Joan Rivers Law Suit Filed Against Yorkville Endoscopy

Published on January 27, 2015.
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The Joan Rivers estate, led by surviving daughter, Melissa, have filed suit against the Yorkville Endoscopy outpatient surgery center for the wrongful death of the late comedienne.

According the suit filed in New York County court, the charges suggest the Yorkville Endoscopy facility to be “reckless, grossly negligent and wanton.” Wanton is such a strange word choice, isn’t it? One thing for sure, in no context is it suggesting anything in a positive light.

Now, the burden of proof lies on the accuser, or in this case, Melissa Rivers and her team of attorneys. One would expect that she’s privy to some really powerful attorneys. The goal in this suit obviously isn’t money–she pretty much wants to kill the Yorkville practice.

For those who don’t know, Joan Rivers was undergoing a series of procedures to learn what was causing issues with her voice and throat. During the consult, she agreed to certain things being done–some in writing, some consented to verbally–as will be argued by both parties in this case.

Reading anything from a media source at this point is mere hearsay, as the medical professionals are simply not going to speak about the case outside of the courtroom. The one piece of medical expertise that has been offered to the case was the report of the medical examiner who performed the autopsy. The results suggested that Joan died due to a lack of sufficient oxygen to the brain during the surgery.

The complex case includes more than a procedural mishap. The suit alleges that one of the doctors was not certified to perform procedures at the Yorkville clinic, and argues that some of the procedures performed, including a laryngoscopy, were never agreed to by Joan. This may be a hard sell to a jury who will certainly hear things about Joan’s familiarity with surgical procedures from the defense attorneys, and that in all likelihood, she agreed to the doctors doing anything they needed to do to find the root of her problem.

Regardless, it doesn’t help Dr. Lawrence Cohen took a selfie with Joan while she was still sedated. In fairness, he thought it would be comedic, and Joan would appreciate it in the recovery room, but it reeks of amateurism.

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