Joan Rivers’ daughter Melissa Rivers will file lawsuits against Joan’s physicians and her endoscopy clinic because that’s the only way to know the true cause of her mother’s death. Melissa is frustrated because she doesn’t know if the clinic or doctors were at fault because no autopsy was performed.
The lawsuit update comes shortly after news surfaced that Melissa had inherited $110 million from Joan’s estate. Melissa was distraught when Joan died Sept. 4 and had reportedly told doctors not to perform an autopsy. She is now regretting that decision because an autopsy is the only way to find out if negligence had contributed to Rivers’ death.
The New York City Medical Examiners Office concluded that River’s cause of death was brain damage due to lack of oxygen. While investigators said Joan’s death was a “predictable” complication of medical therapy, toxicology reports revealed Rivers had been sedated with Propofol, contradicting statements from Yorkville Endoscopy, which insisted they had never given her Propofol or any general anesthesia.
“General anaesthesia has never been administered,” the clinic said in September. Propofol is the powerful anesthesia that caused the 2009 death of Michael Jackson.
Sources said Melissa wants to know if Joan’s death was caused by negligence on the part of Yorkville Endoscopy or Joan’s personal physician, Dr. Gwen Korovin, and the only way to find is to file a wrongful death lawsuit and question the witnesses under oath.
Money is clearly not Melissa’s motive in filing a wrongful death lawsuit, since she inherited $110 million from Joan’s estate: a whopping $75 million in cash and a $35 million Manhattan condo.
Adding to the alleged negligence/impropriety claims were shocking witness accounts stating Korovin had snapped a selfie with the unconscious Joan when she was under anesthesia. Korovin denied taking the selfie and also denied performing a biopsy.
The Medical Examiners Office did not state whether a biopsy had been performed on Rivers. Sources said Rivers had only consented to an endoscopy, and experts said a biopsy would have required Joan’s consent.
Medical experts also said a biopsy should be performed at a hospital, not an outpatient clinic. Both Korovin and Yorkville Endoscopy denied a biopsy was performed on Joan, and so far, no one has been charged with any wrongdoing.
A veteran litigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told me exclusively Melissa Rivers could be awarded millions of dollars in a wrongful death lawsuit if the negligence allegations are true because Joan was earning a robust income at the time of her death.
Because of Melissa’s financial dependence on her mom, she could easily make a claim for lost income, explained the attorney, a former prosecutor with the Department of Justice and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
However, he said criminal charges would likely not be filed because — unlike in Michael Jackson’s wrongful death lawsuit, the possible negligence in Joan Rivers’ case was a one-shot occurrence and was not done over a course of years — as was alleged in the Jackson case.
Joan Rivers Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Daughter To Sue After Inheriting $110 Million.