The family of Joan Rivers has settled a medical malpractice suit against the New York City clinic where the comedian died on Sept. 4, 2014, at age 81. Rivers death came days after undergoing a routine endoscopy at Yorkville Endoscopy in Manhattan.
“In accepting this settlement, I am 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,” said her daughter Melissa Rivers in a statement on Thursday. Rivers’ attorneys Ben Rubinowitz and Jeff Bloom did not disclose the amount of the settlement.
Yorkville Endoscopy responded to the settlement Thursday night, telling the Associated Press that both sides agreed to settle the case to avoid protracted litigation.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the Rivers family,” the clinic said in a statement. “We remain committed to providing quality, compassionate healthcare services that meet the needs of our patients, their families and the community.”
Melissa Rivers filed a lawsuit in 2015 at the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleging that the doctors performed unauthorized medical procedures.
According to the AP, the lawsuit claimed that doctors at the clinic mishandled Rivers’ procedure by performing a laryngoscopy on her vocal cords without consent, instead of an endoscopy. The suit also claimed that when an anesthesiologist expressed concern over what the procedure would do to Rivers’ ability to breathe, she was told that she was being “paranoid.”
Rivers’ autopsy revealed that her official cause of death was due to brain damage from lack of oxygen after she stopped breathing during the medical procedure. Her death was classified as a therapeutic complication.
Read Melissa Rivers’ full statement below:
“The lawsuit concerning my mother’s death has been settled. In accepting this settlement, I am 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. Moving forward, my focus will be to ensure that no one ever has to go through what my mother, Cooper and I went through and I will work towards ensuring higher safety standards in out-patient surgical clinics. I want to express my personal gratitude to my legal team for their wise counsel and prompt resolution of this case.”