Comedienne Joan Rivers has passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York after being taken off life support Sept. 4. She was 81.
According to Examiner.com
Rivers' death came seven days after she went into cardiac and respiratory arrest during a routine throat surgery at Yorkville Endoscopy in New York. The New York Department of Health is currently investigating Yorkville Endoscopy to see what went wrong during her surgery.
The death has been reported to the NYC Medical Examiner's Office -- and officials tell TMZ the office will open an investigation to determine cause of death. NYDailyNews.com
Yorkville Endoscopy in Manhattan opened in February 2013 as a state-of-the-art surgical center. It's not yet clear which doctor or doctors performed the endoscopic procedure on the 81-year-old comedian. In 2004, a 93-year-old man sued doctors now with the clinic over the same procedure - saying he was never properly informed of the risks and contracted pneumonia - but lost.
Speculation is rampant that the incident will lead to medical malpractice litigation. According to Delray Beach based Medical Malpractice Insurance Specialist Matt Gracey
, "Whenever a case like this lands in the media spotlight my worry is that the public will become more concerned about the quality of medical care in general versus just seeing this as an unfortunate isolated incident. The more concern the public has, the more those concerns find their way into doctor/patient relationships and even into jury rooms." Adds Ft. Lauderdale based Medical Malpractice Defense Attorney Michael Anthony Petruccelli
, "Given the media reports suggesting that the subject operative procedure was a fairly straight forward one, the potential for a medical negligence action may well depend on the autopsy findings and specifically, whether the autopsy findings determine an iatrogenic cause for the injury and eventual demise."
With the 2003 Med Mal Caps lifted by Florida Supreme Court Order
earlier this year, healthcare providers and litigators in the state are sure to be monitoring this situation closely. A high profile case like this closer to home could destabilize the relatively peaceful and modestly priced medical malpractice market that currently exists in Florida.