Hot Poppin' Culture News From New York City

Melissa Rivers’ Death Lawsuit Facing Hurdles Because She Blocked Autopsy

Cooper Endicott and Melissa Rivers  leave a memorial service for mom,  Joan Rivers, at Temple Emanu-El  in New York City. Melissa is now reportedly considering a lawsuit over her mother's death. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Cooper Endicott and Melissa Rivers leave a memorial service for mom, Joan Rivers, at Temple Emanu-El in New York City. Melissa is now reportedly considering a lawsuit over her mother’s death. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Melissa Rivers is reportedly considering suing Yorkville Endoscopy to find out why mother Joan Rivers died, but her legal efforts are likely to be sharply hampered because Melissa reportedly refused to allow an autopsy.

An autopsy be state medical examiners could have pinpointed the exact cause of Joan’s death in September from lack of oxygen to the brain.

But by refusing to allow her mother to be examined, Melissa has covered up critical evidence that could be a significant factor, both for the plaintiff and defense, in any civil trial.

Whether Rivers is even contemplating a lawsuit seems highly problematic. So far media reports are only based on a so-called “source” unearthed by gossip site TMZ.

If a lawyer or lawyers are advising her to sue, the case may turn out to be nothing more than a payday for them.

The New York Dept. of Health and Human Services examined procedures at Yorkville Endoscopy following Joan’s death and found deficiencies in the surgical services and medical staff.

But Rivers was reportedly stonewalled by the clinic when she asked for more detailed information about how her mother died. The likely reason: Fear she might sue them.

While a lawsuit would allow Rivers’ lawyer to question hospital administrators and staff in pre-trial depositions, the case would first have to clear pre-trial motions, including a motion to dismiss the case.

The fact that Melissa refused to allow an autopsy, which would have provided the information she is seeking, may be enough grounds to get her case tossed in court.

For the latest updates on the case, follow IM on Twitter.


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