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Could Joan Rivers’ death been result of medical malpractice?

The death of a celebrity usually makes headlines. But the death of comedian Joan Rivers may command a different headline in legal news. Apparently a doctor involved in the clinic where the fatal procedure was performed has been the subject of a previous medical malpractice suit for the same procedure.

The previous suit was filed about 10 years ago by an elderly man who claimed that he was never informed of the risks associated with the procedure. Without the proper instructions, he claimed that he ate shortly before the procedure was performed, aspirated and developed pneumonia. His lawsuit resulted in a verdict for the defense, but the fatal result of the procedure for Rivers may raise suspicions about the accuracy of the previous verdict.

When the clinic where Rivers’ procedure was performed opened in 2013, the same doctor who was sued in 2004 released a statement touting the clinic’s advantages over having the same procedures done in a hospital setting. Among the advantages listed were more cost-efficient services and a patient-friendly environment with the highest quality care.

Rivers’ death may not only result in a medical malpractice claim. The health department which is charged with the oversight of such clinics is also investigating her death.

While the death of a celebrity who has been in the public eye for decades may get press coverage, any possible allegation of medical malpractice, hospital negligence or doctor error is worth investigating.

A Connecticut attorney who is well-versed in the law of medical malpractice be may be to help determine whether such an allegation made in this state has any basis in law.

Source: New York Daily News, “State investigating New York City clinic where Joan Rivers ceased breathing during procedures,” Nancy Dillon, Sept. 4, 2014

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