Law & Order (1990) s03e04 Episode Script

The Corporate Veil

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.
Feffer says my hands are too small.
I say your mouth's too big.
She says maybe I should switch to the clarinet.
Proves my point.
Next year I get to be in the band.
Should put you in the corner at Shea, huh? I'd go for a hell of a lot less than $29 million.
Guy's a bum.
What's he at, 2.
20? Hey, he's better than the last guy they had, huh? Least he could do is break a leg.
He can't hurt the team from the DL.
Cindy Jo started the flute last year.
Gelfand says she can be in the band.
They get uniforms.
Learn to sing and we can all retire.
No! My music.
We gotta go back.
Roberto? Somebody call an ambulance.
You all right? Sit down, okay.
You okay? You in any pain? Check the driver.
Did you see it? Must have been going 40.
Kid's name is Roberto Martinez.
Guys from Al are down at the scene.
His kid sister said he passed out.
My guess, drunk out of his mind or drugged out.
Call the family.
Did you do the accident? Bystanders, bumps and bruises.
What about the Martinez kid? Not his lucky day.
You do his blood? No alcohol, no drugs.
His sister said he passed out.
That's consistent.
The kid had a heart attack.
Hello? Roberto is dead, and there's nothing you can do? Mrs.
Martinez, it's most unfortunate.
The hospital said your son died of a heart attack.
Of course he had a heart attack.
He had a pacemaker that wasrt won'th the plastic it was wrapped in.
Pacemaker? The kid was, what, 16? What, it's only illegal to kill minors these days? Roberto had a heart condition.
Some quack sticks a do-da in his chest, the thing misfires, and he's dead.
I'm really very sorry, but if there was a crime here, Mr.
Fischel, then I don't see it.
Now if what you're saying is true, then your client can sue the company that made the pacemaker.
Excuse me, but, uh, what law school did you go to? We're suing the company for millions.
We're suing the doctor for millions.
Martinez here wants a little justice.
You mean revenge, don't you? Why don't you just work with us, okay, Counselor? Roberto didn't need a pacemaker.
In my book, that's unnecessary surgery.
The thing craps out, and he's dead.
That's assault and felony murder.
I thought he had a heart condition.
Oh, it could have been treated with drugs, but then the good doctor's fee would have been cut in half.
What is this doctor's name? Dr.
Trevor Hellems.
He's on 87th.
We'll check it out.
Thank you.
Hey, Fischel, what makes you such a freaking humanitarian? I get this dirtbag indicted, and the insurance company settles on day one.
And this dirtbag is guilty.
No, I didn't expect you, but I certainly know why you're here.
Peter Fischel.
Talk about sharks.
He's already served you with papers? Yeah.
The mars the reason a lot of doctors I graduated with are now driving cabs.
He's topped himself this time, calling in the infantry.
Well, he claims the surgery on Roberto Martinez was unnecessary.
I didn't know they taught supraventricular tachycardia in law school.
That, uh, was Roberto's problem.
An irregular heartbeat that speeds up now and again from a normal 70 to as high as 200 beats per minute.
And the pacemaker controls that? It's supposed to.
Is it possible Roberto could have lived without the pacemaker? You saw what happened when it didn't work.
Fischel contends he could have been treated just as effectively with drugs.
Some doctors might agree, but I'm of the school that believes you don't needlessly subject young patients to a lifetime of toxic drugs.
Yeah, but the drugs don't usually break.
Neither do BioNorm pacemakers.
Pacemaker technology has been well-established for decades.
BioNorm Industries is at the forefront.
My decision to implant the device was a sound medical decision, no matter what Mr.
Fischel says.
And I guess I'll spend the next six years in court proving it.
Martinez, we spoke with several specialists and they have told us that Dr.
Hellems did nothing illegal when he operated on Roberto.
If nobody did anything wrong, then why did they offer me $50,000 this morning? Who are "they"? BioNorm.
The company that made the pacemaker.
Did you take it? Roberto said that when he was a rich doctor, he'd pay for Ana to go to Juilliard.
$50,000 pays tuition.
They told me that I had to sign a paper agreeing not to say anything.
I want the world to know that these people killed my son.
Could be BioNorm has a heart.
This is corporate America, not a Cub Scout troop.
You do a good deed, your PR department splashes it all over the front page.
