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Daughter of Joan Rivers Files Malpractice Lawsuit in Mother’s Death

Joan Rivers passed away last year after a relatively minor exploratory surgery on her vocal cords. Now her daughter has filed a malpractice lawsuit against the doctor on the case, Gwen Korovin, as well as the medical director of Yorkville Endoscopy, Lawrence Cohen.

Before the surgery, the anesthesiologist warned that Rivers’ vocal cords were very swollen and they may seize, which would leave the comedian unable to breathe. Cohen told the anesthesiologist that he was paranoid and continued with the operation.

Unfortunately, Rivers went into cardiac and respiratory arrest and died a few days later. There have not been any official results yet about cause of death, but federal health investigators say that there were several medical errors involved. They noted that the doctors treating Rivers did not notice that her vital signs were dropping, and also that the vocal cords did close, which limited her breathing.

The lawsuit claims that the doctors treating Rivers were oblivious to what was happening on the operating table. In fact, Cohen is accused of taking pictures of her with his cell phone while she has lying on the operating table, possibly experiencing brain damage as she was not breathing properly.

They eventually realized she was suffering from an airway obstruction but they did not call for the crash cart, which could have restored her breathing more quickly, the suit states.

The lawsuit documents state that Rivers’ doctors were star struck and were giving her treatments they probably should not have.

Our personal injury firm has handled many medical malpractice cases. Although most people who are injured or killed annually from medical errors are not famous as Rivers was, they and their families suffer just the same. About 225,000 people die every year due to medical malpractice. In such cases, the families should seek legal counsel to learn what their options are.


I am truly proud of Melissa Rivers for trying to make a difference, I am proud that she considered us, Joan's fans throughout this tragic ordeal. I remain convinced that no one should ever have to experience something like this as Melissa Rivers has stated and I am hopeful that through this lawsuit, it will bring the needed attention so that this is a very rare occurrence in the future. I have reached the acceptance stage but yet it still makes me feel nauseated literally, every time I read what happened. My heart and spirit goes out to those who were close to Joan in person, I have been glad to see that those people are still remembering Joan in their work. This was a cold hard reality to face and it sure would have been nice to have seen Joan live out her remaining years when she was so on top. But, she is leaving a legacy behind and it will truly benefit a lot of people and other families, I truly believe she would be glad that she left the world and is still leaving good behind through this lawsuit and it's outcome. This particular physician is full of herself completely, her posturing, her lack of remorse at the time, the denials, her running out of the room when things got bad, so many things that happened that are simply reprehensible. Although Melissa was not in New York, I am grateful that she wasn't their because she would have been horrified and there wouldn't have been anything she could have done and that would have been awful for her. She handled that funeral like Jacklyn Kennedy, such style and grace, and I'm absolutely positive she was feeling like she was going to die herself, but she pulled through and she is now fighting back for Justice for Joan, (JFJ)
by David Popp February 26, 2015 at 07:14 PM
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