John Ritter's Family Blames, Sues Hospital

09/10/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT

John Ritter's Family Blames, Sues Hospital
John Ritter
CRAIG SJODIN/ABC
The family of 8 Simple Rules star John Ritter, who died suddenly of heart problems exactly a year ago this Saturday, Sept. 11, have sued the Burbank, Calif., Providence St. Joseph Medical Center where he was treated.

Ritter, 54, collapsed on the set of his ABC series before being taken to the hospital. His cause of death was blamed on a tear of a major coronary artery. But when he went to the emergency room complaining of chest pain, nausea and vomiting, he was misdiagnosed as having a heart attack, claims the suit, filed Sept. 3, the Associated Press reports.

The actor's widow, Amy Yasbeck, and their four children (including actor Jason Ritter) are seeking unspecified damages, claiming doctors "caused the untimely death... by misdiagnosing his condition and as a consequence, failing to provide proper treatment in connection with an ascending aortic aneurysm that would have saved his life."

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center declined to comment on the legal action filed at Los Angeles Superior Court, but said in a statement: "When Mr. Ritter was originally admitted to our hospital, his family asked that no information on his illness be released. ... We will continue to honor this request. We extend our deepest and most sincere sympathy to the Ritter family for their loss."

The Ritters are seeking general damages, wrongful death damages, medical expenses and funeral expenses.

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