Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Second Opinion

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.
Let's go, let's go! We're losing her! What do you have? Unconscious 30 minutes.
Dr.
Salinas! Somebody find Salinas.
MAN: She was having cramps and threw up.
WOMAN ON PA: Dr.
Salinas to ER.
Code blue.
Dr.
Salinas to ER.
Code blue.
SALINAS: Vitals? BP 60 over palp.
Pulse 130 and weak.
Respiration shallow.
IV with lactated Ringers, wide open.
Let's move! I'll need tox on her blood.
And have this vomitus analyzed.
(ECG FLAT LINING) We've got a code.
One amp epi.
Let's defib.
(WHIRRING) Clear.
Nothing.
One more time.
Bag her, Stevens.
What's that smell? Come on, Stevens.
Bag her.
That smell? It's coming from her.
(POLICE SIREN WAILING) What have you got? Name is Ann Bennett.
Teacher at St.
Andrew's Academy.
She vomited and passed out on the floor of her fifth grade classroom.
She OD? Something.
HAZMAT evacuated the ER.
Health sealed her up.
Quarantine.
No one goes near her.
Investigate a suspicious death, but don't touch the body.
That's why you guys get the glory.
SALINAS: The lady coded.
I tried to bring her back, but What about the smell? The nurse said it was like dirty sweat socks.
That's what cyanide smells like.
I thought that was bitter almonds.
Either one.
Victim's clothing.
Get it down to Forensics.
Full tox screen for poisons.
Did you get a chance to take blood? And blood, too.
ASAP, huh? It appears the chest compressions forced the noxious fumes out.
That's what knocked Stevens cold.
Hey, didn't this happen in California? Yeah.
They said it was the smell of death.
Five days for an autopsy.
Rodgers, you've got to be kidding me.
This lady emitted some kind of noxious fumes.
The attending nurse was unconscious for 20 minutes and still suffers from periodic spasms.
This can't be the first time you've cut open a sick person.
HIV, small pox, TB That, we're prepared for.
The unknown, we've got to take extra precautions.
Such as? The body is already in an isolation room.
We've got to contact Health and HAZMAT to ensure proper safety.
Right.
And that means drag out the extra large roll of red tape.
So, Rodgers, there's nothing you can tell us now? Pesticides, chemical warfare Hell, maybe she's ET's first cousin.
VAN BUREN: Thanks.
You talk to next of kin? Husband is an antique dealer.
He's upstate for the day adding to his inventory and he can't be reached.
Wonder if he knew his wife was from another galaxy.
It's a little medical examiner humor.
In my opinion, this is probably nothing.
Something made that nurse pass out.
The patient regurgitated all over herself.
I think an ER nurse can handle that.
Yeah.
Well, the nurse said she smelled cyanide.
They got some blood before the panic and a full tox screen will take a couple of days.
Could be suicide.
Cyanide? I can think of less painful ways of saying goodbye.
All right, until we know better, we'll treat it as a homicide.
You said Mrs.
Bennett passed out at some private school, right? (SCHOOL BELL RINGING) REYNOLDS: The radio said she was poisoned.
Why anybody would want to hurt Ann is beyond me.
Well, we're not quite sure how it happened, Father.
It's ironic.
She dodged bullets in the public schools for 10 years.
Two years ago she joined us, said she'd stay here till she retired.
This is where she passed out.
I just can't believe this.
Did she ever have any problems with any of the students or the faculty? Something was wrong.
She was occasionally depressed.
She lost weight.
I approached her, but she wouldn't talk about it.
REYNOLDS: I thought something was wrong at home.
School cafeteria? Doesn't open till noon.
Ann liked to come in early, so the kids could talk to her before class.
We don't have vending machines either.
Phosphoric acid, aspartame, potassium benzoate, phenylalanine, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
You always this thorough, Ryan? What do you want in an hour? You asked about cyanide.
And? None in here.
What about the Danish? Prune, if I am not mistaken.
No cyanide on the part she didn't eat.
I wish I could help, but from what I've seen, nothing here killed this lady.
Hey, the husband called in.
He's waiting for us at his apartment.
Thanks, pal.
NICHOLAS: I was on my way to see a dealer at Nyack.
Guy on the radio was talking about a teacher from St.
Andrew's.
I called from the next gas station.
Did you see what they're calling her? The Fume Lady.
She's my wife, not some freak.
Hey, nobody believes that stuff.
That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.
This is my daughter, Lynn.
