Story #2: Victory Before the US Supreme Court
Buying a Bakery
One of the few downfalls of working with clients
all over the country is that we do not always get to meet the people
to whom we send settlement checks. Recently, F. Davis Morse had
the privilege of hand-delivering a significant lawsuit award
to a client in Virginia. Ordinarily, we send out hundreds of checks
to satisfied clients and work with law firms throughout the country, but this case presented a more intimate opportunity for delivery.
Although he is more accustomed to the feel of
a bicycle seat than the interior of a car, Morse decided to give
this victory verdict all the ceremony it deserved by arriving
to the meeting in a limousine. “I really care about the guy," said Morse. "He'd been so desperately sick. Besides,
I wanted to take advantage of the fact that he was close enough
to D.C. that I could meet him in person."
When the limo
pulled into the truck stop's parking lot in the small Virgina
town, Morse immediately recognized
the person whose life he was about to change. The Vietnam veteran
walking toward him with a blue Wal-Mart bag in hand had recently
spent several dangerously ill weeks in the hospital due to a pharmaceutical
company's negligence. A cholesterol drug he had been prescribed
did a lot more than lower his cholesterol—it gave him rhabdomyolysis,
a potentially fatal condition that causes severe kidney damage.
However, thanks to good medical care and the advocacy of the Consumer
Justice Group, Morse's client not only healed but successfully
sued the drug company that had put the dangerous medication on
Over a burger and fries, Morse's client pulled
out the blue bag he'd been carrying and handed it across the table.
Inside lay a gift of appreciation—a cordless mouse for Morse's
computer. Morse handed over an envelope whose lightness belied
the heft of its contents. The veteran paused before opening it,
savoring the moment that marked the end of one era of his life
and the beginning of another.
"So, what are you going to do with all that
money?" Morse asked once the color returned to his client's
"Well, my ladyfriend and I just finished meeting with
some people about buying a bakery. It's something I've always
wanted to do," he smiled. "I'm going to own a bakery."
Like most of the people we work with, this veteran-turned-bakery-owner
came to us because his life had been nearly devastated and forever
changed by the irresponsibility of others. And, as in most of
our cases, we were not able to give him back the life he had once
known. We did better. We got him the compensation to create the
life he'd always dreamed of.
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