $250,000.00 for pain and suffering damages so the wage loss claim must constitute the bulk of the damages that will be put in evidence in the case.

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