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Briefly In Public Safety

February 06, 2008

Jury selection begins in wrongful-death case

The wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the widow of actor John Ritter moved forward Tuesday as a pool of potential jurors was interviewed by lawyers and Judge Laura Matz in Glendale Superior Court.

Amy Yasbeck is suing two Providence St. Joseph Medical Center doctors in connection with her husband’s 2003 death, following the actor’s heart failure.

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Many of the 73 potential jurors were asked questions about their awareness of the case, their personal legal history and employment status by lawyers for Yasbeck and for Matthew Lotysch and Joseph Lee, the two doctors accused of not doing enough to prevent Ritter’s death.

Matz also instructed the jurors about the trial and were told proceedings could last until the middle of March.

But jury selection was continued Wednesday, due to the number of jurors, and the short amount of time allotted for questions and the medical and legal issues involved.

The upcoming trial has already garnered significant media coverage; “Entertainment Tonight” cameras and reporters were outside the courthouse Tuesday.

In an attempt to head off a media frenzy, Matz ruled that cameras will not be allowed in the courtroom during the trial, which could begin by Friday, Deputy Public Information Officer Mary Eckhardt Hearn said.


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