Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Skip Header/Navigation
Super Lawyers Leandros A. Vrionedes P.C
Your Injury May Entitle You to a Large Monetary Award For a Free Consultation Call Now 1-800-634-8144 or Click Here to Submit Your Case Information
Avvo Clients' Choice
Leandros A. Vrionedes P.C. - Attorneys At Law
Super Lawyers Leandros A. Vrionedes P.C
Lead Counsel LC Rated
National Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
Avvo Reviews Leandros A. Vrionedes
Rated by Super Lawyers Leandros A. Vrionedes

“Quality Service With My Personal Attention”

Bus Accident $5,000,000.00

A 12-year-old student who was traveling by New York City Transit ...

Learn More
Construction Site Accident $2,000,000.00

A laborer who was involved in demolition of a large building ...

Learn More
Elevator Drop $1,400,000.00

Elevator drop accident in a Queens hospital causing neck injury ...

Learn More
School Bus Accident $1,400,000.00

School bus accident in the Bronx as the result of speeding, causing ...

Learn More

Share This Page:

  • Facebook Share
  • Twitter Share
  • LinkedIn Share
  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Avvo
  • Yelp
  • Instagram

News Reports Settlement Reached in Joan Rivers Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death form and stethoscope on a table.

Nearly two years after Joan Rivers’ death, it has been reported that the malpractice lawsuit filed against her treating physicians has reached a settlement. While the amount of the settlement has not been disclosed, the doctors against whom the claim was filed have publicly accepted responsibility for her death.

The procedure which Rivers underwent, ultimately leading to her death, should have been routine. On August 28, 2014, Rivers sought care at Yorkville Endoscopy, one of the numerous outpatient surgery centers which have been licensed by the state of New York in recent years as a substitute to hospital room surgeries. To determine what caused the hoarse voice and sore throat from which Rivers complained, her doctors were slated to perform a laryngoscopy, or examination of her vocal cords and voice box, as well as an endoscopy to examine her upper digestive system, while Rivers was under general anesthesia. However, Rivers would not again regain consciousness.

According to the lawsuit filed by Melissa Rivers, Joan Rivers’ daughter, Rivers’ treatment in the clinic that day was riddled with errors and deviations from protocol. The suit, filed in New York Supreme Court in 2015, claimed that the “star-struck” doctors had been so eager to please that they failed to comply with critical safety rules. One doctor was even reported to take a photo of Rivers with his cell phone while she was on the operating table. Dr. Renuka Bankulla, the main anesthesiologist attending to Rivers that day, became extremely concerned about the breaches of protocol she was observing. She began to take detailed notes, later provided to attorneys, documenting what she saw, already sensing that the fumbled care could have tragic results. As the procedure went on, Bankulla noticed that Rivers’ vocal cords had become swollen, looking as though they could seize up, and warned the other doctors of this. Dismissing her concern as “paranoid,” the doctors continued the procedure.

As Bankulla predicted, Rivers’ vocal cords later closed, which obstructed her airway and prevented her from breathing. Rather than request a crash cart, the typical course of action in such an emergency which would have provided a means to insert a breathing tube, Bankulla looked for the clinic’s ear nose and throat specialist to perform a cricothyrotomy, which consists of punching a hole in the throat. However, that doctor had already left. It took several more minutes for the doctors to request emergency assistance from 911, and by the time help arrived, Rivers had entered cardiac arrest. Ultimately, Rivers passed away seven days later when life support was removed.

Melissa Rivers and her attorneys made clear to the press that this lawsuit was not only intended to highlight the malpractice that occurred in this instance, but also to draw attention to the safety standards governing outpatient surgical centers. The group stated that they would be advocating for new legislation requiring these centers to comply with the same safety standards governing hospitals, in order to prevent the sort of medical malpractice that resulted in Rivers’ death.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice in New York, seek the compensation you need for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages by contacting the experienced and trial-ready New York medical malpractice attorney Leandros A. Vrionedes for a consultation on your case, in Manhattan at 212-889-9362, and in Queens at 718-777-5895.

  • Facebook Share
  • Twitter Share
  • LinkedIn Share
  • RSS