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Two local doctors sued by John Ritter's family

February 26, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Actor John Ritter's family is suing the doctors that treated him the night he collapsed. Today's testimony was primarily about Ritter's value. Those who testified said he was "the comeback kid" and on his way to making movie after movie.

His talent agent testified on the stand that he was America's darling. His costar talked about him in glowing terms, bringing Ritter to life in the courtroom.

"I feel 'privileged.' I suppose that's the right word," according to actress Katey Sagal. She played Mrs. Al Bundy on "Married with Children." Sagal was on track for another long-running hit with "8 Simple Rules." If only the star of the show, John Ritter, had survived.

"Well, you know, I loved John Ritter so anytime I talk about John Ritter, I'm filled with love and sadness. You know, I miss him" Sagal's role today: to testify about that morning on the set when Ritter fell ill.

"He was sweating profusely, is what I really remember. And we didn't know what was going on. And he didn't complain," explained Sagal. "But that was how John was. He would never complain about anything. I mean he was fine. That's what's so unbelievable about the whole thing. That he went to a hospital and six hours later, he was gone."

A cardiologist and a radiologist are accused of providing substandard care and failing to pick up on signs of coronary artery disease. Ritter's widow and four children are suing them for $67 million. That figure is based on what the family believes that Ritter would have earned .

His son, 28-year-old Jason, testified about losing his father. The jury was shown photos he had kept, notes of encouragement and congratulations from his dad for everything from winning competitions at camp to graduating from college.

Studio execs testified in the morning that Ritter's future contracts would have mirrored those of fellow actor John Belushi, star of "All About Jim," paying him $250,000 to $350,000 per episode--plus future profits as "8 Simple Rules" was bound for syndication.

The defense believes that even if Ritter had survived, even with corrective surgery, his chances for continuing to work would be compromised.

Segall's take on the case: "Oh, I don't know anything about that," she said. "I don't know that there's a monetary value that you can put on that."

Testimony will continue for three more weeks. Final arguments will be heard on March 17.

 

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