A cadre of attorneys sat amongst the defendants. How much time, money, and energy has gone into a trial and a sentencing hearing? For what? As the sentencing hearing for three current and one former Synthes employees unfolded, one must ask oneself, what provokes us to act this way, and in the end, was it really worth it? Regardless of Judge Davis' decision to incarcerate or not, Norian was sold to Kensey Nash for $22 million dollars, a wash, considering Synthes was slapped with a $23.6 million dollar fine for its complicity in this debacle. These four men and their families stand to have their lives altered, forever, by actions that could have been and should have been averted. But as one looks at these four individuals, what about the victims? The fact remains that three innocent people died, their families lives changed forever.
The attorney for Tom Higgins, Adam Hoffinger, argued that the evidence of intent was insufficient. Unfortunately, the conspirators were complicit in a cover-up. With the exception of one local attorney, the attorneys surrounding the convicted were from high powered Washington, D.C. law firms. Attorneys would like Judge Davis to utilize a strict definition of the "Responsible Corporate Officer doctrine." The RCO doctrine are legal principles that typically shield corporate officers and its shareholders from direct possible liability for legal violations by the company, consistent with what has been argued that a corporation has a distinct and separate legal liability. Yet, based on recent activity in the media and by the government, authorities may be planning a more aggressive use of this doctrine. Will Judge Davis' decision to incarcerate establish a new precedent?
TSB spoke to a few attorneys regarding this trial, and the common theme seems to be that whenever a death occurs, judges seems to be less lenient. Judge Davis even reprimanded one of the attorneys for attempting to introduce evidence during the hearing. But then one must ask oneself, will Justice succumb to corporate influence and philanthropy? Synthes and Hansjoerg Wyss are known as pillars in the Philadelphia area. As one of our bloggers posted on Monday, if corporations want campaign finance reform, Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee, changing the rules of money in politics, providing the corporation with the equivalent of free speech as an individual, the time has come that they be treated like individuals when it comes to accountability and culpability in breaking the laws, especially when death is a by product of greed.
In closing, the tension and anxiety that Huggins, Higgins, Boehner and Walsh are experiencing must be agonizing at best, yet, one must still ask oneself, was it really worth it? The sweet smell of freedom is worth more than $22 million dollars. The freedom of a cold beer on a hot summers day, watching your children smile, or just smelling the roses is priceless. In the end maybe we will all learn something, unfortunately, TSB finds that hard to believe, because as Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.