Hi, Lynn.
I don't understand.
Why can't I see her? Why are the police involved? There's a chance It did look suspicious, Mr.
Bennett.
Maybe poison.
BRISCOE: We're going to need an autopsy.
I don't believe this.
Poison? Ann died of breast cancer.
That's what killed her.
Well, in that case, you don't mind if we see her doctor, do you? Her name is Nancy Haas.
Over on the East Side.
Yeah.
Police.
Don't put me on hold.
You know, I don't see the point.
You don't lie about your wife having cancer.
If she was that sick, she should have been in the hospital, not dragging herself to work every day.
Hey, my blood pressure shoots up every year just before my physical.
Some people just don't like doctors or hospitals.
Hello? Yeah.
That's right.
Well, I'd like to speak to Dr.
Haas.
Uh-huh.
For how long? Can you tell me what Hello? Get this.
The lady is about to croak, her old man is out antiquing, and her doctor is on the lecture circuit.
Who else we got? BRISCOE: He never told you she was sick? He never told me she was that sick.
I've known him for 15 years.
Maybe there were other things he didn't tell you.
Wait a minute here.
You don't think Nick It's just part of the drill.
God, the man's suffered enough.
He loved his wife.
He lost her.
What do you want from the guy? Well, if you help us, we can put this thing to bed real quick.
What can I tell you? My wife and I had dinner with them a couple of times a year.
As far as we could tell, they were happy, even with the cancer.
Yeah.
You know, I think that's kind of strange.
He wasn't even with her when she The man had his hands full around here.
Well, no offense, but you don't seem all that busy.
I'm twice as busy as I was six months ago.
Nick laid off two other salesmen.
So business isn't good, huh? I thought it was fine, but Can you believe, just last night, I complained that my paycheck bounced? Nick Bennett used to be one of our best customers.
Revolving credit line.
Never missed a payment.
We hear he's bouncing checks now.
I'm not surprised.
We had to terminate his line of credit about a year ago.
He was using corporate funds to cover personal expenses.
What kind of expenses? He said he was paying for his wife's doctor's bills.
And you didn't believe him? Well, it didn't much matter.
It was a business loan.
The store stopped buying inventory.
That meant the loan wasn't properly collateralized.
Fancy private school like that, you'd think they'd have health insurance.
When Ann was hired, she had to have a physical for the group policy.
She had a history of cancer in her family, so our insurers insisted on a complete work-up.
That's when they found the lump.
Which made it a preexisting condition.
Which also meant that our insurance plan wouldn't cover it.
She'd already lost her old policy when she changed jobs, so So she had to pick up the whole tab.
Mmm-hmm.
You have to give Ann credit.
I mean, not only did she keep her condition a secret from the rest of the faculty, she kept working.
Well, wait a minute.
Wasn't she covered by her husband's plan? Unfortunately, he was covered by Ann's policy.
Maybe Clinton's right about something.
Yeah, not only is the wife sick, she's breaking the bank.
Call me old-fashioned, but I don't see the point in killing somebody who's already dying.
Breast cancer? My aunt lived 10 years after she was diagnosed.
Maybe this lady didn't have your aunt's Irish constitution.
Maybe nobody fed my aunt cyanide.
Hey, cyanide is not exactly the '90s weapon of choice.
Yeah, but it's a lot cheaper than 10 years in the hospital.
(PHONE RINGING) LOGAN: I got to tell you, Mr.
Bennett, I can really sympathize with you.
You work your whole life to make something, and then one day, it's gone.
These doctors take all your money, and then some more.
If you ask me, that's the real crime here.
The real crime is that my wife is lying in the morgue and I can't see her.
That my daughter has to go through this.
Yeah, well, when we figure out what happened, we'll release the body.
She's not a body.
This is insane.
You think I killed my wife over money? Ann was sick.
She was dying.
Well, I know that cancer treatment is very expensive, and you didn't have insurance.
Must have been about, what, 50 grand? Doctors, psychologists, pharmacists Try doubling that.
That's a hell of a lot of money.
Do I look stupid to you, Officer? If I was gonna kill my wife to save the expense, don't you think I would have done it before I went broke? Maybe it wasn't the money.
Maybe you just didn't wanna see her suffer.
Let me tell you about suffer.
Try looking at your 14-year-old daughter in the eyes and telling her she's not gonna die of cancer, too.
Husbands kill wives.
Especially the ones that eat up their savings.
I don't suppose he's about to confess.
