The daughter of Joan Rivers filed a malpractice lawsuit on Monday against the New York medical clinic that carried the treatment of her mother during her last days, accusing the doctors of posing for selfies with the sedated celebrity patient at a time when her vital signs were plummeting.
The case of malpractice was filed in New York state Supreme Court by Melissa, Rivers’ only child. She sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in her lawsuit.
In a statement, Melissa Rivers said, “The level of medical mismanagement, incompetence, disrespect and outrageous behavior is shocking and frankly, almost incomprehensible.”
On August 28, 2014, when the doctors at the Yorkville Endoscopy center in Manhattan were performing surgical procedures on the 80-year-old celeb for examining her vocal cords and throat, she suffered from a loss of oxygen to her brain and a week later she died at a New York hospital.
In the lawsuit, Rivers’ daughter claimed that the doctors were not trained enough to determine and deal with the type of emergency airway obstruction from which the celeb suffered.
The lawsuit said that they failed to determine her plunging vital signs while she was in their care. According to the complaint, the outpatient clinic allowed a physician who was not authorized to conduct a procedure, called, a trans-nasal laryngoscopy, on Rivers twice for which she had not given her consent.
A trans-nasal laryngoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a scope is passed through sinus passages into the larynx.
The lawsuit claims Rivers’ low blood pressure and heart rate, which were already at dangerous level, dropped further during a repeat of that procedure as her airway turned so constricted that she could no longer breathe.
Rivers’ daughter claimed that this was the point when one doctor snapped selfies of himself and other doctors performing the laryngoscopy on her mother, apparently being unaware of her declining condition.
Melissa also alleged in the lawsuit that the unauthorized physician left the operation room as soon as Rivers’ condition worsened and the doctors tried hard to restore her breathing.
Meanwhile, Yorkville Endoscopy denied issuing comment on the lawsuit.