Melissa Rivers told Matt Lauer on Monday that Joan Rivers‘ death was “100 percent preventable.”
The reality star sat down with the NBC News “Today” host to reflect on her mother’s passing after the iconic comedienne and TV personality died eight months ago at 81 after she stopped breathing during throat surgery. Joan’s death was ruled a “predictable complication of medical therapy” by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office.
“In my opinion, it was 100% preventable,” Melissa said. “How about paying attention to the vital signs? How about having a properly equipped crash cart?”
Melissa has since filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Yorkville Endoscopy center where the procedure took place, and is particularly bothered by reports that the doctors were snapping “selfies” while operating.
According to Melissa, “allegedly they weren’t taking pictures, they were taking pictures of each other working.”
She has not seen any of the pictures, but stressed Joan was “allegedly” in them. A staff member at the facility told investigators in September that Joan’s personal ear, nose, and throat doctor, Gwen Korovin, took the picture of the comedienne during the procedure.
“So there’s not part of you, Melissa, that says this may have been just a tragic accident and no one was to blame?” Lauer asked.
“Yes, it was a tragic accident,” Melissa said. “If something happens, and everyone does everything properly, things happen. You live with it. When it’s error, after error, after error, after error, after behaviors that you can not even begin to get your head around, you get mad.”
Watch the video below.