In 2000, Boston attorney Richard Brody took a case that seemed at the time to be an obvious, straight-forward liability case that would most likely settle quickly — maybe without even filing a lawsuit. The case involved serious injuries suffered by another trial lawyer, Odin Anderson.
On Sept. 20, 1998 Anderson was crossing an intersection in a crosswalk after a long lunch in which he drank alcohol, when a bus, turning left, hit him before he reached the middle of the street. Anderson suffered a fractured skull and stopped breathing. Fortunately for him, the bus, owned by Partners Healthcare, was transporting a group of doctors. Several of the doctors acted on Anderson’s injury and administered CPR. Anderson, however, suffered a traumatic brain injury that required rehabilitation to walk, speak and perform daily activities.
Today he still has memory loss, a decreased sense of smell and problems with executive functions and higher-level thinking. He did return to practice law, but he must refer complicated cases to other attorneys. The insurance company for the bus company, American International Group Inc. (AIG) instead of settling this obvious liability case, concocted a new set of facts, suppressed evidence and fought payment of a judgment until it was ordered to honor a jury verdict 8 years later.