Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Prescription for Death

Narrator: In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups- the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
H- o-r-t-o-n, that's the guy you should've brought in here.
Miss, I've been here I just need to know where she is.
I told you before, sir, I have to check with admitting.
It's ridiculous.
Nurse: Get a doctor, stat! Man: We need some help in here, please! Now! She's turning blue.
She can't breathe! Get the ambu bag.
No pulse.
Call a code! Come on, let's go, move! I need a line in! Get the defibrillator.
You knew that wasn't right.
You can't go in there, sir.
Call the guard.
Sir! No pulse.
Give her Epi IV.
No response.
Get me adrenaline.
Excuse us, please.
Please wait outside.
We're doing everything we can.
What's going on? Excuse us - Please, that's my daughter.
You can't come in here - Don't even try.
what's going on? The last blood gases.
Let's call it.
Oh, my God.
what the hell happened? Your daughter had cardiac arrest.
Resuscitate her, defib her! Please, please! Your daughter is dead.
where are you going? I don't get this.
She only had a sore throat.
This is insane! Some help please! Come on, pal, let's go.
No, guys, she only had a sore throat! She didn't even have a fever! She only came in for a prescription.
I don't understand, guys.
Where was she murdered? I told you, Urban Medical Center.
I'm sorry, Mr.
Morton, I'm a little confused.
Your daughter was killed at the hospital? Yeah, in the emergency room.
I want to swear out a murder complaint against the resident in charge of it.
This resident was treating her? No, killing her.
But she was at the hospital for treatment? Yeah, a sore throat.
Muscle aches.
She only went in to get a prescription for some antibiotics.
Sometimes people are a lot sicker than they look.
Listen to me.
I was a medic in Vietnam.
I knowwho's dying and who isn't.
My daughter was not that sick.
Somebody in that emergency room did something that killed her.
who's he want to bring charges against? The resident in charge of the emergency room.
Oh, come on, Max.
People die in hospital emergency rooms every hour of ever day.
That may indeed be tragic, but it is not criminal.
Unless somebody was criminally negligent.
How the hell would Mr.
Morton know if that had happened? He was a medic in Vietnam.
He says she wasn't sick enough to die.
He was very convincing.
I'm not saying no.
I just had my first day off in two weeks.
There is a world out there.
Logan: You're the intern who treated a young girl named Suzanne Morton? Yeah, she's the last patient I admitted before I took off.
Bronchitis.
She dramatized her symptoms a bit.
So I ordered a chest x-ray and put her aside to wait for a bed.
why? Right now we're doing a routine investigation of her death.
Death? what, she died? You sound surprised.
Don't people croak here every day? She wasn't that sick.
You don't die from bronchitis.
Suzanne Morton.
She had pneumonia.
The sputum examination and blood culture were indicative.
we discussed it during rounds.
Pneumonia, huh? A lot of people die of that these days? when it's complicated by chemical pneumonitis, sometimes.
Patient was feverish and fell unconscious.
She must have aspirated some of the contents of her stomach.
Stomach acid and lungs do not mix well.
This can happen fast? Yes, it can.
Excuse me.
Hmm.
Busy woman.
Yeah, so busy she can't even make eye contact.
Suzanne Morton.
Yes, if you see Mr.
Morton, please extend my condolences.
Dr.
Raza, were you on rounds when they reached her? Yes, yes, that is right.
I came right away.
why? I didn't think she was that sick.
we hear bronchitis, maybe pneumonia.
No, no, no.
She was very sick.
She should've been in the intensive care unit.
Unfortunately there were no beds.
In my country, we accept death.
But here, you're expected to live forever.
You ever hold a human heart in your hands? Only mine.
what year are you in? Third.
we go hands on.
Did you ever lay your hands on Suzanne Morton? The pneumonia, yeah.
I spent 40 minutes trying to find an orderly to take her to intensive care.
On the way back, I passed a gunshot wound through the neck with a six-inch exit.
You ever see one of those? Yeah, well, they're not so exciting when you run into one in a crack house.
Max: Tell me some more.
