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Settlement Reached in John Ritter Suit

Updated:
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The family of late actor John Ritter has reached a tentative settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where the actor died, an attorney for the hospital said Wednesday.

``There is an agreement in principle,'' attorney Rory Hernandez told The Associated Press. ``But we still have to follow the legal procedure.''

Hearings will be held to finalize the agreement, he said, with the next court session set for Friday.

Hernandez declined to disclose details of the settlement. The hospital will issue a statement in several weeks, he said.

Court documents filed by the hospital on March 10 indicate Ritter's family members ``are potentially receiving a large monetary settlement in this case.'' Ritter's widow, Amy Yasbeck, has claimed damages in excess of $25 million, court documents show.

Yasbeck and Ritter's four children accused the hospital of negligence when they filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Sept. 3, 2004.

Ritter, star of the sitcom ``8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,'' collapsed on the set of the TV show on Sept. 11, 2003. The 54-year-old actor was admitted to the hospital complaining of chest pain, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. He died later that night.

Ritter's family claims the actor was misdiagnosed ``at least twice and underwent improper and unnecessary procedures'' during his hospital stay.

Doctors said Ritter died of an aortic aneurysm.

Ritter came to prominence in 1977 as Jack Tripper on the hit sitcom ``Three's Company.''
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