Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Harm

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.
Dad, we're here.
Alex, go tell Grandpa that it's time to go to the movies.
Stewart, it's me.
I'm going to drop Alex off at about 6:00.
We're seeing a movie with Dad.
That's because you don't listen.
Grandpa's taking a nap, Mommy.
Well, wake him up, sweetheart.
I tried.
He won't wake up.
Stewart, don't hang up.
Dad? Oh, my God! Victim's Kenneth Slattery, age 67.
His daughter found him.
He was unconscious when the EMTs took him out.
Said it was touch and go.
You check the upper floors? All clear.
Daughter said there was a maid comes in three times a week.
Let me guess.
Today's her day off.
That's the trouble with maids, never around when you need them.
Looks like he took a couple of blunt force blows to the head.
Yeah? What's the blunt instrument of the day? Beer stein, from his alma mater.
(CAMERA CLICKING) Hmm, Harvard.
Class of '55 My alma mater gave out commemorative beer cans.
Juris Doctor degree.
Guy was some kind of lawyer.
Doesn't mean he deserved to get beat, Rey.
This is where he got hit, huh? You got a time? Blood's just starting to coagulate.
The daughter found him at 3:00 p.
m.
I'd say it was about one-to-two hours before that.
Any forced entry? No.
Whoever did it was let in or had a key.
Slattery's day planner, today's page is empty.
Custody recommendations.
This guy wasn't just a lawyer, Rey.
He's a divorce lawyer.
Doesn't mean he deserves to get beat, Lennie.
I don't understand who could have done this.
My dad doesn't have any enemies.
What about personal problems? No.
Something related to his practice? A dispute with a client maybe? My father retired five years ago from Peckinpah and Greene.
He doesn't have any clients.
We found custody recommendations on his desk.
Yeah, he was doing some pro bono mediation in child custody cases.
So, people were coming in and out of the apartment? Couple of days a week.
The only print Latent found on the beer stein belongs to the victim.
He's from Harvard, so I guess it's not the pinky.
Any suspects jumping out? Just a lot of parents I'd like to slap some sense into.
People trying to split up their kids along with their pennies.
VAN BUREN: Any wife beaters in there? A few.
Why? After beating a woman, an old man isn't too far out of your strike zone.
What about this one here? Javier and Linda Hernandez.
He's got a history of spousal abuse.
Their hearing keeps getting postponed.
Slattery's the third mediator they've had.
The other two gave up.
Smart move.
Well, your first two mediators say you have a habit of threatening people.
You ever threaten Slattery? Slattery keeps telling me, "You got to compromise this, "you got to compromise that.
You got to compromise with your wife.
" You don't like to compromise? How can I compromise if she won't do what I say, huh? This whole thing would've been settled if it wasn't for Slattery.
He missed a meeting with Linda and me and the judge two weeks ago.
Why don't you just tell us where you were Thursday afternoon? (SIGHS) I dropped a block of ice on my foot Wednesday, so I stayed home Thursday.
By yourself? Yeah.
You can check with Linda.
She was calling me every two minutes, harassing me.
That balloon head tell you he hasn't given me any money for the kids in over a month? We're here about Kenneth Slattery.
He got beaten into a coma.
That's too bad.
BRISCOE: Doesn't sound like he was too popular with you or your husband.
He was jerking us around.
He blew off our last custody conference.
Some bull about a big case he had in New Jersey.
You think your husband got mad enough to do anything about it? Javier? He'd have to borrow a set to do something like that.
What about you? Where were you Thursday? I work day care on Thursdays.
BRISCOE: You talk to your husband Thursday? Every chance I got.
He stayed home because he stubbed his big toe.
I told you, he's a wimp.
Anything else? If there is, we'll be in touch.
Boy, those two must've been the highlight of Slattery's week.
I don't remember him having any cases in New Jersey.
It's not like my father.
He wouldn't cancel at the last minute unless it was an emergency.
What emergency did he have in New Jersey? I don't know.
He have family out there? No.
Alex and I are his only family.
Sorry to put you through all this.
Lennie, monthly statements from a document storage company in Fort Lee.
Mr.
Slattery had two storage units where he kept legal files.
Last time he was here was two weeks ago.
For what? To poke around his locker? The clients don't have access to the units.
They have to call ahead, and we pull the records.
So, he requested a specific box? A Miss DeVoe called for him.
She's with Peckinpah and Greene.
Slattery's old firm.
Can you tell us what was in the box? Is Kenneth Slattery going to be all right? He's still in a coma, Ms.
Weiss.
McFarland.
Why do you need to talk to me? Mr.
Slattery was my divorce attorney Well, he pulled your file from storage a week before he was attacked.
