Joan Rivers’ Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Comes to an End

Posted on June 1, 2016 at 11:54am by

Photo of surgeryTwo years after her death, Joan Rivers’ medical malpractice lawsuit has reportedly been settled. The beloved comedian died due to complications arising from medical errors in 2014.

The exact amount of the settlement has not been disclosed, and is unlikely to be, but attorneys working on behalf of Joan’s family have said that the settlement was “substantial.” It’s impossible for any amount of money to bring back a loved one, but hopefully it can help Joan’s loved ones as well as encourage caregivers to act more cautiously in the future.

Joan Rivers’ Medical Malpractice Case

Melissa Rivers, Joan’s daughter, filed the medical malpractice lawsuit against five doctors working for Yorkville Endoscopy in 2015. According to that lawsuit, a string of medical errors and unethical actions resulted in the death of her mother. Melissa alleged that the five physicians responsible for Joan’s life made numerous errors, failed to act when her vitals were dropping, and even went so low as to take selfies with Joan while she was unconscious.

Joan had been scheduled for an endoscopy at an outpatient clinic. During the operation, the physicians decided to perform a laryngoscopy as well. They did not have consent from Joan to do this procedure. The anesthesiologist reportedly voiced concerns that Joan’s airway could become swollen shut, but those concerns were dismissed.

After Joan’s airway did in fact close up, her doctors failed to order a crash cart, instead scrambling to find an ear, nose and throat doctor to do an emergency operation. By the time they realized the ENT doctor had left the building and called 911, Joan had been oxygen deprived for too long. She died seven days later after the family made the agonizing decision to take her off life support.

These kinds of mistakes should never happen. Patient safety should be a physician’s number one concern. Perhaps the worst part in this particular case is that Joan was being “cared for” by not one, but five doctors; none of whom were able to act professionally and prevent her death.

The Cape May medical malpractice attorneys at Targan & Pender understand the pain of losing a loved one to medical errors or doctor negligence, and are here to help you find justice and peace.



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