Joan Rivers’ Family Settles Malpractice Suit Over Comedian’s 2014 Death

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Melissa Rivers and other members of comedian Joan Rivers‘ family have settled a malpractice suit against Yorkville Endoscopy and the doctors treating her, following her death in 2014. Lawyers for the family Thursday wouldn’t specify the amount of the settlement, other than to call it “substantial.” They added that the doctors had accepted responsibility for Rivers’ death during a typically routine throat procedure.

The doctors agreed not to contest the suit’s findings. “The parties agreed to settle this case to avoid protracted litigation,” a spokesman for Yorkville Endoscopy said. “We remain committed to providing quality, compassionate health care services.”

Rivers’ daughter, Melissa, filed the lawsuit in NY State Supreme Court in Manhattan against the clinic, a for-profit outpatient surgery center where her mother, who was 81 at the time, was being treated. The suit also named Dr. Gwen Korovin, an ear, nose and throat specialist; Dr. Renuka Bankulla, the main anesthesiologist, and two other anesthesiologists; and Dr. Lawrence Cohen, who subsequently stepped down as the clinic’s medical director.

The suit alleged a snowballing series of errors and miscues that, it claimed, led to the famed comedian’s death. In a statement released Thursday, Melissa Rivers said she was happy to be “able to put the legal aspects of my mother’s death behind me and ensure that those culpable for her death have accepted responsibility for their actions quickly and without equivocation.”

She said she hoped no one would have to go through what her family had endured, adding that she would “work towards ensuring higher safety standards in outpatient surgical clinics.”

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