Yeah, only to loving her more than life itself.
He claims she died of breast cancer.
Breast cancer? How come nobody thought to tell me? If she drank a cyanide cocktail, what difference does it make? I'm thinking the bartender may have an MD next to his name.
Cyanide plus cancer, it could equal Laetrile.
You been going to med school at night? Two kinds of women in this world.
Those that have breast cancer, and those that are scared to death of getting it.
Articles you skip on the way to the sports page, I cut out and keep in the drawer next to my bed.
Yeah, well, even I know that the Laetrile crap doesn't work.
Yeah, well, when somebody is counting their days, they may start believing in magic potions.
Magic and illegal.
Hey, we're not even sure there was any cyanide.
Yes, we are.
Tox report came in an hour ago.
I really appreciate you coming here.
After a week away, the office will be a madhouse.
About Ann Bennett, Dr.
Haas? Ann knew she was dying.
The surprise is how long she lived.
When I first saw her, I told her it was only a matter of time.
Shouldn't she have been in the hospital? Ann wanted to die with dignity, not with tubes up her nose.
So she'd already given up, huh? She did have cancer, Detective.
At a hospital, it's slash, poison and burn.
Surgery, chemo and radiation.
Unfortunately for women, the medical establishment isn't interested in alternatives.
Dr.
Haas, the way I understand it, you either have the operation, or you die.
Everybody dies.
I'm more concerned with the quality of my patients' lives while they are still with us.
Well, just exactly how do you improve the quality of their lives? I've developed an all-natural metabolic therapy.
It eases the pain.
Sometimes actually decelerates the spread of the cancer cells.
That sounds a little bit like Laetrile.
Please.
I'm a scientist, not a witch doctor.
Mind if we have a look at her records? With the proper release from Mr.
Bennett, not at all.
I'm late.
If you'll excuse me, my maid will show you out.
First, I poisoned her, now the doctors did it.
Ann died of cancer.
There was cyanide in her blood, Mr.
Bennett.
There's a chance that her doctor might have So So, search her office, see what she gave Ann.
There's nothing we'd like better, but we need probable cause.
Did your wife ever say anything? It was two years ago, August 7th.
Ann wanted to get away for the weekend.
We rented a car, drove to the Hamptons.
Best hotel, antique shops, walks on the beach.
We got back to the city Sunday night, Ann told me about the lump.
She wouldn't even let me go with her to get the results of the biopsy.
She had the lumpectomy, and that was the last time we discussed it.
She never wanted me to know how sick she really was.
You never talked about it? The woman was dying and she had to hold me together.
I'm sorry.
Ann never said anything about Laetrile to me.
Would you authorize the release of her records? I don't know what good it'll do.
Well, talk about denial.
The guy never even asked his wife what she was taking.
She saw Haas twice a week for nine months.
You'd think whatever she was taking, she'd know it didn't work.
The doctor said it was too late.
If it was me, I'd have the operation anyway.
Oh, really? You have anything you'd think twice about cutting off? (SCOFFING) Seventh grade, what's the first thing you noticed about little Susie sitting across the aisle from you? Come on.
I was 13 years old.
Oh, and everything's changed since then, right? It's the first thing that made little Susie feel like a woman.
And believe me, that feeling doesn't change.
If you got the big C, what would you do? Have a cup of chicken soup and put a rabbit's foot under your pillow? VAN BUREN: Tell you what I wouldn't do.
I wouldn't be sitting here, eating cold pizza with you guys.
No offense, Mike.
But my final days, I'm going to spend with my husband and my children.
And Mrs.
Bennett kept working.
You think Bennett really didn't know how sick she was? It might be in Dr.
Haas' best interest to have us think it was cancer that killed her.
Talk to her old doctor.
Find out what his prognosis was.
I treated Ann about two years ago.
A lumpectomy and radiation therapy.
I recommended a mastectomy.
Ann wanted to save the breast.
So she skipped the surgery? That's right.
Nine months ago, I find a stage three tumor with cancer in the lymph nodes.
So, how bad is that? If treated properly, there's a good survival rate.
But that means an operation and follow-up chemotherapy.
Ann wanted a second opinion.
Well, there's got to be some give and take, right? I mean, doctors don't always agree.
Mrs.
Bennett didn't have a tummy ache, Detective.
She needed the surgery.
Dr.
Haas didn't think so.
Dr.
Haas? You want the lowdown on Nancy Haas? Talk to Valerie West, Margie Doyle, Nancy McKinney, three of my former patients who chose Dr.
Haas over surgery.
Where can we find them? Try various cemeteries.
They're all dead.
The woman is a Class A quack.
If it were up to me, I'd have closed her down years ago.
Who is it up to? State Medical Board.
Cancer Society.
It seems they can't do anything.
Haas has a Ph.
D.
in Molecular Biology from Columbia, a Master's in Organic Chemistry from Stanford.
She was a Fulbright Scholar, a year at Oxford, followed by the Boothe Chair in biology.
I didn't hear medical school on that list.
That's because she isn't a doctor.
Not a MD, anyway.
Well, she's treating cancer patients.
Technically, she's not practicing medicine.
She calls what she does nutritional counseling.
The Haas Institute is a for-profit business.
Let me guess, it's not regulated by the state.
We do our best to close down the quacks who promise a cure and sell overpriced carrot juice.
So why is Haas still in business? Because she doesn't promise a cure.
She says, "I have an alternative.
" And you let her slide because of her sales pitch? We print up fliers, publish articles, publicize the issue on local TV, but as long as she doesn't hold her treatment out to be a cure for cancer, we can't do anything about her.
It's real simple.
Haas is pushing poison.
The Cancer Society has said her treatment wasn't FDA approved.
Not the same thing.
It's enough for a warrant.
We search her office, and find out what she's cooking up in the basement.
She's got a full column in Who's Who.
We can't just barge into her office on hearsay.
The tox screen found cyanide in Ann Bennett's blood.
Only a trace.
Look, the bottom line is, without an autopsy, we don't even know what caused her death.
(PHONE RINGING) Kincaid.
Okay, thanks.
And now we may never know.
Nicholas Bennett just filed a writ of mandamus.
And in English? It's a motion to force the state to release his wife's body.
Have you seen the newspapers? Front page photographs of Mrs.
Bennett's body wrapped in a plastic bag.
Headlines reading, "Nobody Will Touch the Fume Lady.
" Her daughter is 14 years old, Your Honor.
CLAIRE: The DA's office has no control over the tabloids.
And what about Mr.
Bennett? Isn't he entitled to properly mourn his wife? CLAIRE: There is evidence that Mrs.
Bennett's death may not have been from natural causes, Your Honor.
The state is entitled to conduct an autopsy.
HATCHER: It's been four days now, with no end in sight.
I don't see what the problem is.
I don't either, Miss Kincaid.
Something emanating from the deceased caused a nurse to lose consciousness.
The Medical Examiner Should put on a mask or find other employment.
You've got 24 hours.
After that, the body goes in the ground.
WOMAN ON PA: Dr.
Anderson, report to Toxicology.
Dr.
Anderson, report to Toxicology.
I'll be out in a minute.
More coffee? Another cup of that, they can autopsy me.
It's 5:00 in the morning.
With luck we can arrest her before breakfast.
(DOOR BUZZING) I must have lost about 20 pounds in there.
LOGAN: We're more interested in the corpse, Rodgers.
Hepatic failure.
Cancer metastasized.
Ann Bennett died of liver cancer.
What about the cyanide? No.
Not enough to be fatal.
If it was, her tissues would have been cherry red.
They were clear.
The fumes in the ER? The nurse may have smelled something, but the fainting and spasms were caused by panic, hysteria.
After that woman in California, I'm not surprised.
Sorry, folks.
This ain't a homicide.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) JACK: Yeah? (PHONE RINGING) Claire Kincaid.
Jack McCoy.
I spoke to Mr.
Schiff.
He said you had requested me.
As soon as I heard Ben had resigned.
Your reputation precedes you.
As does yours.
Including your relationships with previous assistants.
Three, in the past 24 years in this office, and that includes an ex-wife.
Shall I be honest? That would be helpful.
Those relationships were mutual.
I hardly think that I should apologize for finding some of my co-workers more stimulating than the women I meet at the gym.
I just wanted to make it clear.
I got it.
I certainly don't anticipate a problem.
Here we go.
Can we get to work now? Of course.
It's a warrant to search Dr.
Haas' office.
For what? She didn't kill Ann Bennett.
The autopsy found cyanide.
If she's treating her patients with The ME's report is clear.
Ann Bennett died of cancer.
I'm really not interested, Claire.
If she is selling a form of Laetrile, it's a felony.
We're supposed to put felons in prison.
Seems a little harsh.