My old man got a new ticker.
Got to listen to my old lady screaming at him for six more years.
And your point is? These companies, their job is keeping people alive.
Yeah, and if they screw up, they ought to get handed a pink slip.
Phil, one person out of 100,000 dies from taking penicillin.
That means we shouldn't take it? No, but what if there's a chance the penicillin is bad? One kid died, Phil.
One kid that we know about.
And that scares the hell out of me.
Lawyers call it compensation.
I call it blackmail.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with the device in that boy's heart.
So you examined it? No, I didn't have to.
Look, whatever study you want to go by, our pacemaker's one of the top three sellers in the world.
We've never had any problem.
You offered Mrs.
Martinez $50,000.
Some might say that's a solution to a pretty big problem.
That would be in my lawyer's pocket the first week.
There was an itch.
I tried to scratch it.
Cleary, that's more than an itch.
The boy died.
Well, do you want me to hop down in the grave beside him? Look, 35 years ago, my old man owned a greasy spoon in Corona.
An old lady slipped.
She broke her hip.
By the time her gaggle of shysters got through with him, he didn't have a proverbial pot.
Now, there's no way lightning strikes my family twice.
If Roberto's pacemaker didn't function, he is entitled to Check your source, Detective.
Peter Fischel said it was a malfunction.
That's the first thing those people always say.
What about the gag order? I've got nothing against Mrs.
She seems like a very nice person.
But if she goes on Geraldo and starts talking about how her boy died with one of my pacemakers in his chest, well, my whole company goes down the crapper.
So, you tell me, who's worse, the lawyers or their clients? Scrape the bottom of any cesspool, you'll find it lined with JDs.
Everything works until some lawyer says it doesn't.
And as Mr.
Cleary so elegantly opined: "That's the first thing those people always say.
" That's seems a pretty astute observation for somebody who's never had a legal problem.
Cleary said he never had any problems with his pacemakers, not that he never got sued.
Maybe we should get the other side of the story.
As far as I can tell, there's nothing currently pending against them.
A corporation that's not getting sued? There goes my faith in America.
Well, they could still be knee-deep in litigation.
You can sue without going to court? In civil cases, the courts don't get involved until one of the parties needs a judicial determination.
So until then, the court has no record.
If the case is settled, the court may never know.
We have no way of knowing if BioNorm has ever been sued.
You could check with FDA.
They'll at least have a record of complaints.
Sure, I've heard of them.
They make pacemakers, insulin regulators.
Expanding daily.
Inside info, they're goir public any day.
Any problems with those pacemakers? Nothing dramatic.
Half a dozen preliminary reports from doctors.
How about malfunctioning pacemakers? I don't have any specifics.
They've never got past the complaint stage.
Six pacemakers failed, and you never followed up? Excuse me, but it was the doctors who never followed up.
They file a complaint, we send them the forms.
If the doctors don't respond, we don't pursue the matter.
It's an election year, gentlemen.
Everybody wants to cut government spending.
Guess whose pocket is the first to get picked? Let me guess.
You, me, and everybody else.
We are understaffed, underpaid.
The whole country's screaming about silicone breast implants, Halcion, irradiated food.
Six pacemakers that may have malfunctioned, that's not a high priority.
So you just let it go.
Cross your fingers, hope no one else dies.
We are not a policing agency.
We are.
Suppose you just give us the numbers of those doctors who filed the complaints? I hate to be an iconoclast.
I thought you were a cardiologist.
Some doctors actually care about their patients.
Doctor, the FDA says you filed a report but never followed up with the questionnaire.
Alan Stein.
At 35, he finished his fourth marathon.
The only trouble was he smoked two packs a day and drank six cups of black coffee before breakfast.
At 40, he developed a heart flutter.
Irregular beating.
And at 45? We'll never know.
I convinced him of the benefits of clean living, implanted a pacemaker.
He should have lived to 80.
But his BioNorm pacemaker misfired.
BioNorm bought your silence? Tracy, Alars wife, and his 4-year-old, Ben, they needed the money.
How much money did Tracy need? $250,000.
With a caveat.
I play Ralph Nader, she gets nada.
But maybe a few other people would have been alive, right, Doctor? All six doctors had filed complaints with the FDA.
All of their patients died with BioNorm pacemakers in their chests.
