Melissa Rivers, daughter to the late comedienne Joan Rivers, has filed a lawsuit against the New York endoscopy clinic where her mother fell into a coma just days before her death.
Rivers’ lawyer made the announcement, stating Melissa is suing the clinic and the doctors that treated her mother.
Melissa is suing Yorkville Endoscopy in Manhattan, where her mother suffered a fatal complication during routine throat surgery on August 28, 2014.
The 47-year-old television producer is also suing the doctors who treated Rivers prior to her death, claiming their ‘negligence’ and ‘carelessness’ triggered the star’s fatal coma.
She explained that the lawsuit stems from her ‘unwavering belief’ that no-one should have to suffer such levels of ‘medical mismanagement, incompetency and disrespect’ that her mother did.
Melissa adds, “Not only did my mother deserve better, every patient deserves better”.
Rivers, who rose to fame on The Tonight Show, died of brain damage due to lack of oxygen after she stopped breathing during what was supposed to be a simple endoscopy and throat examination.
In the lawsuit, her daughter alleges that doctors did not only carry out those procedures, but also conducted an unauthorized exam of her vocal chords and windpipe, leading to a laryngospasm.
During the spasm, Rivers’s throat seized up and deprived her brain of oxygen so she could not expel carbon dioxide from her lungs.
Although Joan’s vital signs showed clear symptoms of distress, doctors decided to continue with the laryngoscopy, which led to her heart attack and brain damage.
The lawsuit states that doctors attempted to revive Joan for 20 minutes, but no one performed a tracheotomy.
Joan was rushed to nearby Mount Sinai hospital in a coma, where she was put on life support. She never regained consciousness and passed away a week later after being removed from life support.
The complaint names five doctors – as well as the clinic on East 93rd Street – as defendants.
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