Almost two years after her unexpected death, the family of the late Joan Rivers has settled a legal case against the New York clinic at the centre of a medical malpractice lawsuit. The legendary comedian stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest during routine throat surgery at New York's Yorkville Endoscopy.
She passed away a week later on 4 September, at the age of 81. An inquest into her death confirmed that the she died from anoxic encephalopathy due to hypoxic arrest, which occurs when brain tissue is deprived of oxygen.
In January 2015, Joan Rivers's daughter, Melissa, sued the clinic for negligence and claimed that several doctors posed for selfies with her mother while she was unconscious. Rivers' family also alleged mistakes by the outpatient endoscopy facility and the physicians ultimately led to her death. Former Yorkville Endoscopy medical director Dr Lawrence Cohen, anesthesiologist Robert Koniuta and Dr Gwen Korovin, Rivers' personal ear, nose and throat doctor were also named in the suit.
Melissa said that the settlement allows her 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."
The 48-year-old actress and television host added: "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."
After the settlement was announced, a spokesperson for Yorkville clinic said: "Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the Rivers family. We remain committed to providing quality, compassionate healthcare services that meet the needs of our patients, their families and the community."
Rivers' family are said to be satisfied with the settlement but the terms of it are confidential, attorney Ben Rubinowitz said.