Melissa Rivers hires law firm to investigate death of mother Joan Rivers

The comedian died following complications due to throat surgery

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The Independent Online

Melissa Rivers has hired a law firm to look into the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death.

Joan Rivers died on 4 September after complications from an outpatient throat procedure, aged 81. A report released by New York City Medical Examiner’s Office (OCME) said that her death was caused by lack of oxygen to her brain.

“In order to fully determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Joan Rivers, we confirm that our firm has been engaged by Melissa Rivers and her family,” Ben Rubinowitz, a partner at Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz, said in a statement.

Rivers was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, after reportedly suffering cardiac arrest during the throat procedure at Manhattan's Yorkville Endoscopy.

“The cause of Ms Rivers’ death is anoxic encephalopathy due to hypoxic arrest during laryngoscopy and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with propofol sedation for evaluation of voice changes and gastroesophageal reflux disease,” said OCME spokesperson Julie Bolcer. “The manner of death is therapeutic complication.

“The classification of a death as a therapeutic complication means that the death resulted from a predictable complication of medical therapy.”

Rivers’ funeral was held on 7 September in New York and attended by numerous high-profile names such as Kelly Osbourne, Sarah Jessica Parker, Whoopi Goldberg and Howard Stern.

Earlier this month, the comedian’s daughter thanked the public for their support.

“We continue to be saddened by our tragic loss and grateful for the enormous outpouring of love and support from around the world,” she told Hollywood Reporter.

“We have no further comment at this time.”