Chicago Justice (2017) Episode Scripts

Tycoon

1 [phone buzzing] [dramatic music] [engine turns over] [tires squealing] I need for you to stay back, ma'am, for your own safety.
- Evan! - Stay back! Ma'am, stop! [indistinct chatter] [sirens wailing] [indistinct radio chatter] - No, he's my husband! - Stay here.
Ma'am.
Ma'am, I What the hell happened? The crane was lifting an I-beam, and boom, the jib arm smacked into the building, takes out six floors just like that.
Poor bastard, sitting in the car.
That was all she wrote.
[machine whirring] - Anyone else? - We're still looking.
- Ma'am, for your own safety - He wasn't supposed to be here.
- I need you stay back! - No, you're not - Ma'am.
- Evan, stay with me.
- Officer! - [sobbing] Here's the crane operator.
He just transferred to this job two days ago.
He's my husband! Evan! Help him! I got it on the citywide.
When I heard a building went down, I just I went to the same place.
How bad? There's four injured, and this guy, Evan Wheeler.
She's lucky she got out of the car.
She's lucky she never got in it.
She was at home on the phone with him when she - Ah, damn.
- [exhales sharply] [crying] Evan! Oh, my God, Evan! She's Frank Linden's daughter.
- The Frank Linden? - Yeah, this is his project.
Evan was running it for him.
[siren wailing] [sobbing] Mr.
Benzinger, we're from the state's attorney's office.
Can't this wait? He's got two broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
- Sorry, we'll be quick.
- It's okay, Kyra.
- Can you tell us what happened? - I'm not sure myself.
21 years operating a crane, nothing like this ever happened.
- It's not your fault, John.
- I never said it was.
If you could tell us what happened.
I get to the site around 7:00 a.
m.
, check the paper, uh, drink some coffee.
- When did you get on the rig? - 7:30 on the nose.
Next thing I know, I'm upside down, concrete, metal flying all around me.
Thought it was all over.
How much did you have to drink last night? - You're kidding, right? - [groans] John, you don't have to answer that.
It's all right.
One beer after shift, and another when I got home.
- So two beers? That's it? - That's what he said.
And I don't like what you're implying.
What about drugs? See? They're going to pin this on you.
I never even smoked weed in high school.
Sure as hell not gonna start now.
Look, my husband needs his rest.
You wanna know anything else, you can talk to his union rep.
Why did you get transferred to Riverfront? Good-bye.
Sorry.
I was at a new project in Havana.
I came as soon as I heard.
- How's Sarah? - In shock, you know.
We're all in shock.
Oh, God.
What's the point, Mark, you know? What what good is any of it if we can't protect our kids? I mean, you were at their wedding.
I'm really sorry, Frank.
I appreciate that.
Thank you.
- What can we do to help? - Well, we heard the crane operator tested positive for cocaine, and that he was written up three years ago for being drunk on the job.
- Where did you hear that? - I apologize for my son.
He's a brilliant attorney, but apparently they don't teach discretion at law school - How how did you - So I'm just gonna let it go.
Evan and Brett, they were very close.
They were like brothers.
We went to school together.
And Evan graduated, what, third in your class? - Yes.
- Yeah, such a good kid.
Great family from Philly.
He was like a son, you know.
He was a son to me.
[exhales sharply] Oh, I gotta go look after Sarah.
Get to the bottom of this, will ya? - Mm-hmm.
- And anything I can do, you just let me know.
Thank you.
Thank you.
He didn't answer my question.
When you're worth several billion dollars, people take your calls.
There's a word for that.
Yes, it's called loyalty.
I want you running point on this.
I swear, Annaleigh can make a mess while she's sleeping.
[chuckles] Do you have kids? I don't.
The best of times, the The worst of times.
I'm sorry, Mrs.
Wheeler.
This won't take long.
No, I'm okay.
Why was Evan at the site? I have no idea.
Did he ever mention any problems at the site? Trouble between any of the workers? No.
Do you think someone who worked for us drugged Benzinger? Honestly, we don't know what happened.
You, uh you work for your dad too, don't you? Oh, haven't you heard? I'm Frank Linden's financial brain.
Everything associated with Frank has to be the best.
Including his kids.
Mm.
But Evan Evan really was brilliant and kind and good at what he does.
