I was attempting to work on the manuscript for Men Behaving Badly when Edgar showed up unannounced (as per usual). I never minded his spontaneous visits, and I didn’t realize—until it was too late—how much I looked forward to them. He plopped down in his usual spot on the futon.
“You know, Edgar, I misunderstood the saying that revenge is a dish best served cold.”
“Have you been reading Stieg Larsson lately?”
“I don’t just get these ideas from literature and film. Give me some credit, man!”
“I always do.”
“You’re right. But, yeah, I just figured out what it meant right before you came over.”
“What did you think it meant?”
“I used to think it meant that it’s best to avenge a wrong as ruthlessly and with as cold a heart as possible.” I paused pregnantly.
“But I just realized the coldness relates to the passage of time.”
“I think you’re right on both counts, actually.” Edgar nodded pensively. “Of course, if you want to get revenge through the justice system, coldness isn’t so desirable what with statutes of limitation and all.”
“Fuck statutes! What these guys have in store is extra-legal (but neither illegal nor violent…we have too much to lose, and we’re more creative than that). Their lives will transform overnight without the slightest notice. Just like mine did. But, unlike me, they will have no recourse.”
“Sounds delicious.” Edgar’s pupils dilated with interest. “It’s been over 10 years. When can we get started?”
“We already have.”
“Oh, that’s right. I’m sure it has something to do with sending Tex that letter reminding him he’d have to pass the Moral Character Evaluation to become an attorney.”
“Nope. That was just our public duty and has nothing to do with revenge. That’s why we sent it as soon as we discovered his plan to follow his father’s footsteps at Harvard Law School. Not part of the revenge. No need to serve cold. Hey, wanna drink?” I gestured toward the kitchen.
“Sure, thanks.” Edgar popped the cork off my half-full bottle of pinot noir. “So, what’s next with respect to revenge?”
“There’re some clean glasses in the sink.”
“Coolness.” Edgar split the remainder of the bottle between the two of us. “I’m all ears.”
“How far can you run without stopping? How much can you bench press, squat, or the equivalent?”
“I thought you just said this wouldn’t involve violence or criminality?”
“Oh, it won’t. We just need to be and look like we’re in tip-top shape. We just need to signal that we’re as formidable physically as we are intellectually and psychologically.”
“In that case, I’ve got my work cut out for me. But I’m game. Tell me more.” He raised his glass and smiled with boundless intrigue.
The opposite of numb (but perhaps with the same result), I plunged so deeply into depression I couldn’t:
drive myself home
pick up a fork
wash my hair
erase my smeared makeup
brush my teeth
swallow 150 mg of relief
pack a bowl
“Me doing a double back flip with a torn [meniscus] on a crappy diving board at Turner Falls in Oklahoma.”
-Alex Davis, July 28, 2008
Springfield, Mass. – Today, Federal Bankruptcy Judge Henry Boroff ruled in open court confirming the approximately $200 million settlement plan for the victims of the fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections from New England Compounding Center (NECC).
The NECC saga began as a tragic yet hopeless case from the perspective of even the most optimistic attorney advocates: in September 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak spawned by contaminated injections from NECC, a relatively small compounding pharmacy in Framingham, Massachusetts. NECC closed its doors in October 2012 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 21, 2012. At that point, the CDC had confirmed hundreds of cases of fungal meningitis and dozens of deaths linked to this outbreak.
Attorney Anne Andrews, Co-Chair of the NECC Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, is no stranger to bankruptcies in mass tort cases. In the May 2014 issue of Trial magazine, Ms. Andrews explained:
When a defendant in a mass tort litigation files for bankruptcy, it can be challenging to achieve just compensation for all victims. But it is possible if the plaintiffs’ attorneys work together to create a global settlement architecture that entices defendants to the table.
For nearly thirty years, Ms. Andrews and John C. Thornton, partners of Andrews & Thornton, have worked extensively litigating personal injury product liability cases against major pharmaceutical companies resulting from the sale of dangerous drugs, medical devices and dietary supplements. Andrews & Thornton has been involved in various federal multi-district litigations and state court coordinated litigations beginning with the Dow Corning Breast Implant litigation. Andrews & Thornton has extensive experience with and has been an active participant in virtually every recent tort claim related litigation within a bankruptcy.
The NECC settlement has nearly doubled since Judge Boroff approved the initial settlement Plan in July 2014. All classes of creditors overwhelmingly supported the Plan, with over 99 percent of victim creditors voting in its favor. According to Ms. Andrews:
Now that the Plan has been confirmed, distribution of the global settlement fund to victims will soon begin. It has been a pleasure to work with an incredible team of colleagues to achieve this extraordinary relief that seemed impossible at the outset. This Plan Confirmation helps bring a sense of closure to the victims of this tragedy and their loved ones, who have waited so patiently for justice and some form of compensation for all they have endured.
May 11, 1986 was the most significant Mother’s Day our parents will ever celebrate. I don’t remember you coming home from the hospital, but I do recall sneaking up to see you in your crib. We fought like wild animals until I went off to college, but unconditional forgiveness followed each of our clashes.
In my absence, we started to grow closer, and I wish we had more time to continue on that meaningful trajectory. Our visit to New York was a blast as you bargained in Chinatown and navigated the subway. People started to ask if we were fraternal twins. I took this as a compliment because everyone I know thinks you’re incredibly handsome. We laugh and sometimes even talk the same. The high-pitched hoot distinguished us in theaters, hallways, and classrooms. I’ve hardly laughed like that, though, since you left. I wish I could, if only just to…
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