It's against the law for a reason, don't you think? Lots of Vitamin E, Vitamin A, seven grains, including oat bran, string beans, rice.
Then there's your fruit groups.
Apricots, pears Sounds like something they'd sell at my gym.
Garden variety metabolic diet.
What about the traces of cyanide? Actually, you mean the amygdaline.
It's a cyanogenetic glycoside, in this case coming from apricot seeds.
Are you saying Laetrile? No.
Not a high enough concentration, but same theory.
An enzyme in cyanide attaches itself to cancer cells.
The rest of the goodies are directed at cellular detoxification and restoration.
Fry? Is there any validity to it? FDA sure doesn't think so.
Well, is Haas' concoction actually harmful? Only if you cut your hand opening the can.
But it's still illegal.
Apricot seeds? My cousin distributes California raisins.
You wanna lock him up, too? If it appears on the FDA's list of unapproved substances.
There is nothing in my client's treatment that is not sold in every health food store in the country.
The Penal Law is very clear.
If you sell apricot seeds as a treatment for cancer, you've committed a crime.
So, you want to slap her on the wrist now? Your client is looking at jail time.
Jack, I have always admired your stick-to-itiveness.
I assume you came here to talk deal.
Tell me, Mr.
McCoy, does the AMA have you on retainer? Those frauds go to conventions in Barbados to discuss how the IRS is closing down their tax shelters while I'm trying to save people's lives.
Those frauds follow FDA guidelines.
Yes, I use apricot seeds.
But only as a catalytic agent.
They are hardly the primary ingredient.
Why didn't you tell that to the police? They asked if I was prescribing Laetrile.
I'm not.
YOUNG: What's it been, Jack, I mean, I've known you to get wet and happy over murderers and rapists, but selling fruit? It's not the fruit that concerns me, Counselor.
It's the selling of false hope to unwitting victims.
Where did you get your doctorate in biochemistry, Mr.
McCoy? YOUNG: Save yourself some time.
I'll give you 50 hours of community service and a solemn promise not to do it anymore.
Not good enough.
Don't say I never offered.
The tox lab said Haas' treatment is harmless.
Physically, sure.
But what about financially? They paid her for a cure, right? It was bogus.
Larceny? Exactly.
She's doling out a phony cure.
She's not doing it for free.
It's a felony.
Only if she actually promised a cure.
We don't know what she told her patients.
Maybe we should find out.
Nicholas Bennett said he never talked to her.
Then subpoena her patient list and talk to everyone else.
Sure, I just saw her this morning.
And you're on her metabolic diet.
Never felt better.
Are you aware that it's not approved by the FDA? Look, I'm supposed to hold my breath waiting for a bunch of men in Washington to get off their butts? It's my life, you know.
Did Dr.
Haas say she could cure you? If I say yes, you'll close her down, right? Yeah.
That's the law.
You see this? I am wearing this to my high school reunion next Saturday.
If I hadn't met Dr.
Haas, I couldn't wear it.
Who am I kidding? I wouldn't be going to the reunion at all.
My friend Evelyn told me about her a year ago.
Right after my other doctor told me I had to have a mastectomy.
Dr.
Haas said that I could live a normal life without getting mutilated.
But did she ever say she could cure you? Twice a week for almost six months.
She showed me medical journals from Europe.
She said the American bureaucracy moves a lot slower than cancer cells.
And you're still taking her treatment? I wish.
(SIGHING) My husband got nervous, dragged me to a Park Avenue oncologist.
So you had the operation? Oh, and what fun it was.
First, they put you on a slab, naked, totally exposed.
Then they start taking pictures.
And we're just getting going, Miss Kincaid.
There's a TV camera with a monitor outside the room for all to see.
And then, when you're just about ready to say the hell with it and run for your life, some man says, "Don't worry, dear.
Everything will be okay.
" It is not okay.
You're alive, Mrs.
Hurst.
And with the reconstructive surgery, I'm as good as new.
Only my husband hasn't touched me since.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) There's a check mark beside the names of the patients I talked to.
Most of them say Haas just offers an alternative.
And you believe them? Could be that's the answer they were told to give if anyone asked.
The ones with two checks admitted Haas said she could cure them.
Looks like about a dozen names.
Good enough to make our case for fraud.
I'm sorry.
I still don't feel good about this.
You got something against putting the bad guys in jail? The ones who'd serve the public better in a laboratory.
Haas has a wall full of credentials.
She's a legitimate scientist.
