Joan Rivers' Voice Doctor Denies Abandonment Allegation

Melissa Rivers sued Dr. Gwen Korovin for allegedly leaving her mother.

January 29, 2015, 1:30 PM

— -- The attorney for Dr. Gwen Korovin, the voice doctor for Joan Rivers, denied allegations that she left the room when the comedian went into cardiac arrest.

Korovin has been sued by Melissa Rivers, who is claiming malpractice.

“What happened was she never left the room,” Korovin's lawyer, William Lewis, told The New York Times. “Not only did she never leave the room, she was the last doctor to leave the room after Miss Rivers was taken away by E.M.S. in an ambulance.”

Rivers was 81 when she died on Sept. 4, days after going into cardiac arrest at Yorkville Endoscopy, where she was allegedly treated by Korovin.

Melissa Rivers claimed in her lawsuit that Korovin performed an unauthorized transnasal laryngoscopy on her mother, even though she "had no right to perform any medical procedures or render any medical services" at the clinic. She also alleged that Yorkville Endoscopy's former medical director, Dr. Lawrence Cohen, took cell phone photos with the sedated comedian and Korovin, and said Rivers "will like to see these in the recovery area."

Jeffrey B. Bloom, Melissa Rivers' attorney, slammed Lewis' claims that his client stayed by Rivers' side. Why, he asked, if she was in the room, did she not help with Rivers' airway obstruction?

"She may have stayed at the facility, but she clearly wasn’t in the procedure room and offered/provided no assistance," he said. "On the other hand, leaving the room when you’re the airway specialist is tantamount to abandonment."

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