Doctors in Joan Rivers Death Lawsuit Don't Have to Admit Wrongdoing, Says Judge

The comedian died one year ago following routine throat surgery

Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

A judge has reportedly ruled that the medical personnel accused of mishandling the throat Joan Rivers had before her death do not have to admit wrongdoing at the start of the civil suit stemming from her death.

Page Six reports that lawyers for Joan’s daughter Melissa Rivers was seeking for the Yorkville Endoscopy doctors who performed the endoscopy and laryngoscopy on her mother to admit that Dr. Lawrence Cohen took a photo of an unconscious Joan before the procedure. Melissa’s lawyers claim the clinic’s records show this event occurred.

Page Six reports that a Manhattan judge sided with objections from Cohen and his colleagues, saying Melissa “seeks to have defendants admit facts at the heart of the controversy.”

Melissa’s lawyer told The Post the ruling means that he will have to pose the question to each doctor who was at the surgery individually.

In January, Melissa filed a lawsuit against the clinic where her mother stopped breathing during the throat procedure in August 2014. She died a week later on Sept. 4, 2014 at the age of 81.

Melissa called it “one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make.”

“What ultimately guided me was my unwavering belief that no family should ever have to go through what my mother, [my son] Cooper and I have been through,” Melissa said in a statement Monday. “The level of medical mismanagement, incompetency, disrespect, and outrageous behavior is shocking and frankly, almost incomprehensible.”

Cohen, who was fired from the clinic, has denied wrongdoing or snapping photos. Yorkville Endoscopy has previously declined to comment on the suit.

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