You told my investigators that you were on the phone with your husband just before the collapse.
Is there anything else you can remember about that? Uh, we had a bad connection.
I just heard this explosion.
I tried to call him back, but I He didn't pick up.
I turned on Channel 5, heard about the accident, and I got to the site as quickly as I could.
Mommy! Mommy! Annaleigh, sweetie.
Mommy's talking to the nice man.
How old are you? Nine? Ten? - No, four.
- Oh, four? Come here.
Give us a minute, okay? I still haven't told her yet.
I mean, how do you tell a four-year-old her daddy's never coming home? The crane snapped in six different places.
We were lucky that only one person got hit.
That time in the morning, smart money's on a pillow.
Preferably one's own.
This is where the main boom pins should be.
After they snapped, the tonnage and the jib cut through the construction project.
The boom cracked, pieces went flying in different directions.
One landing on Mr.
Wheeler's car.
Right.
And you don't think this could've been caused by the operator being high on cocaine? Contributing factor, maybe, but the boom pins being connected to the jib would've acted like a kill switch.
Hey, Chief! Looks like we found one.
Thanks.
What's that? This is a boom pin.
- See this? - What? Well, you can barely see it, but those veins.
That is where the boom pin - Broke.
- Whoa.
This has been treated with difluoroethane.
Which is? It can freeze metal to minus 167 degrees.
Makes it brittle enough to break.
So all this because of that? Someone wanted that crane to collapse.
So the crane operator was a patsy? Looks like.
They tested his thermos.
Let me guess, positive for cocaine? Not only positive.
Pure.
There's no way a guy like Benzinger gets that on the streets of Chicago.
Someone drugged his thermos, knowing his work history.
And maybe somehow transferred him to Riverfront two days before the crash.
- We'll hit the union tomorrow.
- Don't bother.
The site foreman referred me to the shop steward, who referred me to their labor lawyer.
Who claimed privilege.
This would be an easier gig, if not for the lawyers.
[chuckles] Thanks.
- Hi, guys.
- We may have something.
We know that the crane was still working properly when the site closed at 8:00.
Then night security was there until 6:00 a.
m.
This is from the parking lot right next to the site.
Benzinger said that he showed at 7:00, so we figured that gives us an hour gap, during which time somebody could've frozen the boom pin.
I'm thinking this guy might be our saboteur.
- Those are nice wheels.
- Yeah, but that's it.
Unfortunately, I can't pick up any plates.
It's more than we had an hour ago.
Can you print out stills of the car? Yeah, sure can.
Show these to the security guard working the site.
I'll talk to Linden, see if he can recognize it.
Beautiful, isn't it? 28 West Washington.
Not even built, yet I've already made a 400% profit.
- That's impressive.
- Ah, anybody can make money.
You know what's impressive? What's truly impressive? You fly into O'Hare and you see something you've built prick up into the clouds.
That's impressive.
But you know, everybody talks about legacy, legacy, legacy.
You change a skyline.
That's legacy.
I'm sure Ms.
Valdez is very busy.
Well, Ms.
Valdez is absolutely right.
You don't leave a legacy pushing paper.
Am I right? So the crane operator, we are charging him with murder.
I don't think so.
You don't think so? He killed my son-in-law.
- Actually, he may - I'll call Bledsoe.
The best private detective agency in the country.
- They'll get something done.
- Frank No disrespect, I'm sure you're a very smart girl.
You can pat me on the head if you like.
Whoops.
[both chuckle] PC felony.
I'm sorry.
I confess, you got me.
Here, take me away.
I apologize.
You're not a girl.
You're a lady.
I'm an assistant state's attorney, Mr.
Linden.
[door opens] Well, very good for you.
You know what, we'd all be a lot better off if we could actually say what we think.
Uh, Ms.
Valdez wanted to know about our enemies? - [sighs] - If you recognize this car.
No.
But in my business, if we didn't have enemies, we wouldn't be winning.
Excuse me.
Anyone lose recently? Or particularly badly? Yes, Jim Florence.
That son of a bitch.
Brett'll give you whatever you need.
[scoffs] Your father's an interesting man.
His massage therapist.
He has a bad back.
It's the price he paid for hauling gravel at Thornton Quarry in high school.
Frank Linden actually worked construction? He sure did, so my sister and I won't have to.
He's a great man.
- Tell me about Jim Florence.
- An electrical subcontractor.
- Got into a beef with my father.
- Over what? [chuckles] What do you think? Money.
Contractors perpetually overbill.
It started with threatening voicemails, and then two days ago, he showed up at our building.
Tried to get in, carrying a 9-millimeter.
Oh, screw Frank Linden.
Someone did.
Look, I'm a small businessman, okay.
I'm used to getting screwed over by the big shots.
But Linden? He takes it to a whole new level.
His lawyer said you overbilled.
Let me tell you about Frank.
He always gets his end.
But before he pays you, he finds your weak spot, hits it, and offers pennies on the dollar.
What's your weak spot, Mr.
Florence? - Off the record? - Sure.
Most of my workers are, uh, strictly speaking, undocumented.
Linden knows that's how I make the lowest bid.
So he renegotiated after the fact? Offered me $90,000 on a $2 million job.
I decided, "Screw it, I'm gonna fight back for once.
" - With a 9-mil? - I've got a permit.
Look, the crane deal, it wasn't me.
All right, the sad truth I need Linden.
He's the only one still building in Chicago.
But I'll bet you 10 bucks, when Riverfront fell, Linden came out ahead.
He always does.
Got a minute? I looked into Linden's business practices, like you wanted.
He declared bankruptcy five times.
They've gotten rid of debtors' prison, Anna.
It's in the Constitution somewhere.
Keep looking.
Each time, he made out like a bandit, while everyone else got completely wiped out.
Exactly.
Then I did a search on Riverfront to see how much it was insured for.
- Did you find a policy? - Eventually.
He filed a certificate of insurance with the state, a company called Alcorine Insurance.
- So what am I looking for? - The CCs.
The ones to Linden run through a server called darcolo.
net.
I ran darcolo through every program I had.
No public server with that name.
So Linden's got a private server? Our request for a warrant.
I've got a prelim starting back up in five minutes.
- You can have two of them.
- Thank you, Judge.
We need you to sign off on a warrant to gain access to Frank Linden's private server.
I know it's Tuesday, but as of last night, you still need a good old-fashioned probable cause for a warrant.
We think Linden took out an insurance policy on his own construction site two months before it came down.
- You think? - That's right.
And I think you'll need a lot more before I give you a warrant.
- Here's where we say good-bye.
- [sighs] [elevator bell dings] - You're not smiling.
- Nothing to smile about.
You know, I know a woman who could probably hack into - No.
- Whoa, whoa.
What do you mean no? Borrelli was my friend too.
Who? I said no.
Who? Linden put his whole life online.
Yearbooks, college homework, report cards, Little League stats.
Should I ask how you got this? - No.
- Then tell me about Borrelli.
Why you and Stone knew Look, if you don't wanna help That's not what I said.
But this feels, at best, sketchy.
[sighs] Danny Borrelli was with Engine Sixty Seven.
He was a good guy.
He was married A couple of girls.
He and Stone used to box in my gym.
They'd drink together, and get into trouble once or twice.
[chuckles] Hard to imagine Stone getting into trouble.
One day, Danny turned out.
It was a building collapse at an office complex in the West Loop.
[sighs] It was a death trap.
Safety violations, permits that had been bought off.
Danny never made it out.
Linden owned the building.
And he skated.
He always skates.
Not this time.
You ever heard of Henry Tomczak? Yeah, uh, head of the Local 409.
- Mob ties.
- That's the guy.
Frank Linden reached out to him six times in the last 30 days.
"Tomczak, we need to talk now.
" Look.
"Tomczak, meet me at 10:00, Scappy's Bar.
" That's four days before the crane went down.
A CI of mine tends bar at Scappy's.
You wanna get a real drink? It's 1:00 in the afternoon, but if you're buying I wish you wouldn't come here.
Did you see Frank Linden here or not? He came in at 10:00, then Tomczak joins him.
I don't wanna get involved, you know, but when I bring drinks, I hear Tomczak say - something about Riverfront.
- What'd they say? [sighs] I don't know.
But a little later, this lady comes in, joins him.
Rich.
Definitely stood out in a place like this.
Seemed real, I don't know, agitated.
Good-looking.
Maybe 30, brunette.
Nice ass.
That's nice, Eddie.
- How's that? - Yeah, that's her.
I said, "Cash only, dude.
" Sarah Wheeler, Linden's daughter.
The grieving widow.
- You sure it was her? - Yeah, he recognized her photo.
- With Linden? - And Tomczak from the Local.
Yeah, I know who he is.
And you found out about this information how? I told you, a CI Because I don't wanna go down this road just to have it thrown out of court because of someone's personal agenda.
You don't wanna use it, don't use it.
I don't see the problem.
We're investigators.
We investigate.
One of my Cis reached out to me out of the blue.
We checked it out.
Good work.
Peter, you should see this.
This is the newscast the wife said she saw.
The fire is not yet contained.
And we have breaking news There.
Look at the time.
7:33.
According to CPD, Sarah Wheeler arrived at the site at 7:29.
She told you she saw the report on the news, and then left her apartment.
When you showed up at the site, you told the police that he wasn't supposed to be here.
What did you mean? I don't remember.
I wasn't thinking.
Or you felt guilty.
You said you saw it on Channel 5 before you went to the site, but they didn't report it until four minutes after you arrived.
What are you suggesting? If your father started something you couldn't stop just to make money, now is the time to get ahead of it.
We know you and your father met with Henry Tomczak at Scappy's Bar four nights before your husband was murdered.
- Murdered? - Bringing down a crane in the middle of downtown Chicago? That constitutes a strong probability of death or great bodily harm, which makes it first-degree murder, Sarah.
- I can't help you.
- Then maybe your brother can.
Good luck with that.
Brett worships Frank.
Frank would never do anything to convince him otherwise.
I respect your enthusiasm, but you can't beat Frank.
No one can.
I can have you arrested, Mrs.
Wheeler Right now.
The train leaves the station in five, four - Annaleigh.
- She'll be placed with the Department of Children and Family Services.
And I promise, I will do everything I can to make sure she stays there until she can vote.
- Please.
- Three, two Stop! Fine.
Whatever you want.
You knew the crane was going to collapse.
Cuffs and a perp walk? This is Frank Linden, not some Be grateful the judge granted him bail.
Relax, Brett, it'll only increase the damages I'll collect when I sue for malicious prosecution.
Yeah, that's one way to look at it.
The other is to cut your losses and plead guilty to the murder of Evan Wheeler.
Okay, yeah, I'll do that.
Where's Mark Jefferies? There's no way he signed off on this.
Have you spoken with your daughter recently, Frank? - She told us everything.
- She's scared of you, Frank, but not scared enough to go to prison.
Why don't you just give us a moment Shut up, Brett.
Wow, that's a good try.
That's a really good try.
I've sat across the table from the best negotiators in the world, men of ineffable wealth and actual power and acumen, who try to make me fold my trip jacks with their with their measly pair of trays.
And you wanna know something? They learned what you're about to learn, the hard way.
Frank Linden doesn't fold on a bluff.
There's no way Sarah ever testifies against me.
He may not be wrong about Sarah.
How are we doing with Tomczak? I'll call Dawson and Nagel.
I run the Local.
I had drinks with the biggest builder in the city.
I'm sorry, but that's not gonna make the 5:00 news.
It might, considering it was four nights before - the builder's crane collapsed.
- Which put my guys out of work.
We could continue this conversation in front of a grand jury, if you don't wanna talk here.
If you could've, you would've.
Besides, I don't know anything about Riverfront.
Your people worked it.
I have 12,000 people to worry about.
Is this an Atlantic sailfish? That's gotta be 6 feet.
Where'd you catch it? Florida Keys in Boca Chica, - and it's 7 feet.
- [whistles] My dad used to take me fishing at Hawks Cay.
You gotta let me take a picture to send him.
I this would kill him.
If it'll get you out of here.
Oh, thank you.
[camera shutter clicks] And here I never even considered the deep-sea fishing angle of the case.
That should crack things wide open.
That isn't what I wanted a picture of.
I just know that men love to brag about - the size of their fish.
- Ha.
I wanted a picture of the photo next to his fish.
2008 Dodge Challenger, the same car that was photographed leaving Waterfront the morning of the crash.
Very good, Nagel.
Very good.
Now run the plates, see if we can ID our car buff.
Very good, Dawson.
Very good.
I told you, I haven't seen Tommy in three days.
- He just took off.
- To where? The Caribbean.
Left all of a sudden.
Said he wants to learn to scuba dive.
Can't get him to take me to Twin Lakes.
All of a sudden, he's gotta dive.
You remember where Tommy was the morning before he left? No, but he's been keeping weird hours lately.
Probably got himself another girl.
Bet she scuba dives.
Check it out.
Difluoroethane, same thing he used to freeze the boom pins.
It's empty.
Looks like we found our Riverfront saboteur.
Do you know Linden wrote a book? It's been out of print for ten years.
We ID'd the guy who sabotaged the crane, and with the daughter's testimony I just made a deal with Linden.
I could hear half the city council cheering when I signed it.
- I've got him, Mark.
- It's done.
No jail time? Are you kidding? Some battles aren't worth the losses, Peter.
This isn't some OSHA violation.
Linden didn't just skimp on the grade of cement.
This was an intentional act that resulted in murder.
Perhaps, but I'm not convinced you can prove it.
Mr.
Stone, I understand you've reached a settlement in the case.
Yes, Your Honor, we've provided the court with an executed plea agreement with Linden Corp.
That's agreeable with the defense? - It is, Your Honor.
- Okay.
Unless there's any other business Actually, the People have a request, Your Honor.
Go ahead.
The indictment against Linden Corp was satisfied with a $500,000 fine.
Court's aware of that.
But the grand jury also handed down a murder indictment for Frank Linden personally.
I request that Mr.
Linden be taken into custody now.
Big mistake, Mr.
Stone.
[crowd murmuring] [camera shutters clicking] [dramatic music] Well, well, well, you certainly are a creature of habit, Mark.
It's gotten me this far.
You knew I'd be out in 20 minutes.
We shouldn't be talking.
A crane collapsed, destroyed my building.
It doesn't have to destroy 30 years of friendship.
A friend wouldn't put me in this position.
A friend would look me in the eye, and ask me to my face, am I responsible for my son-in-law's death.
- Are you? - Ah [inhales, exhales sharply] When I completed my first project, 7333 North Sheridan, 22 stories residential, I went up to the roof, and man, I was on top of the world.
I was on top of the world.
And then I looked south, and Fowler's throwing up 45 on Lake Shore Drive, 45 stories of glass and steel.
And it tore a hole in my heart.
It tore a hole in my heart that's still there.
So I threw up 50 on North Wabash, and then I see Flemming throwing up 65.
That's why man invented tape measurers.
No, no, no, no, no, it's not about pumping my chest.
- Really? - No.
It's about going up to the top, and looking around, and knowing that nobody Nobody is closer to God than me.
I am not responsible for Evan's death, for crying out loud.
And the more your people hassle my people, and you know who I'm talking about, the harder it is for me to do my business.
I took an oath, Frank, to protect and serve all the people in the county, not only those whose numbers are in my iPhone.
30 years of friendship doesn't count for anything? Okay.
Okay.
[chuckles] I see what you're doing, Mark.
You're putting up your own building, huh? Your own structure? I mean, not 45 stories of brick and mortar and glass and steel, but I see it, story by story.
And you wanna know something? You know I'm the only one who can stop you from getting to your rooftop.
I'm the CFO of Linden Corp.
And you deal with banks, mortgage companies, lenders, - things like that? - Yes.
How is the Riverfront project doing? - Objection.
- Withdrawn.
What was the construction loan on Riverfront? $200 million.
How much a month do you pay in interest? About $700,000 per month.
And is the project continuing ahead on schedule? - Not now.
- I'm sorry, I meant before the recent crane accident.
We were several months behind schedule.
- How many, exactly? - Ten.
Well, that's that's $7 million in interest payments.
Approximately.
If construction continued at that pace, then the company stood to lose how much money? Well, that's hard to say.
Why is that? Because we're insured against accidents that cause us to stop construction completely.
Like a crane collapsing? - That's right.
- How much are you insured for? The projected fair market value of the building.
- Which is? - $570 million.
It sounds like the crane accident was actually a blessing in disguise.
Objection.
Is there a question? It wasn't an accident at all that the crane collapsed, was it, Mrs.
Wheeler? In fact, you knew in advance the crane was going to collapse, didn't you? Mrs.
Wheeler Who decided to sabotage the boom pins on the crane? [dramatic music] We stood in your apartment, and you told me - I want to, uh - What, Mrs.
Wheeler? I want to take the Fifth.
I told you you couldn't beat Frank.
Actually, you never did say that.
You just told me what a great man he was.
Nothing's changed.
You do realize that he killed Evan Oh, Jesus.
Sometimes, you have to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
You knew? Sarah said Frank would never let you in on his dirty secrets.
Oh, my God, she was protecting you.
- I have to go.
- She was protecting you, and you're gonna let her go to prison.
The world looks very different to me [elevator bell dings] And I'd like to keep it that way.
- Thank you.
- Peter? Excuse me.
I took the deal you told me to take.
I heard what you did.
Half a million is a pimple on Linden's ass.
He needs to hear the jail door slam behind him.
I agree.
- You do? - Yeah.
Friendship only goes so far.
But the daughter taking the hit hurts.
We still have the difluoroethane - and the insurance policy.
- No, you have nothing yet.
But you never know what'll come out when a malignant narcissist opens his mouth.
Helen Coren, his new lawyer She'll never put him on the stand.
Sometimes a lawyer doesn't have a choice.
- The Opera Benefit? - I hope you have a tux.
[clears throat] [jazzy music] - Frank! - Mr.
Stone I wouldn't have taken you for a patron of the arts.
And I wouldn't have taken you for a killer, but life's full of surprises.
You know what, this isn't the appropriate place to have this conversation.
I wouldn't know.
I'm not a lawyer.
[laughs] Well, you practically are.
I mean, all the time you spent in bankruptcy court.
I am so sorry.
I apologize.
We have a very sore loser here.
Everybody come on upstairs, enjoy yourselves.
I'm gonna go have a chat with my friends.
Who are you kidding, Frank? You're just a kid from Back of the Yards, the son of a bricklayer.
Now, your old man, he helped build big buildings, but he could never afford to live in 'em.
Even if he could, they wouldn't want his type.
Truth is, nothing's changed.
If you didn't own the buildings, your friends They wouldn't let you near 'em.
I am asking you nicely.
How many lives did you destroy to be able to live in that penthouse of yours, Frank? You know what my old man told me? He said, "The true measure of a man's wealth is how much he'd be worth if he lost all his money.
" Now, truth be told, you're pretty worthless, Frank.
You know it, and I know it, and everybody here knows it.
The great Frank Linden picked himself up by his bootstraps and dumped himself in the sewer.
[dramatic music] You think this is over? I'm just getting started.
Get him out of here.
You don't create, Frank.
You destroy.
Good night, Frank! All rise.
Please be seated.
[clears throat] Call your next witness, Mr.
Stone.
The People rest, and await Mr.
Linden's vigorous defense.
"The People rest" will suffice.
Ms.
Coren? The defense likewise rests, Your Honor.
One second, Your Honor.
[whispering] I wanna testify.
[whispering] The defense calls Frank Linden.
This whole thing is nothing more than a circus.
It's a it's a It's a showcase trial for Mr.
Stone, a small man who will do whatever he can to bring down a Please finish that thought, Mr.
Linden.
Well, I'm not one to boast.
Well, let me.
You were gonna say a great man.
Well, look, I employ thousands of people.
I have hundreds of commercial tenants, corporate offices of some of the best companies in the world.
I have thousands of residential tenants, good people, by the way.
Good upstanding people.
I fund the the Linden Center for Cancer Research at St.
Vincent's.
The opera wouldn't be able to finish its season if I didn't cover its shortfall.
I mean, I can go on and on and on and on.
[chuckles] I I think we get the picture.
The fact that Mr.
Stone, because of some personal vendetta, or or impotent ambition, or whatever it is that gets him up in the morning, chooses to accuse me of killing my son-in-law, my son, as far as I'm concerned, it's a clear example of Of the pettiness and the deterioration of a legal system Excuse me that we are supposed to be relying on.
Did you have anything whatsoever to do with sabotaging the Riverfront site? Absolutely nothing.
Thank you, Mr.
Linden.
[clears throat] You received your MBA from Columbia, didn't you? I did.
Do you remember the subject of your master's thesis? Well, it was 30 years ago.
No, I don't.
It's a good thing I have a copy.
It's called "In Defense of Pinto.
" - Objection, relevance.
- Overruled.
Where where did you get that? [chuckles] It's my job to ask the questions, sir, but since your memory seems to be failing - Objection.
- Withdrawn.
I'd be more than happy to refresh your recollection.
It seems you published it 20 years ago in a journal called the "Real Estate Investor's Quarterly.
" Do you remember who owned the journal at that time? I owned it.
So you thought you'd share your wisdom with the rest of the industry? It was a legitimate treatise.
Has it ever been cited? I don't know.
I wouldn't know.
I would.
According to LexisNexis, the only time it was ever cited was in a book called "Negotiate Up.
" Do you know who wrote that book? Yes, I did.
I can sign it for you, if you like.
Looks like you might be the only one to consider this treatise legitimate.
- Object - Don't bother, counsel.
I withdraw the comment.
Would you mind explaining for us the subject of your thesis, that is, the Pinto case, to the jury? Sure.
[grunts] Pinto was a 1981 lawsuit, in which Ford Motor Company was determined to have used a cost-benefit analysis, weighing the risk of human life against corporate profit.
And in your thesis, you agreed with Ford.
You argued it was appropriate for a company to value profits over human life.
- Theoretically, yes.
- Not practically? Well, uh, no.
I wouldn't know.
But theoretically, sabotaging a particular project, if it boosted profits, would be an acceptable business practice.
That's that's what you wrote, isn't it? [stammering] The point of business is to create profit, okay? So if a company could earn an extra $10 million, it would be okay if, say, one person became collateral damage? In theory.
Your paper says that corporations have a duty to weigh risk to human life against profits.
I question the validity of that theory, and you said it was a legitimate treatise.
- Are you changing your answer? - No, I'm not.
Of course not, because it was cited by at least one noted scholar.
Tell me, sir, under your theory, how many people have to be put at risk of bodily harm before the corporation says, "Stop, we have made enough money"? [chuckles, snorts] There's no way to answer that question.
- It's theory.
- Well, sure there is.
It's right here in your treatise.
"When the cost of defending lawsuits exceeds the company's expected profit margins.
" That's what you wrote, isn't it? - If you say so.
- It's your words, not mine.
And the insurance policy on Riverfront would've netted you over half a billion dollars.
- Objection.
- That's a lot more, I suspect, than it would cost to defend one of those pain-in-the-ass wrongful death lawsuits.
- Objection.
- Overruled.
I employ thousands of people, okay? - I have hundreds - It's profits.
It's all about profits.
You're goddamn right it is! Even when the wrongful death was that of your son-in-law? What if it was your son? Your daughter? I employ thousands of people, okay? I have hundreds of commercial tenants That's all.
[exhales] Let's talk.
I agreed to talk alone.
My house, my rules, Mr.
Linden.
You called this meeting, Helen.
Without admitting any guilt, my client is open to a plea.
I'm listening.
Reckless endangerment.
Two years probation.
He killed your husband.
What do you think, Sarah? I'll tell you what I think.
I think manslaughter.
He does 15.
I'll give you Tomczak.
I'll take him.
12.
Okay, you know what, screw this.
I'll just I'll just take my chances with the jury.
It was her idea to get the insurance.
She's the one who convinced Tomczak to freeze the boom pins.
You see that? You see that? I had nothing to do with this! Don't let him do this to us, Brett - Not now, Sarah.
- He killed Evan.
He left Annaleigh without a father.
He'd gladly leave her without a mother.
Who's going to build things, Sarah? You? Me? Annaleigh? Don't you see? We need him.
We all do.
Well, I don't.
There's no deal on the table for any of you.
You can tell that to your buddy Tomczak and his errand boy Westin.
I'm coming after all of you.
In the case of the People of the State of Illinois versus Frank Linden, as to the sole count of the indictment, murder, we find the defendant guilty.
[crowd murmuring] Linden's already looking to reduce his sentence.
Oh, that doesn't surprise me.
He's got a laundry list of dirty secrets to trade.
Yeah, starting with his son.
That family's like five of his businesses.
- Bankrupt.
- Strategically bankrupt.
[chuckles] You two should have another drink.
If I'm correct, you won't be coming back here for awhile.
That dirty laundry I was talking about, most of it belongs to our esteemed membership.