A settlement was reached in the Joan Rivers malpractice case, though no dollar amount was disclosed, the New York Times reported Thursday. The doctors accepted responsibility for Rivers’ 2014 death; the comedian died while undergoing a medical procedure at Yorkville Endoscopy in New York City. She was 81 years old.
While it was rumored that Rivers was at the clinic for more plastic surgery, a topic she used in her comedy, she was actually undergoing treatment for her throat. In truth, Rivers had gone to the clinic for “a diagnostic procedure [to] see why her voice had gotten raspy,” the New York Daily News reported in 2014.
The story took a strange twist when allegations surfaced that Dr. Gwen Korovin, an ear, nose and throat specialist, snapped a photo while Rivers was unconscious in the background. “Dr. Korovin took the selfie with her personal cell phone,” an insider told Radar Online after the comedian died. “Everyone in the operating room was just stunned as they had never witnessed anyone do that before.”
Korovin was one of the doctors named in a lawsuit, which Rivers’ daughter, Melissa, filed last year in New York state Supreme Court in New York City.
Korovin wasn’t the only doctor implicated: Dr. Renuka Bankulla, the main anesthesiologist, plus two other anesthesiologists and Dr. Lawrence Cohen, who resigned as the clinic’s medical director, also were named.
The doctors agreed to plead no contest, saying through a representative for Yorkville Endoscopy: “The parties agreed to settle this case to avoid protracted litigation. We remain committed to providing quality, compassionate health care services.”
Melissa Rivers, who now co-hosts E!'s “Fashion Police,” which her mother previously co-hosted, was relieved a settlement was reached. She said she was “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.”
To make sure this didn’t happen to another family, Melissa promised to “work towards ensuring higher safety standards in outpatient surgical clinics.”
— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) May 12, 2016
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