All the survivors signed settlement agreements.
Which conveniently contain non-disclosure statements.
Willie Sutton wasrt so good at covering his tracks.
Seven dead.
We could be talking about mass murder here.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
They got sued, they settled.
Doesrt mean they're out killing people.
Yeah, well, that's how I felt till Cleary lied to us.
He said he'd never had any trouble.
Tell a little lie, tell a big one.
Take it from me, Cleary is covering something.
You got 24 to find out what it is.
I wanted to leave a company won'th something to my son.
Sue me.
No, we have something else in mind.
I already told you, I didn't want the bad press.
$50,000 was well won'th it.
Cut the crap, Mr.
We know about the other cases.
This one's different.
All right, all right, we tried to take care of it ourselves.
We never sold a pacemaker to the Martinez boy.
It sure as hell said "BioNorm.
" No, Dad said we didn't sell it, not that we didn't make it.
When Fischel served the papers, I compared the serial numbers to the one in the complaint.
We keep records, in case there's a recall.
We sold that particular device to a Dr.
Evelyn Stark for her patient Ethel Barnet.
And it got into Roberto Martinez by magic? Paper isn't the only thing being recycled these days, Detective.
Mother of God.
Are you saying the boy had a used pacemaker? Ah, the cheap bastards.
They lose a big Nassau on the golf course on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday they try to make it up selling second-hand goods.
You got nothing out of it? Sure.
The start of an ulcer, a heartburn.
But why the offer to Mrs.
Martinez? Well, we thought we'd go public.
We didn't want it out because people might think we were involved.
Now that wouldn't look very good on our offering memorandum.
We're doing our best to find the guy who's doing this.
I talked to Dr.
Stark personally.
No comment.
Let me guess.
She talked to a lawyer.
That's great.
That's great.
No comment.
Translation: I have nothing to say.
Under advice of counsel? You blame me? Cleary calls up ranting and raving about an 18-year-old boy I've never heard of.
Tells me if his company goes down, I'm going down with it.
You never heard of Roberto Martinez? At the time of his death, he was found wearing a pacemaker you had implanted in a Mrs.
Ethel Barnet? I can't help you.
Oh, what in hell is this, Doctor? A patient kicks, and you scavenge for parts? Now these degrees are supposed to do more than buy you a Benz.
For your information, Detective, Mrs.
Barnet is alive and living in Short Hills.
Without her pacemaker? With a new pacemaker.
It's called progress.
Alden Little Pharmaceuticals came up with a programmable device that was better suited to Mrs.
Barnet's needs.
No, I'm not interested in that.
What about the old one? I donated it to Manattan Med.
Medical schools are always looking for pacemakers as teaching devices.
There's a lot of new scavengers born every year.
God, I know that I'm saying more than I should.
That pacemaker had a five-year life.
Ethel used it for three years.
I really thought that I was helping.
Sweeney's delight.
Diseased livers, kidneys, gall bladders, whatever you want.
What about pacemakers? Right here.
Go through about 25 of these each semester.
That's for a cardiology class of maybe 12.
These baby De Bakeys never seem to get it right the first time.
They all make it into class? Sure.
Where else they gonna go? Rumors.
Something about a black market.
I got work to do.
You may also have time to serve.
Look, six years down the road, these punks get their MD plates and they double-park their 'vettes while they're having their bagels and coffee.
Me? My transmission goes out, the kid needs braces.
I needed a couple of extra bucks, okay? Who's it gonna hurt? You'd be surprised.
Selling school property.
Minimum, that's what, larceny? Hey, we get a lot of donations here, pal.
Not all of them are fit for use, if you know what I mean.
Wait a minute.
You sell the rejects? Hey, who'd you sell it to, Billy? Salesman.
Uh, Jeff Suiter.
Uh, seemed like a nice guy.
Throws me a couple of hundred, uh, tells me we're not breaking any laws.
Where can we find Mr.
Suiter? Uh, he's a detail man.
Uh, an independent.
Uh, deals goods for half a dozen companies.
Look, I only did it a couple of times.
Yeah, right.
Mum wanted a doctor.
Only, little Jeffrey was more interested in orgasms than organic chemistry.
But you can't escape the wrath of motherhood so I spent four forgettable years south of the border.
You're a doctor? I graduated from medical school, yeah.