Who is fleecing her patients.
Maybe her patients want to get fleeced.
There happens to be a lot of gray between the black-and-white lines of your precious Penal Code.
And where on this rainbow do you suggest that we place Dr.
Haas? There's a chance the women she treats live better lives than the ones who were mutilated by conventional members of the AMA.
By swallowing snake oil? You're so sure that's what it is? The FDA Oh, sure.
Why not make a woman wait when she might only have three years left to live? Who are you defending here? This woman isn't even a real doctor.
Neither was Louis Pasteur.
Let me ask you something, Claire.
The names on this list without any check marks, how come you didn't talk to them? A lot of them are dead, right? They're all dead? Your legitimate scientist has some track record here.
She offers women a choice.
An alternative to losing a breast.
I don't But is it a fair choice? If Ann Bennett had never heard Haas' name, would she still be alive? Okay, I don't know either.
So take all of Mrs.
Bennett's medical records over to the head of Oncology at St.
Vincent's, and we'll see.
But if it turns out that she died one day ahead of schedule, I want Haas rearrested, this time for murder.
Nancy Haas.
I've attended a half dozen of her lectures.
So, she's not a quack? On the contrary, she's a very smart lady.
Five, six years ago, she actually did some good work.
And now? She drives an expensive car.
The big Mercedes, I think it is.
My doctor has a 40-foot yacht.
So what? Hopefully your doctor didn't kill many patients to get it.
Please, sit down.
Haas charges $75,000 for a series of treatments you could cook up in your kitchen.
Our experts said it was harmless.
Maybe.
But Haas isn't.
There is nothing more destructive in medicine than an overgrown ego, and Haas has one that could fill Shea Stadium.
Her patients are very sick, very desperate women, who are willing to pay anything to avoid surgery.
Even at the risk of dying? Some women can't see much sense in living after breast surgery.
That's what makes Haas so detestable.
How sick was Ann Bennett? Once the cancer metastasized to the liver, there's nothing anyone could have done.
So her death couldn't have been prevented? If I had a guess, by talking her out of surgery and chemo, Haas accelerated her death by at least five years.
I guarantee you this, if she were my patient, she'd still be alive.
Excuse me? Don't mention it.
Miss Haas.
I'm with a patient.
She'll have to find another doctor.
Nancy Haas, you're under arrest for the murder of Ann Bennett.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Do you understand that? Call my lawyer.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you can not afford one You arrested Haas for murder on whose authority? She's been ripping off women with a bogus cure.
At best, that's larceny.
She prevented people from extending their lives.
To me, that's the same as killing them.
Only you have to present your case in a courtroom, not a philosophy class.
We can't prosecute someone for not doing something.
You need a guilty act.
She acted plenty.
Her murder weapon was her lies.
Ann Bennett bought it.
Ann Bennett.
The dead can't testify.
I don't need her.
Haas told patients, "I can cure you.
" It's a pattern, Adam.
She murdered Ann Bennett, and she may have murdered a lot of other women, too.
Actus reus.
It's black-letter law.
For a conviction, the state has to prove the defendant committed an overt act.
My client did not shoot a gun.
She did not wield a knife.
She lied.
Your client's crap about miracle cures killed Ann Bennett.
Cancer killed Ann Bennett.
If a defendant's culpable act shortens a person's stay on this planet, the law will not permit him to claim that his victim would have died anyway.
The operable word being "act.
" Dr.
Haas did not do anything.
You can watch a drowning man die, you're not liable for murder.
But if you tie a rope around his feet so that he can't reach a life preserver, you are.
Excuse me, Counselor.
I don't see the metaphorical rope in this case.
The defendant promised Mrs.
Bennett she could cure her cancer without surgery.
As Mrs.
Bennett is deceased, I for one would like to know how Counsel intends to establish that Dr.
Haas promised anyone anything.
There's Lily Freed of Scarsdale, Martha Conn of Cold Spring Harbor, and I could keep on going, Your Honor.
Haas told at least a dozen patients.
Prior bad acts, Your Honor.
It's inadmissible.
Not if it establishes a pattern of illegal activity.
Haas tells one patient she's got a cure, it's a little white lie.
She tells two patients, it's unforgivable.
She tells three patients, she's a murderer.
She tells four patients, she's a damn murderer, and it's all admissible.
We're not talking about a serial killer here, Counselor.
Defendant's motion to dismiss is denied.
But you will not mention any statements made to patients other than Mrs.
