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Joan Rivers

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Late Joan Rivers Settled

Joan RiversOn May 11, 2017, Melissa Rivers settled a medical malpractice lawsuit that she had filed against the clinic that had performed a surgical procedure that allegedly resulted in the death of her mother, comedian Joan Rivers.

On September 4, 2014, the comedian and television star died at Mount Sinai Hospital just days after undergoing a “routine procedure” at Manhattan’s Yorkville Endoscopy, an outpatient clinic. A city medical examiner found that Joan Rivers had died of brain damage due to a lack of oxygen after she stopped breathing during the procedure, a development that was classified as a “therapeutic complication.”

The next year, Melissa Rivers filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court against the clinic. The lawsuit alleged that doctors had “mishandled” the endoscopy and performed an “unauthorized” procedure – a laryngoscopy – on the comedian’s vocal cords without her consent. The lawsuit further claimed that an anesthesiologist had expressed concern about how the procedure would affect Ms. Rivers’ ability to breathe, a concern that apparently went unheeded, that physicians failed to act properly as the patient’s vital signs deteriorated, and that attending personnel had taken “selfies” with the sedated comedian.

Both parties settled the medical malpractice lawsuit for an undisclosed amount in order to avoid protracted litigation.

While Yorkville Clinic has not had a chance to contest any of the lawsuit’s claims against it, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has made public the details of its investigation into the incident, which determined that the clinic made multiple errors. Among the agency’s findings were that clinic employees snapped cellphone photos of a sedated Ms. Rivers and that the clinic failed to keep proper medication records, record the patient’s weight before administering sedatives, or receive informed consent before all procedures.

Medical Malpractice Litigation

Medical malpractice is one of the most challenging forms of litigation. With the complex medical details, the legal challenges, and the aggressive defense approach taken by medical professionals and their insurance agencies, it is essential to work with a team of medical malpractice lawyers that has the experience, the reputation, and the resources needed to handle this type of litigation, such as the medical malpractice attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers.

GWC prosecutes a wide variety of injury cases throughout Illinois, including those involving medical malpractice, auto collisions, workers’ compensation, construction injuries, and product liability. If you or your loved one has been injured, because of medical malpractice or by some other means, please contact our office for a free legal consultation to see if you may be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries.