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Death of a legend

Her career stretched from the 1950s until her sudden death nearly two years ago. Comedian Joan Rivers made generations of Americans laugh with her cutting wit and self-deprecating humor.

When her life ended abruptly following a routine endoscopy in September of 2014, people wondered immediately what had gone wrong in such a commonplace procedure.

WebMD says an endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure in which a doctor inserts a flexible tube down the patient's throat in order to examine the digestive tract, noting that the procedure is "very safe."

The 81-year-old comedian went into a Manhattan clinic to undergo an endoscopy, but during the procedure stopped breathing and later died. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, with attorneys filed a medical malpractice suit that claimed the doctors failed to respond as her mother's vital signs deteriorated. Possibly star-struck, the medical personnel even posed for selfies with the comic legend.

Melissa Rivers and her attorneys recently announced that they reached a settlement of the malpractice suit. In a statement, Rivers said "those culpable for her death have accepted responsibility for their actions quickly and without equivocation."

Financial terms are confidential, according to news reports.

The lawsuit had also charged that in addition to the endoscopy, doctors performed an unauthorized laryngoscopy. WebMD says the procedure allows a physician to look at the back of your throat and at your larynx.

Melissa Rivers says her focus now is on working to try to ensure that there are no future similar tragedies like the one that took her mother.


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