El Doctoro, no way.
Never passed the Board.
Seems like you did all right.
Well, Mum went into labor under a lucky star.
No offices, no nurses, no malpractice premiums.
Just a small warehouse downtown.
I keep six figures per, hawking medical products for up-and-comers.
I think you mean used products, don't you? New, used.
Doesrt matter to me.
Maybe it matters to the consumer.
A kid died because of one of your retreads.
I think they call that "assumption of risk.
" He knew you were selling him second-hand goods? If I didn't tell him, I'd be breaking the law.
Look, I recondition them, I sterilize them.
Mayo Clinic couldn't tell the difference.
You're telling me this is legal? Nobody likes it, but the legislature never got around to making it illegal.
Too busy debating the pooper-scooper law.
As long as the purchaser knew what he was getting, it's all kosher.
And if the purchaser didn't know? It's fraud.
If he didn't know, and it killed him? Could be depraved indifference.
Maybe the seller's guilty of murder two.
Unfortunately, the purchaser is unavailable for questioning.
But the mother isn't.
Before Roberto was born, we only prayed that he'd be healthy and happy.
Our prayers were half-answered.
My sister's son was two years older.
Roberto wore his shoes and his dungarees.
But when it came to my sors health, I wanted the best.
So you didn't know that he was getting a used pacemaker? We're poor.
We're not stupid and uncaring.
Hellems Killed Roberto.
Fischel was right.
For the wrong reason, yes.
I knew.
So, what is it, kickbacks? Mrs.
Martinez said you never told her.
She had no medical insurance, no money.
I did what I thought was best.
Well, you're just a regular Dr.
I happen to be a very good doctor.
I do not appreciate Every day you see an article about doctors inflating costs.
We're crooks.
We're the enemy.
I tried to save the woman some money and keep her son alive.
Well, there were always the drugs.
We've been through that.
I did what was in the best interests of my patient.
Well, it looks like you did wrong.
No reason that pacemaker should have failed.
Why? Because Suiter said so? Because I tested it myself.
That model pacemaker has a life of five years.
The expiration date on the battery was three years from now.
I did not do anything wrong.
Then why the sealed lips the first time we came here? Mrs.
Martinez's lawyer had already started to drag me through court.
Did you want me to put bullets in his gun? Hellems knew what he was buying, so Suiter's in the clear.
Maybe not.
Here, you want one? Come on, these are very good for you.
No, I'll stick with what Mother Nature gave me.
This pacemaker had a life of five years.
That first cardiologist, Dr.
Stark, said it was in Mrs.
Barnet for three years.
That's right.
And Hellems said that when he implanted it in Roberto, it had three years left till expiration.
How's your arithmetic? I know that three plus three equals murder two.
Last year we paid the bum $130,000 in commissions.
Still he's picking our pockets.
The expiration date, please? Here we go.
Oh, well, no wonder the kid's dead.
Expiration date, last December.
I mean, that's malpractice.
The doctor who implanted Didrt know.
What do you mean, Suiter changed the expiration date? That's exactly what I mean.
That stupid bastard killed the boy.
Gentlemen, don't get up.
All that's missing is a hunchback named Igor.
What the hell's the Can I help you? Matter of fact, you can.
Turn around, put your hands together.
Jeffrey Suiter, you're under arrest for the murder of Roberto Martinez.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
I want to see my lawyer.
I'm shocked.
"Docket Number 594223.
"People v.
Jeffrey Suiter.
"Charges are murder in the second degree, grand larceny in the third degree.
" The charges are bogus, Your Honor.
The state is wasting the court's time.
I'm grateful for your concern, Ms.
Does your client wish to make a plea? Uh, not guilty, Your Honor.
Color me surprised.
Robinette? Request bail of $250,000.
Now, Ms.
Adler, why don't you tell me all about the unconscionability of the state's position.
My client has a business to run, Your Honor.
He works on commission.
Risk of flight is less than minimal.
Personally, I can't understand why anyone would want to leave our fair city.
Bail is set at $100,000, cash or bond.
Mars creativity expands proportionately to his greed.
Stone's Law? No one ever went Chapter 11 scamming his neighbor out of a buck.
Used pacemakers.
God forgive us.
And an attorney's creativity expands geometrically to the heinousness of his client's crime.