Bennett.
That understood, Mr.
McCoy? If lanello ruled out the pattern, we can't prove Haas promised Ann Bennett anything.
So we should give up? We should just let her go on killing people? Millions of people believe in holistic and homeopathic medicine.
Are they all wrong? Are they all stupid? Those who die needlessly, yes.
And you're qualified to make that determination? Well, I happen to find it a little intrusive, the government telling a woman she has to have surgery.
This is not a privacy issue.
Of course it's not.
Constitutional issues are defined by men.
I don't think this is the time or the place for a full-blown debate about your latent feminism.
Number one, it's not latent.
Number two, since when did privacy become a feminist issue? Go to the movies.
Read a book.
Open a magazine.
Maybe you'll see why these women don't want to get a breast lopped off.
I think you're overreacting.
Really? Is that why the Wonderbra is the hottest selling product on the market? Society forces women to seek out people like Nancy Haas.
You're right.
It's a tits-and-ass world.
Men are pigs and we should all rot in hell.
Unfortunately, that's not my jurisdiction.
That is not what I'm saying, and you know it.
If Haas killed Ann Bennett, I don't want her to walk.
But you'd like it a whole lot better if Haas were a man.
Isn't that what's bothering you, Claire? If it were Dr.
Frank Haas, you'd be the first one out there with the tar and feathers.
But a woman actually taking advantage of another woman, that one doesn't show up in the collected works of Betty Friedan.
Can we get a drink now? FRIEDLAND: After the recurrence of cancer in her left breast, I advised Mrs.
Bennett that a mastectomy would be required.
And did you perform the surgery? I did not.
You see, I encourage patients to solicit the opinions of other oncologists.
Ann Bennett called my office and asked that we forward her records to a Dr.
Nancy Haas.
And you did? You can only plead with a patient for so long.
I told her Haas wasn't a medical doctor.
I told her that her only chance of survival was surgery, and that to forego it in favor of this vegetable concoction would be suicide.
In your opinion, Doctor, would Ann Bennett still be alive if she had undergone surgery rather than this metabolic therapy? The statistics show that a patient like Ann Bennett, with surgery and an aggressive course of chemotherapy, has approximately a 70% chance of surviving five years.
So, I'd have to say, yes, she'd still be alive.
Your witness.
So, Doctor, any patient that refuses traditional medical treatment is committing suicide? I didn't say that.
Sometimes a physician may conclude a patient's death is inevitable.
But Mrs.
Bennett's wasn't? I'm sorry, Doctor, I don't recall seeing a Nobel Prize on your CV.
JACK: Objection.
Withdrawn.
Tell me, Doctor, would Mrs.
Bennett have suffered great pain had she undergone the traditional course of therapy? It is major surgery.
And it's followed by chemotherapy, which causes hair loss and weight gain and excessive vomiting.
Isn't that right? For many, yes.
But it's manageable and certainly not lethal.
Oh, it is to the dignity.
Thank you.
Yes, my wife was seeing Dr.
Haas for about I don't know, maybe four or five months.
And how much did you pay her in that time? Approach, Your Honor.
I renew my objection.
You have already excluded all evidence relating to pattern.
I certainly am allowed to offer evidence relating to motive.
You can dress it up, Counselor, it's the same thing.
No, it's not.
Proceed, Mr.
McCoy, but be careful where you tread.
Answer the question.
On the first day in her office, she had me write a check for $25,000.
After that, it was $5,000 on the first of every month.
So, in all, you've paid her about $50,000.
Well, that's not decided yet.
A judge will determine that Please explain, Mr.
Hurst.
We cut the treatment short.
I got my wife to a real doctor.
But Dr.
Haas says I signed a contract.
She says I owed her the whole amount whether Gail drinks her garbage or not.
How's your sex life, Mr.
Hurst? Okay, okay.
How was your sex life while your wife was seeing Dr.
Haas? Maybe I don't have a sex life.
That's my problem.
But you know what? What I do have is better than hugging a gravestone.
Thank you.
NICHOLAS: She came home from the hospital after the lumpectomy, she curled up on her bed, she cried for three hours.
I had to give her a tranquilizer prescribed by Dr.
Friedland just to get her calm enough to speak.
So, as a layman, you would characterize your wife as being depressed after the operation? Definitely.
How long did this depression last? About a year.
And then she started seeing Dr.
Haas and her whole attitude changed.
We started making love again, and she started making plans for the future.
