Losing a loved one is difficult for most people, but over time, they learn to accept the loss and move on. If the death was the result of someone else’s negligence, however, accepting the loss may be more difficult. Fortunately, in both Illinois and New York, when a death is the result of medical malpractice, surviving family members have the legal right to seek compensation by means of a lawsuit.
One event that grabbed national headlines last August and September was the death of Joan Rivers, long-time comedian and television personality. Rivers died in a New York City hospital one week after a supposedly routine surgical procedure at an outpatient clinic.
Rivers’ daughter, Mellissa, recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the clinic, claiming that negligence by doctors led to the death of the 81-year-old comedian. The lawsuit alleges that the physicians were inadequately trained and performed certain medical procedures to which Rivers had not consented. The lawsuit claims that it was during one of these procedures that Rivers experienced complications and went into a coma as a result of sustaining brain damage.
In January, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cited the clinic for noncompliance with standard protocols during Joan Rivers’ treatment. The citations are included as part of the lawsuit filed by Melissa Rivers. The CMMS ordered the clinic to amend the deficiencies detailed in the citation by March, 2015, or become subject to losing its license and funding.
The loss of a loved one in circumstances such as these can be devastating and family members often have trouble accepting such a death. For this reason, survivors should remember that they have a right to seek corrective action by filing a medical malpractice claim. For detailed information on how to proceed, surviving family members should speak with an experienced lawyer.
Source: Reuters, “New York clinic that treated comic Joan Rivers sued over her death,” Patricia Reaney, Jan. 26, 2015