On behalf of Hastings Law Firm posted in Surgical Errors on Thursday, October 30, 2014.

Fans across Texas, the United States and the world mourned the Sept. 2014 death of famed comedian Joan Rivers. Although questions of medical malpractice were almost immediately raised, this suspicion was never confirmed. Now, Rivers’ daughter, Melissa Rivers, plans to file a lawsuit to discover the truth.

Overwhelmed by grief, Melissa declined to have an autopsy performed on her mother. However, over a month after Ms. Rivers’ death, it was officially determined that she had suffered serious brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen. The New York City Medical Examiners Office also stated that Ms. Rivers’ complication and subsequent death could even be seen as a predictable outcome of the procedure.

Also noted was the anesthesia drug Propofol that was used during the procedure. As some may remember, this drug contributed to Michael Jackson’s death in 2009. At first, the clinic denied that it used Propofol or any type of general anesthesia, but the toxicology report indicated that it was in her system. Additionally, the time at which she stopped breathing apparently coincided with the time that the attending physician took a biopsy that she had never authorized.

Money is not believed to be a motivating factor for Melissa, as her intent to file the lawsuit closely followed receiving a $110 million inheritance. Instead, as many other families in Texas who have suffered a devastating loss, she may simply be seeking justice for what she believes was a wrongful death that may have been caused by medical malpractice. As serious improprieties have been alleged, such as the doctor taking a “selfie” with Joan while she was unconscious, a victory may not only provide compensation to a heartbroken family, but may also protect potential future victims from a tragic fate.

Source: examiner.com, “Joan Rivers wrongful death lawsuit: Melissa to sue after inheriting $110 million”, Samantha Chang, Oct. 23, 2014