Like she thought she was cured.
Objection.
Withdrawn.
Tell me, sir, how much did you pay Dr.
Haas? $75,000.
Nothing further.
Your wife was in a support group for women who have breast cancer.
Is that right? Yes.
Is it possible that this group could have been responsible for her change in attitude? Maybe.
I don't know.
Mr.
Bennett, did your wife ever tell you that Dr.
Haas said that she could cure her cancer? No.
Thank you.
At a minimum, Young's cross created reasonable doubt as to Haas' promises to Ann Bennett.
Key element of the crime.
You can expect a motion to dismiss.
Maybe I'm not done putting on my case.
You've run out of witnesses.
I'm thinking about redirecting Nicholas Bennett.
Young asked him if his wife ever told him anything about Haas' promises.
He said no.
But she didn't ask him if he ever heard the promises directly from Dr.
Haas.
It's the logical next question, isn't it? Play it out.
Young asks Bennett, "Did Dr.
Haas ever tell you that she could cure your wife?" What's he gonna say? What he's been saying all along, that he never actually spoke to Haas.
Exactly.
Then Young moves for a dismissal and probably gets one.
Heat of trial.
She forgot.
I know Gwen Young.
Unlikely.
The other explanation is that she knew Bennett's answer was gonna be a lie.
And if she knowingly elicited it, she'd be suborning perjury.
Believe me, that's not Gwen either.
So her only alternative was to not ask the question.
You're saying the husband actually talked to Haas? This doctor kills Bennett's wife, nearly puts him in the poorhouse.
Why is he going to lie to protect her? I don't know yet.
Is she going to be convicted or not? Well, that depends, Mr.
Bennett.
That's the best you can do? You didn't let me finish.
You see, I'm gonna put you back on the stand tomorrow.
Whether Dr.
Haas is convicted depends entirely on whether you decide to tell the truth about your conversation with her.
I never spoke to the woman.
How many times are we gonna go over this? Until I get a little honesty.
They must be made of brass.
My wife is dead.
You drag me down here.
The hell with you! You know, Mr.
Bennett, if it was my wife, I'd come into the DA's office and say, "She killed my wife! I want her to go to jail.
" "Tell me what I have to say to put her there.
" She wasn't your wife! You have to admit, Mr.
Bennett, it's odd.
We're more interested in convicting Haas than you are.
Give us a minute, will you, Claire? I think we both know what happened, Mr.
Bennett.
You wanted the woman you married.
You wanted her whole.
So you believed it.
I don't know, maybe in your shoes I would have done the same thing.
This is tough stuff.
So You sit at the back of the courtroom with your head down and you keep silent.
And how do you look your daughter in the eyes every morning with the guilt all over your face? What do you want from me? Dr.
Haas lied to your wife.
She lied to you.
She's relying on your guilt not to expose her.
She knows all about human weakness and she exploits it.
We trusted her.
(SNIFFLING) I loved my wife.
If you haven't noticed, Jack, I've got an acquittal in my pocket.
JACK: Past tense.
Mr.
Bennett here has more than enough proof to put your client away for Murder Two.
He's going to take the stand again and change his story? That makes him next in line for the credibility trophy.
He doesn't have to change his story, Counselor.
If you recall, neither of us asked him if he was personally bamboozled by Dr.
Haas.
You make it sound like I'm some sort of confidence man selling swampland in Florida.
Don't flatter yourself.
One in nine women, and we still have to beg for money.
We notice cancer clusters here on Long Island.
You know what the great state of New York does? It concludes there's a relationship between breast cancer and high levels of income.
Case closed.
No further studies warranted.
Looking at your patient list, it seems you came to the same conclusion.
HAAS: You wait until it happens to you.
Women have had it with politicians and physicians who "there, there" them, suggesting this disease is under control.
It's murder by condescension.
Their condescension doesn't come at $75,000 a pop.
Think what you want.
At least I'm looking for some kind of cure.
Well, Doctor, you should have told your patients that instead of claiming that you had one.
Man One, Jack.
What do you think, Claire? She does it all.
Fifteen years at Bedford, she'll be selling her fellow inmates a cold remedy made from bread and water.
She'll need it.
After the civil suits, she won't have anything left when she gets out.
I don't think there will be any civil suits.
You don't think the widowers The same thing that drew them to Haas will keep them off the stand.
Fear? Denial.
Speaking of which, I checked.
On what? You've only had three women assistants.
You were the one who wanted to know the truth.