Melissa Rivers filed a malpractice lawsuit recently against doctors and the clinic where her mother, Joan Rivers, died after a routine medical procedure.
The lawsuit alleges doctors mishandled the endoscopy and performed a laryngoscopy on her vocal cords without consent. It also claims the doctor left the operating room to avoid being caught.
“To put it mildly, we are not just disappointed by the acts and omissions leading to the death of Joan Rivers, but we are outraged by the lack of care and concern for Ms. Rivers on the part of her treating physicians and the endoscopy center where the treatment was rendered,” says a statement released by Rivers’ attorneys, Jeffrey Bloom, JD, and Ben Rubinowitz, JD, both in New York City.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) investigated after the death and found the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic made several errors, including failing to get informed consent for every procedure performed and failing to record Rivers’ weight before the administration of sedation medication. CMS also said the clinic failed to keep proper medication records and personnel took cell phone photos of Rivers while she was unconscious.
CMS announced on Jan. 9 that the clinic failed to correct the deficiencies and would be banned from receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. “After a careful review of the facts, Yorkville Endoscopy L.L.C. no longer meets the conditions of coverage for a supplier of Ambulatory Surgical Center (A.C.S.) services,” said the letter from CMS. Medicare and Medicaid participation was terminated on Jan. 31.
Melissa Rivers said in a statement that she filed the malpractice lawsuit because “[t]he level of medical mismanagement, incompetency, disrespect and outrageous behavior is shocking and frankly, almost incomprehensible.”