Well, I'm in a proceeding with my ex-husband.
My current lawyer asked for some documents from Mr.
Slattery.
BRISCOE: A proceeding 15 years after your divorce? A financial thing.
It's pretty straightforward.
Kelly, it's the Chicago rep.
There's a problem.
I have to take this.
Straightforward divorce matter? That's a new one on me.
It's over the buy-out I'm getting from our medical corporation's pension plan.
I'm taking early retirement at the end of the month.
Getting out while you're still young? My partners and I delivered And, uh, these hot shots'd like to double it if they could.
I need a break.
Your ex wants a piece of your pie 15 years after the divorce? I really don't want to get into it.
If it was me, I'd be jumping out of my skin.
The fact Slattery's about to croak, is that what's keeping your blood pressure down? If he does, I'm not planning a long mourning period.
Fifteen years ago, I was on the hook for Kelly's legal bills.
Slattery turned up so many fees, I could've claimed him as a dependent.
(PHONE RINGS) Dr.
Weiss says his wife waived all claims on his pension during a settlement conference 15 years ago.
Ms.
McFarland says she didn't.
BRISCOE: Wouldn't it be in the divorce decree? It isn't.
That's why Mr.
Slattery was being deposed by her current lawyer.
So, depending on what Slattery says, Mr.
Weiss might have to fork over how much to his ex? I believe she'd be entitled to half of around $3,000,000.
Hard to testify when you're in a coma.
Oh, Mr.
Slattery had already been deposed.
Last Tuesday.
Two days before he got a beer stein upside the head.
Uh, can we get a transcript of that deposition? Court records.
Weiss v.
Weiss.
Where you want them? If people got along better, the old-growth forest might stand a chance.
And this was a marriage with no kids.
All these two fought about was money.
Well, you know what the experts say.
If you want to get rich, stay married.
Here we go.
Question, "At that time, do you recall what if anything was agreed "to concerning Dr.
Weiss's pension?" Answer from Slattery, "As best I can recall, in return for a raise "in her alimony, my client, Ms.
McFarland, waived all future "claims on his pension.
" AdiĆ³s, 1,500,000 bucks.
I bet his client, Ms.
McFarland, was thrilled to hear that.
BRISCOE: Yeah, really thrilled.
Get this.
"You son of a bitch, you're lying, that bastard got to you, didn't he? "Just like he did all the others.
" And various expletives deleted.
If I thought my lawyer had been bought off, I might pick up a blunt instrument, too.
Can't you wait till Kelly's here? I really feel sleazy talking to you behind her back.
Oh, think how good you'll feel doing your civic duty.
I vote.
It doesn't make me feel any better.
Look, we just need to know if she was in the office on Thursday afternoon.
If I lose my job over this We'll give you a good reference.
Thursday she had an early lunch.
BRISCOE: By herself? I don't know.
Then she had a 3:00 at Bloomie's.
No, wait, I remember.
She canceled that meeting.
Why is that? Well, she came back from lunch at around 2:30.
Then she went into the bathroom for 20 minutes, and when she came out, she told me to call and reschedule the meeting.
You won't let her answer one question? You're an attorney.
Her rights are being protected.
I'm a divorce attorney.
Until her criminal attorney arrives, she's not talking.
Even a divorce attorney can see it looks bad for her.
Because my client raised her voice to Mr.
Slattery? Come on.
She accused Slattery of being bought off.
She didn't agree with his recollection of what was said 15 years ago.
That's hardly reason to kill him.
His recollection was going to cost her Believe me, that's a reason.
It's just an old man misspoke at a deposition.
It's not the end of the world.
(KNOCK ON DOOR) There were traces of Slattery's blood in the bathroom of your showroom.
Well, now it is the end of the world, Mr.
Shea.
If Mr.
Slattery survives, a statement from your client could make the difference between assault and attempted murder.
I wasn't trying to kill him.
SHEA: Kelly, I think you should wait.
No, no.
I want to tell my side.
I don't know how he did it, but my ex-husband bought Slattery off.
Ms.
McFarland, I'm not interested in We had a summer house in Dutchess County.
To keep it out of my hands, he used an old power of attorney and he sold it to his brother for a tenth of what it was worth.
That's what Jacob does.
Right.
Every ex-husband's the bad guy.
I played the game, too.
I'm not saying I didn't.
But Ken Slattery lied.
He knew.
I didn't waive away my rights.
I went to see him, to beg him to just tell the truth, and he refused.
So you hit him? He tried to push me out the door, and I was in such a rage, I picked up this mug and I I swung it at him.
It sounds like there's a lot of mitigation here, Ms.
Carmichael.
$1,500,000's worth.
No, no.
I don't care about the money.
It's Jacob.
You don't understand what it's like to fight somebody who always gets his way.
CARMICHAEL: All right, we'll look into it.
I'll make arrangements to have her statement taken.
The hospital just called.
Slattery's out of his coma, but the doctors won't let him talk to anyone.
We booking her for attempted murder? We can amend it once all the facts are in.
CURTIS: What facts? The lady's facing She'll say anything.
I checked into that summer home business.
She was on the money.
A court nullified the sale.
It's not the same thing as paying off a lawyer.
If Weiss was playing fast and dirty he'd do it again for 1,500,000 bucks.
If Lennie is siding with the ex-wife, there has to be something to it.
So, what? Now we're going to investigate perjury? If Slattery lied on Dr.
Weiss's behalf, it could mitigate the assault.
You know where to reach me.
Since he retired, I get a few calls a week for Mr.
Slattery.
I take the numbers and pass on the messages.
Can I take a look at your phone log? You get any calls from Dr.
Weiss? Thanks.
No, of course not.
Why would he call? Well, Ms.
McFarland thinks he might have talked to Slattery about the deposition.
What do you mean? Influenced what Slattery said.
Mr.
Slattery wouldn't lie under oath.
CURTIS: Lennie, what phone number do we have for Weiss? Now, you took a message three weeks ago from Dr.
Rudnick? Yes.
He called for Mr.
Slattery.
Well, the phone number he left is the same as Weiss's.
So now Weiss is using a phony name? There's nothing phony about Dr.
Rudnick.
He happens to be the doctor who delivered Mr.
Slattery's grandson, Alex, five years ago.
Well, there were, uh, complications with the delivery.
His, uh, his daughter's diabetic, and his grandson was a breech baby.
We almost lost both of them.
So why'd you call Slattery? You like the brand of cigars he handed out? After I, uh, delivered his grandson, he was, uh, very grateful.
He gave me a free pass for legal advice.
That's why I called him.
You sure it wasn't because your partner, Dr.
Weiss, needed a favor? A favor? Yeah, a "Help me pull a fast one on my ex-wife" favor.
No, I told you why I called Slattery I have nothing else to add.
NURSE: Dr.
Rudnick Yeah, it was nice talking with you.
I'll be in Room Six.
Okay.
I wouldn't put Rudnick or Weiss above cooking up a little perjury.
I checked them out with the Health Department.
Rudnick's on a three-year probation at St.
Mark's Hospital.
Weiss got his wrists slapped for some billing irregularities.
And their third partner, Dr.
Michaels, has had his privileges there suspended twice in the last five years.
This is some medical practice.
So, Weiss's bank records don't show any payouts to Slattery.
But he's using the money from his pension plan as collateral for a loan in Greenwich.
A retirement home? No.
He's buying into another medical practice.
He's going to be the new star player at the Mendelson Women's Clinic.
So much for retirement.
The only thing I hate worse than going to the doctor, is going to a doctor who lies to me.
So maybe Weiss is running from trouble with his practice here.
Well, we need to know what that trouble could be.
Start with the hospital.
There was a misdiagnosis of a tipped uterus.
Failure to do some standard tests on pregnant women.
That sort of thing.
Doesn't sound so bad.
Any problems they aren't on probation for? No.
They're very popular with their patients.
We've had very few complaints.
Well, what do patients know, right? They do high-risk deliveries? They've had no problems there.
And they perform surgery? Female surgery? Yes.
And? Dr.
Rudnick and Dr.
Michaels had a death in the O.
R.
Three months ago.
The patient died of cardiac arrest.
Our preliminary report exonerated them of any wrongdoing.
No kidding? What was the patient's name? Maureen Gerard.
Cardiac arrest? My wife was 35-years-old.
She ran four miles a day.
Why was she being operated on? Uterine bleeding.
She had polyps.
Rudnick told me it was a routine procedure.
Six hours later, she was dead.
Michaels could barely look at me when he told me.
Rudnick, the great doctor, couldn't even face me.
Mr.
Gerard, the hospital says they didn't do anything wrong.
Then why won't they give me the records? No one's even bothered to call me.
I've hired a lawyer and I've filed a lawsuit.
When did you file? Two months ago.
Those bastards were served on November 12th.
Those bastards include Dr.
Weiss? My lawyer said I had to sue all three partners in the practice.
I'm going to run them out of business.
MAN: Mr.
Gerard.
Excuse me a minute.
He files suit November 12th.
A week later, Weiss notifies his pension plan trustee he's pulling his dough out of the practice.
What a coincidence.
The guy panics over a lawsuit? Isn't that what malpractice insurance is for? Unless whatever Rudnick and Michaels did to Mrs.
Gerard wasn't covered.
Criminal act? That lawsuit has nothing to do with my decision to retire.
Retire? You're taking a 20% pay cut to join a clinic in Greenwich.
You know Dr.
Rudnick screwed up in that operating room.
That's how you got him to help you by calling Mr.
Slattery.
I didn't ask Bill Rudnick for any favors.
I can't believe you put any stock in the rantings of my ex-wife.
Dr.
Weiss, we're not interested in prosecuting a perjury charge.
We're interested in what happened to Maureen Gerard.
He wasn't in the operating room.
He doesn't know anything.
Then why is he running as fast as he can from Rudnick and Michaels? I don't know what she's talking about.
Can we leave? Mr.
McCoy, Ms.
Carmichael.
Doctors.
I can't believe my mother wanted me to marry one.
I'm pleading Kelly McFarland out on assault two, one-to-two years.
Have you talked to Slattery? No.
He refuses to talk to us.
I see a few wisps of smoke here Abbie, but where's the fire? You have a high tolerance for coincidences.
Maybe they all thought lying under oath was the trendy thing to do.
What's it got to do with Maureen Gerard's death? If the malpractice lawyer digs up any malfeasance, we'll revisit it.
Oh, yeah, sure.
Let's let an ambulance chaser prosecute a homicide for us.
I'm going to subpoena Mrs.
Gerard's hospital records.
The records show Maureen Gerard died of a cardiac arrest brought on by a fluid imbalance.
What kind of fluid? Electrolyte solution.
In a laparoscopic myomectomy, the surgeons fill the uterine cavity with the solution to facilitate surgery.
Then they remove the polyps with a laser.
It's a routine procedure.
Usually foolproof.
Huh, usually.
Well, apparently the fluid wasn't draining from Mrs.
Gerard.
She became bloated.
Two hours later, she had a cardiac arrest.
Is that malpractice? I didn't find any negligence.
Well, how much fluid did they pump into her? Hmm Well, chart says electrolytic solution.
And the machine tells them how much it's pumping into the patient? Yeah.
There's a digital readout.
There's a fiber optic camera attached to the laser so that they can see what's going on on the monitor.
The solution goes in this tank and comes out this nozzle.
And the pump would be monitored by a nurse? At all times throughout the surgery.
Is it possible it delivered more fluid than it indicated? We check every piece of equipment before surgery.
Can I see the service record? Rudnick and Michaels do a lot of surgery here? Myomectomies, hysterectomies, ligations.
They're very busy.
They bring in a lot of business.
They have a very good reputation.
Here you go.
It's a five-year-old machine.
We have an X-ray machine that's older than you are.
If it works, it works.
It says here it was signed out for use in Operating Room Three that day.
Mrs.
Gerard was in Operating Room One.
Oh, here.
It was used on Mrs.
Gerard at 7:00 a.
m.
Starting at 8:20 it was used in O.
R.
Three.
But Mrs.
Gerard was in surgery until 9:15.
Wouldn't they have been using that machine the whole time? My doctor ran into some complications during the removal of some ovarian cysts, so he decided to try the laparoscopic laser system.
Which was in O.
R.
One with Rudnick and Michaels.
I went in there to see if they were done with it.
I saw it sitting in the corner, so I just rolled it out.
Were they still operating on Mrs.
Gerard? Yes.
They had another laparoscopic system in there.
I was told the hospital only had the one.
Who was working the electrolytic fluid pump? A nurse I'd never seen before.
She wore glasses, and Dr.
Michaels called her Glynnis.
I don't know any nurse by that name.
Ms.
Tashe made a mistake.
So, she just imagined seeing a second laparoscopic laser? Yes.
There was only one.
And after Ms.
Tashe took it, what did you use on Mrs.
Gerard? Nothing.
Laparoscopy was over.
But the record shows Ms.
Tashe took the machine almost an hour So she got the time wrong.
Ms.
Carmichael, actual doctors reviewed our work and found we did everything by the book.
I am very sorry about Mrs.
Gerard, but we did everything we could.
Now, please.
One more question, Dr.
Michaels.
Who administered the fluid? A supervising nurse.
Claudia Panati.
You know, lawyers are why doctors are getting out of obstetrics and gynecology.
It's just not worth it anymore.
Dr.
Rudnick and Dr.
Michaels have hired lawyers because of the lawsuit.
We're not supposed to talk to anybody.
Is this your handwriting? electrolytic solution? Yes.
Do you remember a nurse by the name of Valerie Tashe? I told you, I can't talk about it without the lawyers.
I'm sorry.
Dr.
Michaels is a good, dedicated doctor.
Dr.
Rudnick, too.
They did everything they could to save that woman.
It was a terrible thing.
I checked St.
Mark's employment records.
The only person named Glynnis is a 60-year-old food service employee.
Your nurse, Miss Tashe, ought to get her ears examined.
Along with her eyes and her watch? She couldn't have gotten it all wrong.
There had to have been a second machine.
A defective machine? That pumped too much fluid into Mrs.
Gerard.
Yeah, a missing defective machine operated by a missing nurse.
I know what it sounds like.
Have you considered getting a search warrant for this gizmo? It's a big hospital.
The mayor's wife sits on the steering committee.
Where's Jack McCoy? Out on a date with that history professor? He's in his office.
He didn't think there was a case here.
Might be right.
Get your warrant, and I'll deal with the mayor's better half.
I went over the purchase orders for the last 10 years.
If St.
Mark's had another electrolyte pump they must've built it from scratch.
Yeah, it didn't turn up in the search either.
I did a little exploratory surgery on our original suspect here.
No trace of recent repair work.
You have the charts from the O.
R.
? Mmm-hmm.
Hmm.
4,000 ccs of 20% electrolytic solution.
That can't be right.
This pump can only handle a 10% solution.
Is it a typo? Well, B and C Medtech came out with a new laser system eight months ago.
It's faster, more accurate, and it works on a 20% electrolytic solution.
We did a demonstration for St.
Mark's last year.
But they had a problem with the nozzle flange.
There was a gasket issue.
Minor bugs we've corrected.
Have you approached the hospital again? Yes, but they haven't given it their approval yet.
How does your sales pitch work? Do you bring the doctors here? We go where the money is.
Our sales rep brings the machine to the hospital, we show the doctors a videotape, then some committee takes over.
Has your sales rep talked to Dr.
Bill Rudnick or Peter Michaels? Let me find out.
It's Dorsey.
Is Glynnis in this afternoon? Glynnis? Glynnis Ward.
St.
Mark's is in her territory.
I've made presentations to a lot of doctors at St.
Mark's.
Probably a dozen.
Including Rudnick and Michaels? Yes.
Dr.
Rudnick is on the purchasing committee at the hospital.
Is there a problem I should know about? Have you ever been in the operating room with them during surgery? Just to observe, That's pretty common.
Were you ever in there operating the Medtech electrolyte pump? No, of course not.
Ms.
Carmichael, what's going on here? How about last November, during surgery on Maureen Gerard? Why are you asking these questions? Your sales rep was seen using your machine, administering fluid to Mrs.
Gerard.
Mrs.
Gerard died as a result.
That's not true.
Glynnis, wait.
Are we going to need a lawyer here? Ms.
Ward, do you have a license to practice medicine? No.
You better get that lawyer, Mr.
Dorsey.
I'm charging her with homicide.
Pack up your speculum, Doc.
You're going to jail.
What? You're under arrest for the murder of Maureen Gerard.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do, say, can and will be used against you an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
Lisa, call the lawyer.
Call my wife.
BROLIN: Depraved indifference murder two? They must have stacked the grand jury with malpractice lawyers.
Even looking at the facts in the light most favorable to the People, they don't rise to a charge of murder two.
Ms.
Brolin is free to argue that point to a jury.
But nothing our clients allegedly did shows a depraved indifference to human life.
These doctors allowed a sales representative, with no medical training to use an unsanctioned and potentially lethal surgical instrument on a patient.
Even if our clients did what Ms.
Carmichael says at worst, they'd be guilty of bad judgment.
Depraved indifference requires them to be aware of and to consciously disregard a substantial risk of death to Mrs.
Gerard.
The jury could certainly infer that's what they did.
They could infer I'm the King of Siam.
I don't see, as a matter of law how letting a salesperson operate this machine creates a substantial risk.
Well, it must have, Your Honor, since Mrs.
Gerard is dead as a result.
Assuming there was a risk, why would the doctors ignore it? Weren't they there to help Mrs.
Gerard? Now, I'm dismissing the murder two charge.
Your Honor, Ms.
Brolin conceded their clients exhibited bad judgment.
I didn't concede anything.
That's the definition of criminally negligent homicide.
She misquoted me, Your Honor.
She paraphrased you.
I'm giving the People leave to amend the indictment to include a top count of criminally negligent homicide.
Criminally negligent homicide.
I feel like I'm going to the prom with the stamp club geek.
Two-to-four in maximum security.
No picnic for a couple of Park Avenue doctors.
If we make it stick.
Problem? The nurse who saw the sales rep in the operating room couldn't pick her out of the photo array.
