Earlier this month, a settlement was announced in the wrongful death and medical malpractice case filed by the family of deceased comedienne Joan Rivers. The lawsuit was based upon her 2014 death at an outpatient surgery center in New York City. Although the exact terms and financial amount of the settlement have not been announced, the Rivers family’s attorney has said it was “substantial.” Since the case was settled, and the doctors and clinic accepted responsibility for Ms. Rivers’ death, there will not be a trial.
Ms. Rivers Dies After Seeking Treatment and a Routine Procedure at the Defendant Clinic
According to a New York Times article discussing the settlement, Joan Rivers arrived at the Yorkville Endoscopy Center in Manhattan on August 28, 2014, complaining of a hoarse voice and sore throat. Doctors for the center decided to have her undergo an endoscopy, which is a diagnostic procedure of the upper digestive tract and requires a patient to undergo anesthesia.
According to the article, the main operating physician ignored warnings that Ms. Rivers was at risk of having her airways blocked by severely swollen vocal chords. Minutes later, her airways become obstructed, and she stopped breathing, but the doctors were unprepared for emergency intervention to relax her vocal chords or puncture a hole in her throat to allow breathing. The doctors in attendance called 911, and Ms. Rivers was taken to a hospital for emergency treatment, but she had gone into cardiac arrest by that point and was unable to recover.
Smaller Outpatient Clinics Have a Duty to Prepare for Foreseeable Emergencies
Because of the rise in the cost of hospital care in the United States, outpatient medical clinics like the one where Ms. Rivers lost her life have become extremely popular in recent years. Although procedures performed in such clinics are not as expensive as when they are performed in a hospital, the level of care that patients receive is still required to meet or exceed the standard of care that a patient would get in a hospital. If an outpatient clinic is willing to perform a procedure, they must be able to safely perform it.
This obligation extends to anticipating and properly reacting to possible complications with a procedure. When a patient is injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice performed in an outpatient clinic, the patient or their legal representatives can seek compensation from the clinic and doctors by consulting an attorney and filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent defendants.
Pursuing a South Florida Medical Malpractice Claim
If you or someone you know has been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to damages through a South Florida medical malpractice lawsuit. The qualified Miami medical malpractice attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank are experienced in holding doctors and medical providers accountable, and we pride ourselves in obtaining fair compensation for our clients. Our Florida malpractice lawyers accept clients in Miami and throughout South Florida in medical malpractice and other negligence cases. If you think that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, call us today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Call toll-free at 877-448-8585 or contact us via our online contact form. Se habla Español / Nou Parlé Creole.
More Blog Posts:
State Supreme Court Reverses Judgment for Defendant in Wrongful Death Claim, May 12, 2016, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog
Judgment in Favor of County Fair Association Affirmed after Plaintiff Injured During Free Fireworks Display, April 21, 2016, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog