"The important thing is not what they’ve done to you, but what you
do with what they’ve done to you"
Jean-Paul Sartre (as POW, 1940)
On July 8, 1999, we were coerced into signing a General Release. In return for a "consideration" of $500,000 we swore to hold the hospital "blameless" and never to talk openly about what happened to Seth at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. How did it come about that we signed such a document? And what happened (and is happening) subsequently? What follows is our update for readers of "A Death in the Hospital":
In the weeks preceding July 8, 1999, it seemed that a trial was immanent. Our lawyers, Richard Frank, Esq. and Thomas R. Moore, Esq., told us Columbia was refusing any offers of settlement. A trial was due to get underway on June 14, 1999. It was postponed for an additional week. We were told this was the Court’s request.
The lawyers told us that the trial would definitely start on June 21, 1999. Mr. Moore and Mr. Frank were scheduled to pick the jury. On that day, Mr. Moore called and said, "Richard’s back went out". Again, we were told, the trial had to be postponed.
Did Mr. Frank’s back indeed "go"? On June 24, 1999, we received a letter from him indicating that he was resigning immediately from the case. The reason, we were told, was that he was in the process of retiring. We were told that we had to officially discharge Mr. Frank on the record in open Court.
At this point, we still had great confidence in Mr. Moore and he indicated to us that this may well be a "good thing" since he had serious concerns about Mr. Frank’s performance. In Court, several days later, we were told to sign under oath that we agreed to Mr. Frank’s resignation. We did protest at this point, and we asked what the consequences would be by discharging Mr. Frank without a lawyer
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