JACK: It may be time for us to make the best deal we can with all of them.
Two years probation, a fine.
Oh, a fine.
Ouch.
Those poor doctors might have to hock one of their Porsches.
Abbie, there isn't much of a case left.
But there's still a victim.
Jack, she went in a healthy woman.
She came out a corpse.
JACK: Between us, depraved indifference was a reach.
Criminally negligent homicide is a gift.
I wouldn't squander it.
You make excuses.
I'll make the case.
Death by a salesman.
Just put it in the "Win" column.
How can Valerie Tashe say she saw anything? The lights were dimmed for the video monitor.
She heard Dr.
Michaels call Ms.
Ward by her first name.
Ms.
Panati, I brought some photographs for you to look at.
They're of Mrs.
Gerard before her surgery.
This is with her husband.
With her two nieces last Fourth of July.
With her parents at her wedding.
I don't get it, Ms.
Panati.
You don't care about yourself.
You don't care about your patients.
You've been with Dr.
Michaels, since before he joined Rudnick and Weiss six years ago.
Isn't that right? You first worked with him at a free clinic in Harlem.
After that, he had a clinic in the Bronx.
There's not much money in that.
It was good work.
Then he joined Rudnick's operation.
Guess he decided to bank some money.
He is still a good doctor.
How good can he be seeing 70 patients a day and delivering 16 babies a week? That was Dr.
Rudnick's idea.
He always talked about maximizing the practice.
And lying about Mrs.
Gerard's surgery? Was that also Dr.
Rudnick's idea? Nurse Panati just gave her statement.
And? Can you read my shorthand? Hair-raising stuff.
Might force a plea bargain.
Only if they take the maximum.
You've got your heart set on a trial? I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of doctors who have ever been convicted of criminally negligent homicide.
Absent the doctor being drunk or stoned, it's practically impossible to prove.
Well, I'll let you know how it turns out.
GERARD: I was in a meeting when I got a call from Maureen.
Dr.
Rudnick had found polyps in her uterus.
She was so scared they might be cancerous.
She was worried about having children.
I was worried about losing her.
Then we found out it wasn't cancer.
We were so relieved.
Did you discuss surgical options with Dr.
Rudnick? Yes.
The laparoscopy was the least drastic.
But Dr.
Rudnick said the polyps could recur.
He suggested a partial hysterectomy.
Removing the uterus.
He pushed that option pretty hard.
CARMICHAEL: Did he mention costs? We asked him.
The hysterectomy was more expensive.
Dr.
Rudnick said he'd throw in a tummy tuck.
But we still wanted to have children, so we opted for just the laparoscopy.
And how did Dr.
Rudnick react? He seemed to lose interest.
It was harder to get him on the phone.
The morning of the operation, he barely spent five minutes talking to Maureen.
Did he tell you he was going to be using a new piece of equipment? No.
Did he tell you a sales representative would be in the operating room? No.
He just told us not to worry.
He'd done this procedure 100 times.
Then they took Maureen away.
That's the last time I saw her alive.
Thank you.
BROLIN: Mr.
Gerard, if you and your wife were concerned, why did you go through with the surgery? Maureen trusted Dr.
Rudnick.
He'd been highly recommended.
BROLIN: By other doctors? Yes.
And by her friends.
She had another gynecologist before Dr.
Rudnick.
Isn't that right? Yes.
What happened to him? Maureen had some bleeding and some cramps.
Her other doctor examined her and told her it was just menstrual.
She decided to get another opinion.
And Dr.
Rudnick found the polyps the other doctor missed? Yes.
Thank you.
The practice kept taking on more and more patients.
Sometimes Dr.
Michaels and I would be in the office until 9:00 or 10:00.
He joked that it was like doing his residency again, never getting enough sleep.
Did you ever see Glynnis Ward at the medical offices? A few times.
It wasn't unusual.
There was always a sales rep from an equipment supplier or a drug company stopping by.
As far as you know, what was the purpose of Ms.
Ward's visits? To sell.
She gave presentations to the doctors and the staff.
She even took me out to lunch once.
Was that unusual? No.
I could probably eat out every day of the week just on the drug companies.
They'd pitch you their product over soup and salad.
Ms.
Panati, tell us what happened that morning in the operating room.
Another nurse and I wheeled in Mrs.
Gerard.
Ms.
Ward was already there wearing scrubs.
Dr.
Michaels told me we'd be using the Medtech laparoscopic laser.
I told Dr.
Michaels I wasn't checked out on that equipment.
He told me Ms.
Ward would operate and monitor the electrolyte pump.
To your knowledge, had Dr.
Rudnick or Dr.
