Yorkville Endoscopy sues insurance agency for not covering $200k in bills related to Joan Rivers' case: 5 key takeaways

New York City-based Yorkville Endoscopy, the surgery center that came under fire in 2014 after comedian Joan Rivers died, is suing The Hartford Financial Services Group for not covering $200,000 in legal bills related to the star's botched surgery, according to Page Six.

Here are five key takeaways:

1. Following Ms. Rivers' death, federal and state officials started investigations into the surgery center, with Yorkville paying their attorneys to respond to the agencies' inquiries related to the investigation.

2. Hartford claims Yorkville Endoscopy's policy with the payer did not cover such bills. However, Yorkville says the policy explicitly mandates the payer "defend Yorkville employees in regulatory proceedings," according to Page Six.

3. Melissa River, Ms. Rivers' daughter, filed a suit against the surgery center, claiming a series of events at the center lead to her mother's death. Ms. Rivers underwent an elective procedure at the surgery center on Aug. 28, 2014, and went into cardiac arrest after a laryngospasm caused her to struggle to breathe under sedation. In October 2014, a New York medical examiner concluded Ms. Rivers' "death resulted from a predictable complication of medical therapy."

4. A CMS report in November 2014 found various errors with the treatment, including failure to record Ms. Rivers' weight prior to sedation, late identification of deteriorating vital signs, failure to obtain the patient's informed consent for all procedures performed, allowing an unprivileged physician to care for Ms. Rivers at the center and failure to abide by the center's cell phone policy.

5. In May 2016, Joan River's family reached a settlement with Yorkville Endoscopy. The physicians Melissa Rivers named in the lawsuit in 2015 accepted responsibility for Ms. Rivers' death. 
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