This has no South Florida angle, but is simply too much to pass up. Here is an account of the testimony of John Ritter's widow -- recalling on the stand his final minutes -- in her $67 million wrongful death suit against his doctor and radiologist:
Sobbing into her hands, John Ritter's widow on Monday gave jurors in a wrongful-death trial a minute-by-minute account of events leading up to the actor's death in 2003. Amy Yasbeck sometimes could barely speak through her tears as she recounted the last hours in which she was summoned to a hospital and told her husband was having a heart attack and needed an angiogram.You know the plaintiff's lawyers are quietly high-fiving each other. And can you imagine being one of the defense attorneys during this testimony? Sign language? Mouthing "I love you"?
She said that Ritter, who was in a hospital bed, was "scared" and asked Dr. Joseph Lee, one of the two defendants in the lawsuit, if he could get a second opinion before he agreed to the procedure.
"Dr. Lee said, 'No, there's no time. You're in the middle of a heart attack,'" Yasbeck testified.
She said Lee asked Ritter to sign a consent form and read him its details.
Asked by her lawyer, Moses Lebovits, what happened next, Yasbeck broke into gasping sobs.
"I leaned down to John's ear and said, 'I know you're scared but you have to be brave and do this because these guys know what they're doing.' And he was brave for all the time I saw him," she said.
Yasbeck said that as Ritter was wheeled down a hall on a gurney he used sign language to say "I love you." She said she mouthed the same words back.
"He went around the corner and that's the last time I saw him," she said.
Ritter, 54, fell ill earlier in the day while working on the sitcom "8 Simple Rules ... for Dating My Teenage Daughter" and died of a torn aorta at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. His family is suing Lee and a radiologist, Dr. Matthew Lotysch, who did a body scan on Ritter two years earlier, for $67 million.
The doctors deny wrongdoing. The radiologist has testified the aorta was normal in the scan but Ritter had coronary artery disease at a relatively young age.
Come on! What could the insurance company's defense strategy be in taking this case to trial?