This guy in the emergency room, must've been his daughter who was sick.
He was going nuts yelling why didn't they do this, why didn't they do that? Sounded like he knew his way around.
Around the hospital? Around sick people.
Those doctors? Something wasn't right, the way they looked.
what, worried? Excited? Embarrassed.
Embarrassed.
Does this make sense to you, Max? Sure.
She had bronchitis, she had pneumonia.
She was fine when she got here, she was dying when she got here.
God-like pronouncements sound like normal medical procedure to me.
So Max, what's your problem? Meaning? Meaning your attitude.
'82.
My partner and I go into this fleabag SRO.
to pick up some junkie bank robber.
I'm putting the cuffs on him, his girlfriends comes from out of nowhere, j umps me.
we're rolling around, I hit my head against the radiator.
It hurt like hell, but it's no big deal.
A week later I start slurring words.
I go see a neurologist.
Quote, "Top guy in Manhattan.
" He looks at me, he says, "I want you in the hospital.
I'm going to do a CAT scan.
" Yeah, well, I would definitely freak.
The next day, Dr.
God comes in, he says, "You have an inoperable brain tumor in your cerebellum.
" He said it like he was telling me they'd be serving chicken for dinner.
we decide to get a second opinion.
I go see another "top neurologist.
" He does another CAT scan, he comes in and says, "You don't have a brain tumor in your cerebellum, you have a subdural hematoma here.
" A month later, I was fine.
Hey, at least he caught the mistake, all right? Yeah.
And when they don't, they just bury them.
Dr.
Auster will see you now.
Let's go see the Chief of Medicine.
I'm sure he'll be God-like, too.
A diagnostician is like a detective.
As a matter of fact, Conan Doyle modeled Sherlock Holmes on Dr.
Joseph Bell.
You solve every case you work on? we can tell a felony from a traffic ticket.
Look, a patient walks in with a headache.
She have a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a berry aneurysm, a retro-orbital tumor, or does she just have a headache? Do you give her j j an aspirin, or do you saw open her skull? You make this speech at funerals? I saw that girl in the emergency room on rounds.
She was in the hands of competent staff.
The girl is dead.
People like to believe that medicine is pure science.
Medicine is a science, but doctors know it's also a lottery.
See what I mean? The guy's Chief of Medicine, and all he can come up with is, "It's a lottery.
" Proceed, Sherlock.
what do you do when you make a mistake? Use white-out? Huh-uh.
You cross it out and initial it.
This ain't no letter to Dear Abby.
These charts got to show everything or there could be serious legal repercussions.
Serious legal repercussions, that's what we have here.
Somebody used white-out on Suzanne Morton's chart.
Now, on top of the white-out it says acetaminophen- a common, everyday painkiller.
But underneath the white-out it said, "meperidine.
" It's a narcotic.
Big difference.
Third-rate cover up.
whoever did it probably wasn't expecting an investigation.
whoever wrote meperidine also wrote acetaminophen.
look at the E's in acetaminophen.
See the kind of like cursive penmanship and English style popular in the colonies.
You see the shape and the angle of the loop? Now it matches notations that were here, here, and here.
All of them initialed "ER.
" Emergency room? Ekballa Raza.
Doctor:.
She had a headache and a low-grade fever.
Nothing more.
I gave her an antibiotic and an antihistamine.
No doctor would've done anything more.
Sounds like you're on solid ground.
Her psychiatrist had her on phenelzine sulfate.
She was seeing a shrink? She'd been depressed since her mother's death.
when did that happen? Last year.
She developed peritonitis after her hysterectomy.
This phenel- what is it? Phenelzine - Nurse: Doctor? Miss Rossi is ready.
Thank you.
Phenelzine sulfate.
An anti-depressant.
A strong one.
The patient died, but don't worry, the doctor is doing just fine.
Okay, the tox screen shows acetaminophen.
It shows aspirin, and it shows an antihistamine.
So there's no sign of meperidine? Huh-uh.
we ran the standard gas and chromatography.
we know the girl was on something called phenelzine.
Not a trace.