Adler's moving to quash the indictment.
Says we failed to present evidence of causation.
I like my law better than yours.
No one is disputing the fact that the pacemaker malfunctioned.
And I'm certainly not arguing that the malfunction didn't cause Roberto Martinez's death.
Suiter changed the expiration date.
Neither the doctor nor the patient were informed.
Thank you for the play-by-play, Ben, but if you'd read my papers, you'd see I'm talking about cause and effect.
Or rather, the lack thereof.
The boy died.
But not because the battery failed.
Wait, was the gizmo on the fritz or not? If I may, Your Honor.
Kenny's with the FDA.
She examined the pacemaker in question.
Kenny? Nothing lasts forever.
We require expiration dates on pacemakers to prevent overuse of batteries.
In real life, that little rabbit with the drum eventually goes kaput.
Please, Ms.
The date on the device earmarks battery life and nothing else.
Is there a point to this? Mr.
Martinez's pacemaker failed, yes, but not because the battery was dead.
It failed because the leads, the wires that get woven into the heart, were corroded.
The battery sent the proper current.
The heart never received it.
This corrosion, could it have been the result of the recycling? No, no.
Suiter should have seen that those leads were corroded.
This isn't a car battery, Mr.
These are very delicate wires.
Sometimes corrosion is evident on visual inspection, but with this particular device, you would have to run conductivity tests.
And if he didn't run those tests, then he was reckless.
I've surveyed the industry.
Not one manufacturer runs conductivity tests in the normal course of business.
Wait a minute.
This thing worked for three years in the Barnet woman? That is no indication.
When a corroded lead will malfunction is at best a crap-shoot.
The bottom line is my client's behavior was not the cause-in-fact of Roberto's death.
He changed the dates.
So we'll plead to fraud.
Your Honor, given some time Give it up, Ben.
You can't fight with the FDA.
I'm dismissing with respect to the murder charges.
You come up with something else, feel free to re-indict.
He's playing three-card Monte with people's hearts, and the best we can do is fraud.
Suiter is going to enter a guilty plea.
A lenient judge, two years, tops.
Our expert confirmed the FDA's findings.
The corrosion was unrelated to the recycling.
Now, are you saying that these wires were bad to begin with? No way of telling.
I see.
Well, if it was a manufacturing defect, if the pacemaker was originally sold with defective leads, we just might have a case against BioNorm.
A civil case.
We've got one bad apple.
At most, it's negligence.
Not necessarily.
We know that BioNorm settled at least six other suits.
Find out if those other apples had corroded wires.
When I was a kid, I used to look up at buildings like this and dream about meeting a prince and living in a penthouse.
My prince showed up, Mr.
His name was BioNorm.
I'm sorry, but there is no way that I'm going to turn back into being a frog.
Part of your settlement was a non-disclosure agreement? Uh-huh.
I keep quiet, I keep all this.
The terms of your settlement may be covering up a crime.
So you're going to arrest me for obstruction? I dated an attorney for three years.
Look, all I know is that my dad's pacemaker didn't work.
I don't even know what a lead is.
Your father died, and you didn't care why? My dad was no hero, okay? The best thing he ever did was to die with one of those gizmos attached to his ticker.
I don't know about you, but I like Park Avenue a hell of a lot more than Canarsie.
One day, a man from BioNorm shows up.
Offers me $250,000.
I settle faster than you can say "gold card.
" Excuse me, Mr.
Stone? This just came in for you.
Talked to all six families.
All the pacemakers were purchased around the same time.
They all failed.
Because of corroded leads? Nobody ever pinpointed why.
The lawsuits were settled before anybody checked them out.
Oh, sure, every good lawyer always files a complaint before he knows what the case is all about.
BioNorm paid almost $2 million in hush money.
Makes you think they had something to hide.
If it was the knowledge of corroded leads then they were acting with depraved indifference to human life, and that's seven counts of murder two.
Tough to prove.
It's gonna take a smoking gun.
Let's find one.
Other people's parts.
We don't really manufacture anything.
We assemble, we package, we market the hell out of it.
Where do you get the leads? Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, whoever's the flavor of the month.
Four years ago? I had eggs over easy with sausage.
Anything before that, I'd have to consult my diary.
I assume the company keeps one? You'd have to talk to the purchasing agent.
Four years ago, that'd be Mrs.
The chairmars wife? Time was this was a mum-and-pop.
You requested a new typewriter ribbon, you got it the same century.
Yeah, Mum was the VP in charge of purchasing back then.
That was the good old days, she calls it.
I guess the, uh, view on the way up the mountain is a lot better than the view from the top.
When did she leave the job? A couple or three years ago.
Dad thought that she ought to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
My guess is that he thought she was out of her league as soon as we got heavy into medical technology.
You didn't always make pacemakers? We used to be called the Ebbets Company.
Grandpa was a Dodger fan.
Your dad inerited the company? No, my mum.
See, her dad started the company when he was still at Erasmus Hall.
He, uh, fixed radios in his bedroom.
Then he graduated, got into manufacturing.
About the most sophisticated product was, uh, an alarm with a snooze button.
A far cry from pacemakers.
No, no, see, that was all Dad.
See, uh, he married Mum, moved the company across the river, changed the name.
Boom! We're grossing $40 million a year.
Not bad for a hash-slinger's son with an MBA from City College.
Uh, no, see, uh, back then we werert buying wholesale.
I can't tell you who manufactured the leads.
We bought them from an importer called Asian Pacific Trading.
You're on the wrong track, Mr.
I was a techie on the assembly line.
I checked all those leads myself.
I assure you, everything was fine.
Asian Pacific Trading.
A DBA for a guy named Ziesel.
You check him out? Gone with the wind three years ago.
No wonder Steven Cleary was happy to give you his name.
We'll never know who manufactured the leads.
Unless some other pacemaker company purchased leads from Asian Pacific Trading.
We may not be the biggest, but there isn't one medical journal that doesn't rate our pacemakers the best.
Do you manufacture your own parts? Well, everything essential.
The, uh, supporting cast we contract out.
Like leads.
Yeah, we're high tech.
Why waste time and money making little wires, you know? This week we're buying from Boyette in Akron.
Four years ago, you ever do business with an Asian Pacific Trading? A crook named Ziesel.
Took me for $50,000.
New kid on the block.
Prices you could die for.
Imported, uh, leads made in Singapore.
You know what company manufactured those leads? CJL Electronics.
Usually a good company.
What I figure happened was, uh, a shipload of duds landed stateside and they pawned them off on Asian Pacific for very little.
Then Ziesel dumped them on me.
Let me guess.
They were corroded.
Yeah, the shrink-wrapping stank.
Sea air will do it every time.
Most of them were useless.
Did you use the ones that werert? Be like playing Russian roulette with people's lives.
I tossed them.
We tried to sue Asian Pacific, but they were nowhere to be found.
And everyone in the business knew these leads were defective? Uh, Ziesel told me it was a one-shot deal.
One package ship filled with leads, and I was the only one won'thy of his generosity.
Lucky me.
The only sucker in town.
Unfortunately, you werert.
You mean someone else bought them? Worse.
Someone else used them.
Five companies bought wire leads imported by Asian Pacific Trading.
One boatload, all garbage.
It was a scam.
Each manufacturer thought that he was the only one getting the deal.
But BioNorm is the only company that actually used the corroded wires.
Depraved indifference.
Shut the bastards down.
It's not that easy.
Are you telling me that Cleary didn't know what was going on? Roger Cleary was all bottom lines and check books.
He didn't even set foot on the manufacturing floor.
Cleary was the VP, but she wouldn't know a corroded lead from a toaster oven.
Somebody had to authorize their use.
As far as we can tell, it's Steven, the kid.
He's an electrical engineer.
He admitted doing the inspection.
Only, at the time, he was just a technician.
Hardly a high managerial agent.
So, under the statute, we can't prosecute the corporation.
Kid takes the blame, the company's insulated.
Yeah, if I had a cover like that, I'd never catch cold.
So, Steven Cleary did cause BioNorm to act recklessly.
The corporate veil.
It protects them from civil liability.
But that doesn't stretch to our side of the street.
So let's indict him for murder two.
Do you think that Steven Cleary acted on his own? Well, I'm gonna shake the family tree, see what falls out.
"Docket Number 581739.
"People of the State of New York v.
Steven R.
Charge is murder in the second degree.
" Do we have a plea, gentlemen? Motion to dismiss the charges, Your Honor.
A little out of our neighborhood, aren't we, Mr.
Berkley? Well, BioNorm has been a corporate client for the last decade.
We intend to institute malicious prosecution charges.
Well, I'm happy for you.
But read the sign on the door, sir.
This is the criminal part.
Only two choices on our menu.
Not guilty.
Application, Mr.
Robinette? Bail in the amount of $250,000, Your Honor.
So be it.
This isn't even your party, Ben.
This is a corporate matter.
We should be in civil court.
When seven people end up dead, Richard, I send out engraved invitations.
He was working on the assembly line, for crying out loud.
There's no way he's criminally liable.
He is if he caused a corporation to perform a criminal act.
Penal code, section 2025.
Look, the kid was six months out of MIT.
Now, do you actually think that he had the authority to cause the corporation to do anything? He okayed the use of defective wires.
Seven people died.
All right, reality, fellows.
There is no way that you are gonna get the evidence of the first six cases admitted.
And the jury will see the seventh as simple negligence.
What you call simple negligence, the jury may call depraved indifference to human life and the penal code calls that murder in the second degree.
The sole reason for the malfunction was that the device had corroded leads.
The electrical impulse generated by the battery never reached the boy's heart.
And in your expert opinion, what was the cause of the corrosion? Most probably it was exposure during shipping.
Thank you.
Now, tell me, Ms.
Kenny, in your role as FDA inspector, did you approve BioNorm's pacemaker? I inspected the design proposal and the prototype.
Both were first-rate.
Did you ever follow up? Did you make random checks, for example? That's not feasible.
No, it's not feasible, but it would be prudent, wouldn't it? In a perfect world, but Yes, but this isn't a perfect world, is it, Ms.
Kenny? People make mistakes.
People make mistakes.
Even some kid working on an assembly line in a pacemaker factory.
Keep the meditations to a minimum, Counselor.
No more questions.
We've been in the pacemaker business for over 20 years.
This Asian Pacific Trading comes along and offers to sell us wire leads at a quarter of the price of our usual supplier.
Well, what can I say? Of course, I bought them.
Uh, did you use these wire leads in your pacemakers? No way.
They come off the boat, I can see myself that half of them are corroded.
And I haven't been But did you use the other half? Absolutely not.
The components were garbage, and that's where they went.
Wasrt that expensive? Well, we're in the medical business.
Market share's not won'th killing people.
How does your market share compare to that of BioNorm's? Theirs is growing.
Ours isn't.
Would you explain that? You buy cheap, you sell cheap.
They've been undercutting our prices for years.
Thank you.
I suppose you read the medical journals, Mr.
Miller? Yes.
Now, have you ever read an article questioning the quality of BioNorm's products? No.
Do you have any first-hand knowledge of any of BioNorm's instruments malfunctioning? Other than this one, no.
So perhaps, sir, BioNorm has a better market share because BioNorm builds a better mousetrap.
I was purchasing agent for BioNorm Industries until the summer of 1988.
Then you were responsible for purchasing wire leads for BioNorm from the Asian Pacific Trading Company, is that correct? It's been a long time.
Do you recognize this document? Lt-it's a purchase order for 500 gross of wire leads from Asian Pacific Trading.
Is that your signature? Yes.
I move to have this admitted into evidence, Your Honor.
Call it "People's 17.
" Mrs.
Cleary, did you inspect the wire leads that BioNorm purchased from Asian Pacific Trading Company? Only to determine if the quantity was correct.
Anything more, I wouldn't know.
Thank you.
Our products are the best on the market.
The settlement offer was a business decision, pure and simple.
It's more cost-effective to nip a nuisance suit in the bud.
A nuisance? A boy died because your company used defective components, and you call it a nuisance? I didn't know anything about that.
Did you personally inspect the leads, sir? Well, it's not my area of expertise.
You hired someone to do it? That's right.
Whom did you hire to inspect the leads purchased from Asian Pacific Trading Company? No, sir.
No way you get me to help you convict my own son.
Excuse me, sir, I think you just did.
I inspected the leads very carefully in order to weed out the bad ones.
And you feel you have sufficient expertise to distinguish good leads from bad? I'm an electrical engineer.
I've been dealing with wires my whole life.
Your degree in electrical engineering is from MIT, isn't that right? My parents started contributing to the alumni fund the day I was born.
