Joan Rivers’ daughter Melissa has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the doctors who she claims allowed her mother to die during a routine outpatient procedure.
Rivers filed the multi-million dollar lawsuit against Yorkville Endoscopy clinic in Manhattan, as well as against two doctors and three anesthesiologists, who she says failed to respond when her 81-year-old mother’s blood pressure, pulse, and heart and oxygen rates rapidly dropped during an endoscopy.
Rivers claims the health professionals were too busy taking cell phone photos of her mother to take action when it was required, reports the New York Daily News.
In addition to performing the endoscopy back in August, Rivers’ doctors reportedly performed an unauthorized biopsy on her vocal chords, which resulted in a laryngospasm that caused her throat to close up and her brain to become deprived of oxygen. She was also unable to expel carbon dioxide from her lungs, which triggered a heart attack and brain damage, according to the lawsuit.
Even after Anesthesiologist Renuka Bankulla reportedly told the team to take an internal picture because she believed Rivers’ internal swelling could be worrisome, lead doctor Lawrence B. Cohen reportedly told her she was being “paranoid” and failed to listen to her, the lawsuit states.
The doctors reportedly continued with the procedure, which the lawsuit claims led to Rivers’ cardiac arrest. Despite trying to revive her for 20 minutes, doctors allegedly failed to perform a tracheotomy to open up her airways. The comedienne was in a coma for seven days before she died.
Rivers, 47, says she filed the lawsuit because she wants to make sure no one else goes through the same tragic ordeal.
“The level of medical mismanagement, incompetency, disrespect and outrageous behavior is shocking and frankly incomprehensible,” Rivers said. “Not only did my mother deserve better, every patient deserves better.”