Would Joan Rivers’ Family Have a Wrongful Death Suit in AZ?

Through a series of new revelations that bear an eerie similarity to Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, it now appears that Joan Rivers’ death might have been caused by a doctor’s negligence. And, as with Jackson, the dangerous drug Propofol may be partly to blame.

As the New York Daily News reports, Joan’s well-known daughter, Melissa Rivers, is prepared to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor and the clinic that performed the procedure that ultimately claimed Joan’s life.

Initially, at least, the wrongful death suit is investigative in nature. According to Daily News, Rivers isn’t sure yet if there’s sufficient evidence to hold her mother’s medical team accountable. A lawsuit will help her get answers to those questions — under oath.

The allegations, though (if true), could spell serious legal trouble for Dr. Gwen Korovin, an ear/nose/throat specialist better known as “the Patron Saint of Broadway” because of her long history of treating NYC’s biggest stars for vocal problems. It was Korovin who has performed the endoscopy on Rivers when she lost consciousness and later died.

Among the more shocking accusations:

  • Korovin allegedly took a selfie with the unconscious Rivers.
  • The clinic allegedly went ahead and performed an additional procedure while Rivers was under anesthesia — without her knowledge or permission — and it was this unauthorized procedure that cut off her brain’s oxygen supply.
  • Medical records indicate that Rivers may have received an unsafe or unauthorized dosage of Propofol and/or general anesthesia.

Korovin and the clinic have vigorously denied the accusations.

While Melissa Rivers’ attorneys will ultimately need to prove the claims in order to prevail in a court, the allegations would certainly be sufficient to support a wrongful death suit in Arizona.

To establish wrongful death in Arizona, a close family member must show that they have suffered a loss as the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing (in this case, medical malpractice) — not unlike the law on wrongful death in New York, where the Rivers claim is being filed.

Ultimately, the outcome of Melissa’s case will come down to the specific facts and circumstances, including the doctors’ legal duties under New York law. Whether there was negligence or not, our thoughts are with the Rivers family and with Joan’s many loved ones and friends as they search for the truth in their time of need.


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