Meperidine, phenelzine, recreational drugs.
Do another tox screen.
I think you're wasting your nickel.
Nobody takes meperidine and phenelzine unless they want to risk ending up here.
They can be a fatal combination.
I was exhausted.
I'd just came off the cancer ward.
I wrote meperidine without thinking.
But I gave her acetaminophen.
what about the white-out? There is paperwork required when you write a narcotic and I did not have time for that.
Dr.
Raza, you just confessed to falsifying hospital records.
That's a class E felony.
Look, when they look at me here, they see an Indian or a Paki- they don't even know the difference.
we're all supposed to be bad doctors.
You ask anybody.
I have to be twice as good as everybody else just so they will think I am as good as everybody else.
My children want to stay in this country, my wife wants to stay.
And to stay, all I have to do is to be perfect all the time.
well, you fell a little short of perfection on Suzanne Morton's chart.
It was a simple mistake.
Really? If the toxicologist finds meperidine in Suzanne Morton's body, you'll be lucky if you're only deported.
Dr.
Fleming, please report to admitting in the Comprehensive Cancer Care Center.
Have fun.
Thanks.
Max, dig this.
Now here's a guy swallowed his false teeth and they bit through his intestines.
what did Dr.
Raza prescribe, a good flossing? Oh, here we go.
Mistake, crossed out, initialed.
Same here.
Look at this, we could be holding in our hands the evidence to a mass murder, and we wouldn't even know it.
Yeah, all these have evening rounds at 6:00 to 6:30, and the night that Suzanne Morton died rounds were after 9:00.
If you hear hoofbeats, it's probably a horse, not a zebra.
Old medical school saying- "Students tend to find exotic diseases in ordinary symptoms.
" They need to be reminded that most things are what they appear to be.
You gentlemen are on a zebra hunt.
Either a zebra or a horse using white-out.
Or maybe Dr.
Raza made a mistake in the chart.
Maybe he made a mistake in the emergency room.
No.
You trust Dr.
Raza, don't you? I offered him a job.
wrote a letter to Immigration this morning.
Strange time to be hiring the guy.
A good doctor is a good doctor.
Max: What time were rounds that night? Sometime after 6:00.
They stand around gabbing and we're trying to keep some poor jerk from bleeding to death.
So what happened that night? why were rounds so late? we waited for the Chief of Medicine.
Dr.
Auster.
God on high descending.
well, he descended late.
He said he'd been delayed at some retirement party for one of the service chiefs.
Seemed like Dr.
Auster had a good time.
what do you mean? It smelled like he had been drinking.
The hospital wanted to lay out cheese in a can and white wine from Bulgaria.
So I had the party catered.
Duck liver pate, Beluga malossal caviar.
Oh, yes.
Anesthesiology has been very good to me.
Did Dr.
Auster have a good time? Oh, I hope so.
The caviar cost Did Dr.
Auster have a drink? Oh, yes.
That's why I had bar.
Happy Hour catering.
Max: You guys just supply bartenders? we supply bartenders, barmaids if you want 'em, ice, glasses, napkins, mixers.
Booze? You supply, you save.
You work the hospital job? I was there.
Two waitresses and Rory, another bartender.
Remember this guy? Yeah, Jim.
No, Ed.
Edward Auster.
No, no.
Jim.
Green.
The bourbon? That's what he drank.
On the rocks.
One every five minutes.
I can smell it.
Somebody gave her the wrong drugs.
I don't know if it was Gunga Din or Auster, but one of them screwed the pooch.
Mike, you look like you got a problem.
All I know about hospitals is that my father is still walking today because he had a heart transplant in one seven years ago.
I'm not saying all doctors are bad.
are solid pros.
It's the rotten 1 %, to quote our friend Auster, that make it a lottery.
You bet your life.
Come on, Max, you ain't exactly a fan of the profession.
I just want them held to the same standards that cops are when somebody gets shot or pilots when there's a crash.
Yeah, and that's what bothers me.
Listen.
Say I'm out with Maggie, we're having dinner, I have a few pops, okay? Mm-hmm, go on.
