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Joan Rivers’ Daughter Speaks Up About Her Mother’s Death

Posted by Timothy J. Ryan | Feb 02, 2015 | 0 Comments


Melissa Rivers, daughter of the now-deceased star Joan Rivers recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the clinic and doctors where her mother underwent a routine procedure, suffered cardiac arrest and later died.

In a statement published, Rivers said that filing a lawsuit was very difficult, probably the hardest decision she's ever had to make.

“What eventually led me to come to this decision was my steadfast belief that no family or anyone for that matter should endure what my mother, Copper and myself went through,” she stated referring to her son. “The level of medical incompetence, mismanagement, disrespect and despicable behavior is disgraceful and frankly, incomprehensible.”

She further stated that her mother deserved a lot better.

TV celebrity and comedian, Joan Rivers who entered the male-dominated arena of late-night shows and also featured with her daughter on the television series E! in “Fashion Police,” passed away on September 4, she was 81. Senior medical examiner noted that she died because of brain damage sustained as a result of lack of oxygen after she ceased breathing while undergoing an endoscopy procedure at Yorkville Endoscopy a couple of days before. Doctors attributed her death to therapeutic complications.

Efforts to reach the clinic's management for comment were in vain as no one returned the messages.

The lawsuit read that doctors at the clinic did not handle the endoscopy professionally, and instead performed a different medical procedure on her called a laryngoscopy on her voice without getting her consent. The suit further claimed that the doctor then left the theatre to avoid getting caught.

“Simply put, we are not only disappointed by the omissions and acts that led to the passing away of Joan Rivers, but we are utterly outraged at the lack of concern and care for the late Ms. Rivers on the part of the doctors and the clinic where the medical procedure was performed,” this was according to her attorneys Ben Rubinowitz and Jeffrey Bloom.

The federal Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services ordered a federal investigation which found that the clinic made a number of mistakes, including the failure to maintain proper medical records and taking cellphone photographs of Ms. Rivers while she lay unconscious. The investigation also noted that the clinic did not get consent for every medical procedure performed and failed to get Rivers' weight administering the sedation medication.

The clinic later submitted lengthy proposals for improvements, but these changes were not good enough leading to the federal agency to threaten revoking its accreditation unless it met compliance standards by March 2, 2015.

The clinic later said in a published statement that it was inappropriate to comment on issues surrounding the lawsuit. It however extended condolences to the Rivers family.

In a separate case, studies were carried in California to determine the rate of wrongful deaths as a result of medical malpractice—the results were alarming. The study noted that 1.2 percent or more of hospital patients were victims of medical malpractice, with many leading to fatality.

Those who have lost loved ones due to the careless acts of another may be entitled to compensation for burial expenses as well as other costs. Call (800) 838-6644 today to speak with an Orange County wrongful death attorney about your circumstances and find out what options are available. The evaluation is free and there is no obligation to hire. 

About the Author

Timothy J. Ryan

Personal injury attorney Timothy J. Ryan has helped California injury victims recover more than $1 Billion since 1981. Tim is on the board of governors for the Consumer Attorneys of California and received the 2020 award "10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys" for client satisfaction.


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Timothy J. Ryan & Associates

Call (714) 898-4444 or fill out our contact form to obtain a free, no-obligation consultation from personal injury attorney Timothy J. Ryan. Tim has helped California injury victims obtain more than $1 Billion in compensation since 1981. Get the help you need today.