And even with this expertise and a very careful inspection, a single bad wire got through.
Yeah, I'm I'm sorry.
I I, you know, I did my best.
L I did everything that I have no idea how this happened.
A single bad wire, Mr.
Cleary? What about the six other Objection! Your Honor, may we approach? Your Honor, six other pacemakers manufactured at the same time all failed.
You have no proof of that.
They settled those cases before anyone could find out what happened and if the jury knew this They'd be prejudiced.
Defense objection is sustained.
Berkley's good.
Good enough to convince the jury it was an isolated mistake.
Steven Cleary looks negligent, not criminal.
What Steven Cleary did was criminal.
Why he did it He can go to hell and back for his father, but I'm not so sure the reverse is true.
Unfortunately, Roger Cleary is not on trial.
Maybe it's not so unfortunate.
Steven said his parents started contributing to the MIT alumni fund the day he was born.
But he also said his father went to City College at night.
Like mother, like son, huh? Exactly.
Get Steven Cleary in here.
Well, so what if she did go to MIT? It has nothing to do with your case.
You mean "cases.
" Mrs.
Cleary has a B.
In electrical engineering.
It certainly qualifies her to inspect wire leads.
She's a Vice President capable of authorizing their use.
We're going after the corporation and your mother.
Well, if you're so confident, why are we here? Steven, we know your mother put you up to this.
If you testify against her, we can work something out.
Steven, let's go.
I'll have your mother arrested when she arrives at the courthouse.
People have died, Steven.
I know you didn't look them in the eye when you killed them, but they're just as dead.
Why are you taking the fall for her? Look, my mother Steven, come on.
You'll testify against her? No, I want a deal for me and my mother.
I'll testify against my father.
We spent days sorting out all the bad ones.
You and your mother? We thought we got them all.
After the first person died, we ran conductivity tests on all the pacemakers remaining in stock.
A lot of the wire leads that we thought were good, werert.
We we begged my father to recall all the pacemakers that used Asian Pacific leads.
And he refused? He was too busy building an empire.
You know, my father promised me that all this would go away.
That I'd have the best lawyers.
He told me I owed it to the family.
So, people are walking around with time bombs in their chests.
And at least seven exploded.
You cut a deal? Man one.
He does the minimum.
Man one Adam.
It's the only way he'll talk.
He turns on the mother, the mother turns on the father.
His testimony alone is useless.
She denies it, we all go home.
She'll let him take the rap alone? Today is different from yesterday.
He said she had knowledge.
Just because the boy says she had technical knowledge, doesn't mean that she knew what the hell was going on.
The lawyer tells the jury, the kid is a rat in a trap looking for a scapegoat.
Steven Cleary is on the edge.
We push him a little harder.
Only he's already got a deal.
For the death of Roberto Martinez.
We still got six other deaths to deal with.
Let's get the boy and his mother in here tomorrow morning.
This is crap.
You werert invited, sir, and unless you're a lawyer, I'd appreciate it if you keep quiet.
This is my family, my business.
If you had any proof, you would have charged them before.
Before, we didn't have Stevers testimony as to the cause of the other deaths.
Five counts of murder two.
Minimum on each, Oh, my God! He's bluffing.
He's trying to drive a wedge between us.
Cleary, I can and I will prosecute your son to the fullest extent of the law.
I'm offering you a chance to salvage your sors life.
We can beat this, Annette.
Don't let him destroy us.
You did that yourself, Roger, four years ago.
If you confirm Stevers testimony, I can offer you both a deal.
God, Annette, think of what this means.
My business, everything I've worked for.
Your business? You were nothing.
My father Your father fixed toasters.
He worked for me.
That's right, Dad.
He worked for you.
We all worked for you.
And here we are.
Just look what you've done for us.
Cleary? What do I need to do? You.
You couldn't keep your mouth shut.
Two years in jail, you could have walked out a wealthy man.
All right, Mr.
Stone, I'm a businessman.
I've made deals before.
What are you offering? I'm not a businessman, Mr.
I'm offering you nothing.
If he's smart, he pleads guilty and begs the court for mercy in sentencing.
Six counts of murder two? Even with a lenient judge he dies of old age and still owes the state 50 years.
What amazes me is that he almost convinced his son to do 25-to-life.
Must have given him quite a lecture on family values.