I look out the window, I see someone getting mugged.
I run out, pull my service revolver out of my sock, I yell, "Halt.
" Now one of the muggers reaches into his pocket, takes something out, turns around.
Pop, I blow him away.
Yeah, but the something ain't a weapon.
It's the victim's wallet.
That is still a totally righteous shoot.
You know that, I know that.
Internal affairs smells liquor on my breath, they crucify me.
I got to tell you this, that's how this feels to me.
There's a difference between a few pops and a bourbon every five minutes.
Come on, the kid's exaggerating.
Maybe he wasn't.
No one said Auster looked or acted drunk.
They smelled it on his breath.
You know looking and acting drunk don't mean squat.
what are you guys talking about? Back when Max and I were partners, I had a little bit of a drinking problem.
well finally he told me he wouldn't partner with me unless I went to AA.
And? And I told him to mind his own freaking business.
I was under control, I knewwhat I was doing.
I was just a social drinker.
He made me so damn mad, I went out and I had a few social drinks.
A couple hours later, I was standing in the middle of Lexington Avenue, not looking or acting drunk, but I had my gun pointed at a taxi driver because I didn't like the way he was honking his horn.
That night I went to my first meeting and I've been sober j ever since.
Get back to the hospital, and twist a few people, huh? I'm begging you, don't make me torpedo my career.
we need a second witness.
Hmm? Look, Auster forgets more every week than I know.
I came to New York because of him.
Do you know what it means to be able to say I studied under Dr.
Edward Auster? He could destroy the rest of my career.
what career? He was drunk.
The girl had muscle pains.
The doctor ordered meperidine and the resident said something about phenelzine.
I- I-I don't think he even heard.
He took the meperidine, he injected it himself.
what, no one tried to stop him? what are we going to do, wrestle Dr.
Edward Auster to the floor? I- I didn't even know he was wrong.
You know now.
Nowwe have to get approval from an Executive Assistant DA.
Stone's the boss.
what do you want me to do? This case is politically sensitive.
It gets tougher all the time, Mike.
The Davids kid already made the turn once.
He said flat out, "Auster was drunk.
" Stone: I want to go in with more than a nervous resident.
The bartender says Auster drank like a fish at the party.
If the resident testifies, there's a good chance we get the rest of the ER team to follow suit.
Pick him up.
Dr.
Demacus to CCU.
Dr.
Demacus to CCU, please.
See we did a procedure called balloon angioplasty.
woman: Oh.
But the pain? No, no, I don't think it'll come back.
I'm not saying that you could take up racquetball, but you will be able to walk, climb stairs, and swim.
Thank you.
Guess we won't need our guns.
Edward Auster we have a warrant for your arrest.
Practicing medicine drunk.
It's not prosecuted much.
we're going to have- First in his class at Harvard Medical School.
Residency and fellowship- Say hello to Phillip Nevins, Dr.
Ross' attorney.
Author of the classic textbook in cardiology, winner of the Lasker award for medical research, published 175 journal articles.
Does he walk on water? The trash that you people usually prosecute can't murder fast enough to kill as many people as Edward Auster has saved.
Now I'm just trying to save you from a mistaken perspective.
Failing to perceive a substantial and unjustified risk that might cause Suzanne Morton's death- criminally negligent homicide.
Consciously disregarding that substantial and unjustified risk- manslaughter two.
See you in court, Stone.
Nevins is going to flood the witness stand with famous doctors swearing that Auster is a cross between Albert Schweitzer and Albert Einstein.
And we've got a father who was a medic 25 years ago? Morton took on heavy odds.
Maybe we can even them out.
I want you to interview people who know Auster.
So you're the dipstick who's prosecuting Bud Auster.
Is that what you call Dr.
Auster around the fishing hole? It's what I've called him since the second grade.
Some people do things, and others what do you and Auster do? we catch trout in Maine.
Last time was in June.
we sleep in the woods, tell each other we're just as young as we used to be.
And drink.
Somebody pass a law against drunk fishing? I first admired America when I saw "Judgment at Nuremberg.
" Everybody pays for their crimes.
I never thought it would be me.
There'll be no prosecution if you testify against Auster.
And no job.
I got to love America, and leave it.
Two or three times each month he calls, says he's coming.
He's always late because he's drunk.
You know what they call those rounds? Liver rounds.
Everyone knew.
Suzanne Morton did have pneumonia.
And Dr.
Auster did tell you to lie.
I have flexible hours in my training.
Do you know how important that is when you're raising a child? That's non-responsive, Doctor.
Auster didn't act drunk.
He never acted drunk.
But he was drunk, wasn't he? He was always drunk on liver rounds.
Wasn't he? And he did tell you to lie, didn't he? That poor girl.
All she needed j j was some aspirin and an antibiotic.
Am I going to lose my license? That's not my decision, Doctor.
However I will give you immunity from prosecution for conspiracy if you testify.
You suspect, you know, but what are you going to do? Contact the medical society? Sure.
Intern Stephen Simonson wishes to file a complaint against the leading cardiologist in the United States? Look, I admitted Suzanne Morton.
It looks like I blew the diagnosis.
Is that what's bothering you? Look, six months ago I get this guy, he's 25 years old, he's basically healthy, right? He walks in with the worst headache in his life.
His neck is sore, but that's ambiguous.
And Auster showed up? He prescribes him peridine for the headache without a patient work-up.
It's the worst thing you can do.
It masks the symptoms of meningitis, which is what the guy had.
We saved him- barely.
Now every time I see Auster walk into the ER, I want to grab whoever I'm treating and hide them in a closet.
Good afternoon, Dr.
Simonson.
Sir.
Stone: That'll be all, thank you.
So are we early? Stone: We got what we needed from Dr.
Simonson.
An intern, Mr.
Stone.
Are you planning on asking the cleaning lady to testify too? About the time I threw the tissue into the wastepaper basket and missed? Ed, please- Every doctor in this country has to worry about some shyster lawyer suing for malpractice.
Now we've got a prosecutor looking over our shoulder.
The next time I write a prescription am I supposed to ask the Supreme Court to vote on the dosage? Look, Stone, you haven't got a chance to convict, but this trial alone can stain Dr.
Auster's reputation.
Are you proposing we give him the Nobel Peace Prize and call it even? No.
Adjournment with an eye toward dismissal.
Because of Dr.
Auster a young woman is dead.
A doctor, Mr.
Stone, is not a magician.
If you drove drunk, this would be an open and shut case.
when you practice medicine, Mr.
Stone, sometimes a patient dies.
And when you're a lawyer, Dr.
Auster, some of the people you prosecute are convicted.
Defendants index, 1983.
where are computers when you need them? Here's a little job for you.
Keyboard every lawsuit ever filed in New York County into a computer.
Most malpractice doesn't result in lawsuits.
You got any better ideas? Go door to door, ask if anybody saw Auster kill the patient? we're going to do that next.
Ah.
Aye.
There, I just saved us a lot of shoe-leather.
"Stivic versus Auster, In re: the death of Angela Stivic, age 11.
" when Dr.
Auster's attorney told us they'd offer us a settlement, my husband said, "Take it.
It'll be over.
we can stop thinking about Angela all the time.
" we bought the apartment and the furniture.
My husband sat in the recliner once.
I'm sorry.
when Dr.
Auster came out of Angela's room to say they couldn't stop the bleeding I smelled liquor on his breath.
Bourbon.
All I wanted was for Dr.
Auster to say, "I killed Angela Stivic, the beautiful daughter of George and Melanie Stivic.
" Excuse me.
You know the difference between Auster and a serial killer? The weapon.
You objected to the administration of meperidine? Raza: I suggested acetaminophen, but Dr.
Auster grew angry.
He said if I didn't like the way the hospital was run, I should continue my training elsewhere.
Stone: Thank you, Doctor.
Do you know how long Dr.
Auster has been practicing medicine, Dr.
Risa? Raza.
Um, I don't know.
And do you know where he went to medical school? Harvard, I believe.
That's correct.
How long have you been a doctor? Two years, sir.
I see.
And where did you go to medical school? At the University of Peshawar.
Thank you.
Stone: Dr.
Mills, were you present on March 15th when Suzanne Morton was admitted? Mills: Yes.
And what was your reaction when Dr.
Auster prepared to inject Suzanne Morton with meperidine? I said her chart showed she was taking phenelzine.
Meperidine was contra-indicated.
And where did you go to medical school? Harvard.
Thank you.
Stone: So in your expert opinion the administration of meperidine in conjunction with phenelzine killed Suzanne Morton? That's correct.
No further questions.
But isn't it true you had to run a second toxicological screen to even find meperidine and phenelzine in Suzanne Morton's body? That's because both drugs are unusual unto themselves Thank you, Doctor.
and would not be found unless specifically requested Thank you, Doctor! which they were.
Isn't it possible that pneumonia killed Suzanne Morton? It's possible that death rays from Mars killed her but I don't think so.
Dr.
Auster must've spoken to you during the course of the party.
Every five minutes.
"Fill her up.
" Nevins: Was his speech slurred? Not so I remember.
Did he seem drunk in any way? I never saw anyone hold his liquor better.
Stone: During your years of research into alcoholism, Dr.
walters, have you ever observed people who appear to be sober but are, in fact, drunk? It happens all the time.
It could happen to Dr.
Auster? Objection, it could happen to my Aunt Minnie, but it doesn't.
Judge: Sustained.
I'll rephrase the question.
If a 55-year-old man weighing having consumed 10 shots of bourbon in two hours, appears to be stone cold sober, does that mean he is, in fact, in full possession of his faculties? No.
Now if that same weighing 185 pounds has several drinks and he appears to be quite sober, and makes a mistake, would that mistake necessarily be caused by his drinking, or might he have made that mistake anyway? Obviously that's impossible to say.
You'd have to be that 55-year-old man to know.
we've got Auster drunk at Suzanne Morton's bedside, prescribing the medicine that killed her.
why do I feel like we're on the ropes? Better go back over every shred of evidence and find out what we missed.
Because Auster's brilliant doesn't mean he didn't do something dumb.
And cheer up, we got all weekend.
Over the past five years, the state health department has been notified of six adverse occurrences in the Urban Medical Center emergency room.
Adverse occurrences.
Nice phrase.
There were people who died for reasons not immediately clear.
In all six cases no fault was found.
Five of the cases happened on nights Dr.
Auster happened to be in the emergency room.
Interesting, not evidence.
Suzanne Morton, Angela Stivic, a 25-year-old guy with meningitis, now statistical anomalies.
This is beyond coincidence.
In the case of the Morton girl, you cannot prove that he crossed the line between criminal recklessness and unfortunate mistake.
If he knew he was an alcoholic, then drinking before going to work was criminally reckless.
The crime did not take place in the emergency room.
It took place at the cocktail party.
Excellent.
Okay, okay.
I'm an alcoholic and I know I'm an alcoholic.
what do I do? Buy liquor? we've got charge receipts for enough bourbon to prove- It proves he drank, it doesn't prove he knew he was a drunk.
Go to AA meetings.
we can't canvas hundreds of AA meetings before tomorrow afternoon, and there are no AA meetings in his calendar.
whoa.
what? whenever he left town, he called the office every day.
Collect.
Except on his last fishing trip.
Stone: Where did you spend the week of June 10th, Mr.
Hoffman? In Maine, fishing.
was Edward Auster with you? was Edward Auster with you? No.
Stone: Did he ask you to tell people that he had been with you on that trip? Yes.
And why was that, Mr.
Hoffman? He didn't want anyone to know where he was.
why was that? He was embarrassed.
And why was that? He had checked himself into a clinic.
Stone: What clinic? Hoffman: The Colson Clinic.
what kind of clinic is the Colson Clinic? Mr.
Hoffman? It's a substance abuse clinic.
Stone: Thank you.
In his first group sessions at the clinic, Dr.
Auster told us he had gone through college in three years.
And he became Chief of Medicine at a major New York hospital in only 10 years.
Stone: Anything else? I believe he also mentioned that he skipped fifth grade.
Dr.
Auster had very little patience with our program.
How long does your treatment program last? How long did Dr.
Auster stay? Six days.
He left against our advice.
Stone: Would you say Dr.
Auster knew he was an alcoholic by the time he left? He would never have come in the first place if he hadn't.
Stone: I have no further questions.
Are you positive? Now I am going to ask you to limit your responses to my question to a simple yes or no, so we can avoid these subjective flights of fantasy that your last statement exemplified.
Do you understand my request, Dr.
Rasmussen? Yes.
Good, thank you.
Now, did Dr.
Auster say to you, "I am an alcoholic"? No.
In fact, didn't Dr.
Auster say to you, "I am not an alcoholic"? You must under - Yes or no, Dr.
Rasmussen, please.
Did he say, "I am not an alcoholic"? Yes.
No more questions.
Judge: You may step down, Doctor.
Stone: Did Dr.
Auster discuss his drinking with you? Anything that transpired between Dr.
Auster and myself is protected by patient?doctor privilege.
As well as patient and doctor, you're friends, we are.
where did you have lunch with him on June 7th, in your office? No, at The Four Seasons.
Did you conduct your physical examination of Dr.
Auster there? Uh, no.
Did you bill him for your time? No, it- it was a A friendly lunch? Yes.
So privilege is not an issue here.
Did you say anything during your friendly lunch that upset him? Doctor? I- I- I told him that, um if he didn't stop drinking he'd be dead in five years.
Thank you.
Judge: Does the defense wish to begin, or would you prefer to break for an early lunch, Mr.
Nevins? If it please the court, the defense can bring its one witness before noon.
Proceed.
The defense calls Dr.
Edward Auster.
And so the tragic death of a six-year-old led to sight for one child and a new heart for another.
The boy who got the heart is now the star shortstop to the little league baseball team.
Nevins: Finally, how many doctors and immediate family members of doctors have you treated in the past 10 years? I really have no idea.
well, I do.
I did some research.
Over 300.
So it seems you're the kind of doctor whose hands other doctors put their lives in.
I certainly hope I've lived up to that trust.
Oh, brother.
Defense rests, Your Honor.
Judge: Mr.
Stone? The hour is almost up.
Could you hold your cross-examination until after lunch? Of course, Your Honor.
Good job.
I thank you.
That many? So then you do think patients should know as much as possible about the doctors that treat them? Yes, of course.
where he was trained, who trained him.
Personal habits? I don't see why unless it impacts on his ability as a physician.
well, let's talk about that.
Have you had a drink today? Objection, Your Honor, relevancy.
I'll allow it.
Yes.
Stone: More than one? Yes.
How many more than one? I'm not sure.
Do you recall, was it between two and five drinks? I don't recall.
Doctor, is it not a fact that you had six bourbons on the rocks at Chance's Pub not 45 minutes ago? Nevins: Objection, Your Honor.
Judge: I'll allow it.
Let's move on, Mr.
Stone.
would you step into the well, Dr.
Auster? Objection, Your Honor, there's no need for Dr.
Auster to stand.
Sidebar, please, Your Honor? what's going on, Mr.
Stone? Does Dr.
Auster look drunk to you, Your Honor? what the hell is that supposed to mean? I must be allowed to show Dr.
Auster is in the courtroom and he's drunk.
Your Honor, I strenuously object to this.
Overruled.
Proceed, Mr.
Stone.
Step into the well, Doctor.
This is a New York City Police Department manual.
I'm going to administer a standard test to determine whether a person is operating a motor vehicle under the influence.
This is an outrage.
Do as Mr.
Stone instructs you, Doctor.
Raise your arm to the level of your shoulder, close your eyes, and point to your nose with your index finger.
Dr.
Auster, did you appeal the verdict? No, I'm sorry Nevins: Could you please leave? Congratulations.
How did you know.
My father.
Every day at lunch.