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Famed comedian’s family settles medical malpractice lawsuit

When it comes to sensitive matters like health care, even a relatively routine visit to the doctor can turn into a very serious matter for Pottsville residents. Whether a doctor misses a serious diagnosis that causes later harm to the patient or commits some error that immediately injures the patient, there is no shortage of incidents that can occur, with varying levels of injury to the patient.

For instance, 81-year-old comedian Joan Rivers died just days after she underwent a routine endoscopy. Her family filed a medical malpractice action after Rivers’ death, alleging the doctors performed unauthorized medical procedures and failed to act when her vital signs deteriorated. The negligence action asserted the doctors had performed a procedure, known as a laryngoscopy, without Rivers’ consent, and they did not perform her endoscopy properly. The parties recently reached a settlement of the lawsuit, although the terms were not made public.

While Rivers’ case is notable because of her high-profile status, the allegations of the lawsuit are all too common. Patients who place their trust in their doctors may have that trust violated when medical care is not provided according to the patient’s consent. For instance, a patient might not have fully understood what the person was consenting to, resulting in a lack of informed consent for the treatment.

Even when patients do give informed consent, the doctor may make mistakes that have serious consequences to the patient. No matter what the particular reason, patients should understand their rights. Through a medical malpractice action, patients can hold the doctor responsible for his or her actions and obtain the relief the patient deserves.

Source: CBS DFW, “Joan Rivers medical malpractice lawsuit settled,” May 13, 2016

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