Michaels ever used the Medtech laser system before on a patient? No.
What happened next? Dr.
Rudnick came in.
He had another surgery scheduled for 9:00, and he had a patient in labor.
He told us we'd have to be finished with Mrs.
Gerard by 8:45.
And what happened during the surgery? We were going at a pretty good clip.
Ms.
Ward was administering the electrolytic fluid.
Then halfway through, I noticed that the fluid wasn't draining out of Mrs.
Gerard.
I told the doctors.
Dr.
Rudnick said he didn't see a problem and he didn't want to stop the surgery.
And what did Dr.
Michaels say? Nothing.
He just ignored me.
What happened when the surgery was over? The lights had been dimmed for the video monitor, and when they came back on, we all saw that Mrs.
Gerard was bloated and in a lot of distress.
How exactly did she look? Her abdomen was severely distended.
Her arms and legs were puffy.
Her face was swollen.
She was hardly recognizable.
The doctors rushed her to the E.
R.
Were you later able to determine how much fluid had been pumped into Mrs.
Gerard? Yes.
Just under 10 liters.
And how much is considered safe? Three-to-four liters.
Thank you.
Nurse Panati, if you were convinced Mrs.
Gerard was in danger, wasn't it your duty to warn the doctors again? Even to stop the surgery? If I had tried to do that, Dr.
Rudnick would have fired me.
Move to strike.
Denied.
Nurse Panati, you testified that pumped into Mrs.
Gerard, yet the charts only indicate four liters.
I wrote that.
You falsified these documents? Yes.
Why? To cover up your own failure to act? Your own negligence? No.
I did it to protect Dr.
Michaels.
BROLIN: No more questions.
Ms.
Carmichael, we'd like to discuss a deal.
Why should I cut your client a break? Well, you haven't proven negligence yet.
But here you are.
Dr.
Michaels has evidence, very damaging evidence, about Dr.
Rudnick.
About their practice.
Okay, you've got my attention.
Plead to misdemeanor assault.
Pay a fine, take probation.
I don't think so.
I can't go to prison.
I can't lose my license.
Dr.
Michaels Please, please.
I have a family.
I need my livelihood.
Why? So you can start up another gyno factory? Any plea is going to include prison time and the loss of your license.
You can talk it over with your client and get back to me.
Ms.
Carmichael, this wasn't the kind of medicine I wanted to practice.
DELANEY: I spoke to his wife.
Dr.
Michaels told her last night that he was going to drive to the grocery store and she hasn't seen him since.
Your Honor, it's already 10:30.
The police have made every effort to find Dr.
Michaels.
It's clear he's fled the jurisdiction.
I have his passport, Your Honor.
Bench warrant is issued, Mr.
Delaney.
Your Honor, we can't possibly proceed without Dr.
Michaels.
My client will be unduly prejudiced.
We ask for a continuance.
Ms.
Brolin, motion for a continuance is denied.
You have half an hour to get your first witness ready.
The, uh, Medtech is the most accurate laparoscopic laser system on the market.
That's why I used it.
Even though it hadn't been approved by St.
Mark's.
St.
Mark's is notoriously slow to approve new technology.
The Medtech is used in half-a-dozen hospitals on the East Coast, with excellent results.
Doctor, didn't using the Medtech expose you to sanctions? The more accurate the laser the less risk of damaging the uterine wall.
I couldn't let a bureaucratic snafu keep me from giving my patient the best care possible.
And your decision to allow Ms.
Ward to operate the Medtech pump? Well, again, see, no one on my staff was trained in its use.
Now, Ms.
Ward had received hundreds of hours of training.
She was, uh, intimately familiar with its mechanics.
She had, uh, seen it used in numerous surgeries.
She was the, uh, best qualified person to operate it.
Isn't that another violation of hospital policy? Hospital policy, is not meant to protect the patient, it's meant to protect the hospital from litigation.
No, I used the best technology available and the best trained personnel, all in the interest of my patient.
Nothing else.
Thank you, Doctor.
It's too bad Mrs.
Gerard isn't here to thank you for your dedication.
I don't make light of her death, Ms.
Carmichael.
I am very sorry it happened.
Why do you think it did happen, Doctor? I don't know the technical explanation.
The Medtech delivered more fluid than it indicated.
Your best available technology failed? Computers crash.
Cars break down.
It happens.
It happened in this case because you ignored the warnings from your best trained personnel.
Didn't Nurse Panati tell you there was a drainage problem? Yes.
Then why didn't you stop the surgery? I didn't see a need to.
The patient's vital signs were normal.
Did you think she might be getting too much fluid? She wasn't, according to the readout on the pump.
