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POINT OF LAW: Death of Joan Rivers - Medical Malpractice?

  • By G. Many Manibog, Esq.

The one of a kind, likely irreplaceable female comedian, Joan Rivers, died September 4, a week after her heart stopped during a minor throat procedure at an outpatient endoscopic center in New York. With her passing, the uniquely hilarious style of stand up comedy by a woman comedian will be a most difficult act to follow or recreate.

Joan Rivers’ comedy often appeared offensive, raunchy and self critical, bringing a new inimitable style that often raised controversy as her audiences continued to roar with laughter. If a “Laugh Queen” title were to be awarded, Joan Rivers would be a hands down winner.
It is reported that her family is consulting medical malpractice lawyers about a lawsuit against the New York endoscopy center which performed a minor throat procedure, during which time her heart and breathing stopped. Rushed to a major hospital, she died a week later after life support systems were disconnected.
Many questions arose, what brought on this sad and unexpected demise of this uniquely funny and well loved woman comedian? Was the small outpatient clinic equipped with appropriate life saving equipment? These and other relevant issues are being raised as attorneys prepare a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical providers involved in the surgical and recovery procedures.
Although we live under a set of laws, rules and standards designed to make ours a safer and more civil society, human imperfections often surface to the detriment of society. Of growing concern, today is medical malpractice which, simply put, is the breach of that certain standard required of the medical profession constituting negligent conduct in performance and use of medical skills and knowledge.
New York authorities, therefore, are investigating all the circumstances that might have led to Joan Rivers’ death and the hospitals and medical personnel connected with Rivers medical procedures. There should be no surprise if a heavy medical malpractice suit would be filed shortly.
A few years ago, our office represented a couple, whose baby was born with a crushed skull, requiring a specialist to immediately take over to repair the damages. In our malpractice lawsuit against the doctors and hospital, we were able to show that the obstetrician, an elderly foreign trained doctor, used “high forceps” in a very difficult delivery when he should have performed a C-section (cesarean birth). The child sustained brain injury that would affect him for the rest of his life. The end result was a hefty monetary damages award which would provide the needed care for the child during his lifetime.
If you ever suspect an improper medical care causing you or a family member serious injuries or death, do not hesitate to contact a medical malpractice attorney right away.

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