The tragic death of celebrity Joan Rivers was originally suspected to be related to her age. At 81 years old, the fondly remembered star was still an international sensation having performed as recently as just last month. Aside from being a widely known comic, Joan Rivers was also a critically acclaimed author, a devoted philanthropist, a loving mother and a classic icon of an era. In the aftermath of her demise, questions have been raised regarding medical malpractice, the risk of anesthesia fatality and whether or not medical procedures should be considered riskier for senior citizens. It is rumored that the Rivers family has hired a personal injury attorney and intends to pursue upwards from $100 million in compensation for pain and suffering if evidence of medical malpractice is uncovered during the now international, ongoing investigation.
The Alleged Error Made by New York Medical Practitioners
Of all of the hospitals in New York from Brooklyn, NY to Queens, NY, from the Bronx to Staten Island, Manhattan’s Mount Sinai was the one that made the hospital honor role. This particular hospital was ranked at number 14 out of the 5,000 chosen for evaluation by the US News & World Report. Acclaimed areas of expertise range from heart surgery to cancer and just about everything in between, yet even the efforts of Mount Sinai’s expert staff couldn’t save Joan Rivers from the medically induced coma that abruptly ended her life. It was at this point that rumors of an unplanned biopsy performed by medical practitioners at Yorkville’s Endoscopy began to circulate. The staff of Endoscopy avidly denies the claim that any unplanned biopsy was performed and they have also spoken of a rigorous anesthesia procedure where patients are evaluated ahead of time and put under constant surveillance by three or even four trained professionals at any given time. They claim the comedian passed their pre-screening test with flying colors but critics claim the facility was ill-equipped to handle such a procedure. Some critics have gone as far as to say that Joan Rivers might have survived if she had received the same surgery in a hospital rather than a clinic.
The Age Factor
Whenever claims of wrongful death and/or medical malpractice are made concerning a senior citizen, the age factor is reexamined by everyone. Discussions regarding age as it may or may not impact surgery results take place amongst doctors, lawyers, investigators and everyday people. Some doctors firmly believe that expertise trumps age and that routine surgeries, when performed under the right conditions, can save the lives of seniors rather than taking lives prematurely. Other doctors, lawyers and scientists firmly disagree.
$100 million might sound like an astronomical number in any lawsuit even if a fatality occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. There is absolutely no way to determine the value of a life so compensation in the Joan Rivers case has been determined based on her individual earning potential. Considering the fact that Joan Rivers was still active in the media, both onstage and offstage, her earning potential was still incredibly high, hence the multimillion dollar compensation request. In truth, a multimillion dollar verdict in a situation like this isn’t unheard of or even uncommon. Many everyday citizens, the firefighters and school teachers and construction workers who die as a result of medical malpractice and/or negligence leave behind a rather generous fortune when their families pursue compensation in a court of law. One fact that often goes overlooked is that these families are also left with medical bills, burial costs and a lost wage that will never again reach the dinner table. With that thought in mind, we are all top earners who are entitled to compensation in the event of any avoidable tragedy.
Richard C. Bell is a personal injury attorney who has been practicing law in New York City since 1982. He handles cases resulting from negligence and is committed to obtaining maximum compensation for his clients. In addition to being featured for his efforts in accredited media outlets such as The Donahue Show, The New York Times and The Daily News, Richard also has an excellent reputation for achieving multimillion dollar verdicts. Some of his most recent settlements have resulted in his clients being awarded upwards from $6.5 million. He can be reached at the Law Offices of Richard C Bell for inquiries.