CARMICHAEL: Did it occur to you to check the pump? That would have meant keeping the patient on the sedative drip longer than required.
That was a greater risk than the electrolytic fluid.
Or is it because you were in a hurry to get to another patient? No.
Isn't that the reason you disregarded the risks to Mrs.
Gerard? That's nonsense.
You ignored hospital policy.
You ignored warnings from your nurse.
What's another shortcut if it means cramming one more patient into your over-extended practice? Why would I endanger the patient's life? It doesn't make sense.
That patient's welfare was my foremost concern.
That patient's name was Maureen Gerard.
No more questions.
JACK: Nice finish.
It wasn't enough.
Hung jury? Smells like.
BRISCOE: Counselors.
Guess who won't be making any more house calls? State police in Putnam County found Dr.
Michaels in his car at the bottom of a gully.
Accident? No skid marks.
But go prove it's a suicide.
Thanks.
That's one verdict you don't have to worry about.
Jack, Michaels came to me asking for a deal.
He said he had evidence to convict Rudnick.
I might have set terms he couldn't live with.
No, no, no, no, no, no.
His choice, Abbie.
His lawyer know he asked for a plea? Yeah, his lawyer was there.
Call the judge for a conference.
Your Honor, whatever Dr.
Michaels told his attorney is privileged.
It can't be divulged without Dr.
Michaels's approval.
His death makes that unlikely.
The privilege survives his death.
U.
S.
V.
Foster explicitly states it cannot be pierced.
Because the Supreme Court thought a client would be encouraged to speak openly to his lawyer if he believed it would remain confidential after his death.
Dr.
Michaels didn't want his conversations kept private.
His intent was to enter into a plea bargain with us and reveal what he told his lawyer.
JACK: His intent should survive his death.
We can't know what his intent was when he spoke to Mr.
Delaney.
We can if we ask Mr.
Delaney.
But that defeats the whole purpose of the privilege.
Judge, when wills are contested, the deceased's conversations with his lawyer are admitted to clarify his testamentary aims.
The Supreme Court left that exception intact.
It's a narrow exception.
Your Honor, I can't testify.
You will if I order you to.
In my courtroom.
I want you under oath, Mr.
Delaney.
Dr.
Michaels was under a lot of stress.
He felt responsible for Mrs.
Gerard's death.
He felt he'd abdicated his responsibilities as a doctor.
He thought the trial was hopeless.
He wanted to enter into a plea bargain with the district attorney.
What kind of plea bargain? He was willing to turn over evidence against Dr.
Rudnick in return for a plea to misdemeanor assault.
JUDGE: Did the District Attorney agree to this deal? Ms.
Carmichael asked for a plea to criminally negligent homicide.
Minimum jail time, forfeit of Dr.
Michaels's medical license.
We told her we'd think about it.
You hadn't turned it down? No.
And Dr.
Michaels told you what his evidence was? Yes.
And it was his clear intent to divulge the evidence to the district attorney? Yes.
What was the evidence? Dr.
Rudnick and he had an arrangement with Ms.
Ward.
If they convinced St.
Mark's to approve for purchase of the Medtech laser system, they'd receive a kickback, along with rebates on equipment for their practice.
Dr.
Michaels told me this arrangement was worth several hundred thousand dollars.
Thank you, Mr.
Delaney.
Since Dr.
Michaels intended to divulge this evidence, I'm going to admit Mr.
Delaney's testimony at trial.
In light of Your Honor's ruling, I seek leave to re-present murder two depraved Indifference charges against Ms.
Ward and Dr.
Rudnick.
Your Honor already dismissed those charges.
CARMICHAEL: New evidence, new theory of the case.
Dr.
Rudnick ignored the risks to Mrs.
Gerard out of pure greed.
But it's double jeopardy.
CPL Section 200.
2 permits new charges where the evidence was unknown to the People.
How are we supposed to cross-examine Dr.
Michaels? There are Sixth Amendment confrontation problems here, Your Honor.
I'm sure the Appellate Court'll love hearing them.
Leave to re-present murder two charges is granted.
(GAVEL POUNDS) I talked to Ms.
Ward's lawyer.
You let her plead out on man one.
Mrs.
Gerard did not put her life in Ms.
Ward's hands.
The offer is 15-to-life.
But he wasn't trying to hurt her.
Spare me.
The offer is with the judge tomorrow to set a new trial date.
Send me the paperwork.
Tell me, Doctor, all those women you ran through your examination rooms do you remember their faces, or did you not even bother to look up? (DOOR SHUTS) Dr.
Rudnick's bad luck you weren't prosecuting this case.
His bad luck was one of us pierced attorney-client privilege.
Well, it just wasn't his lucky day.