The Guardian- Season One

Episode: 2

Production #: 102

First Air Date: October 2, 2001

Writer: David Hollander

Director: Charles Haid

Guest Stars:

Rusty Schwimmer as Barbara Ludzinski
Shelly Cole as April Evans
Sal Landi as Al Sandro
Dyan Kane as Jenny Sandro
Scott Anthony Leet as Joel
Gerry Becker as Judge Stanton
Brittany Haid as Gail Behrhost
Todd Robert Anderson as ?
Juanita Jennings as ?

Fan Rating: 8/10 (Average of all fan submitted ratings)


Nick brings a lawsuit again the pharmaceutical company, Bendaprine, on behalf of Hunter Reed and his mother’s estate for 10 million dollars. But, when Alvin Masterson gets wind of it he insists that Nick drop the case, being that it is a conflict of interest. Nick is quick to point out that Alvin took him off of Hunter’s case and therefore he is acting within his rights as a lawyer for Fallin & Assoc. Meanwhile, James gets handed a case involving a 12-year-old boy who has been living with his older brother after their mother has been arrested for drugs. Marcus, Andre’s older brother, is arrested for selling crack and James tries desperately to find a relative for the boy to act as guardian so the youth won’t end up in juvenile detention like his brother. But, Andre doesn’t want to be separated from Marcus and even when James succeeds in finding a relative, Andre makes it very clear he will stay with Marcus at all cost – even if he needs to get himself arrested to make it happen.

Case Law:

This episode deals with several complex legal issues: tort liability of drug manufacturers, competency to stand trial, the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children, Miranda rights and what constitutes custodial interrogation. With respect to the tort liability of drug manufacturers, the main issue is whether the drug company should be liable for producing defective drugs which cause Dr. Reed to kill. In tort law, one generally has to prove both factual and legal causation to establish liability. Factual causation often consists of the "but for" test, namely, "but for" the defendant's negligent act or omission would the plaintiff have been injured. For example, most courts would not find a defendant liable if he left the keys in his car, the car was stolen and involved in a subsequent accident. In this episode, is it reasonably foreseeable that the negligent manufacture of drugs might result in a criminal act?

James ends up having to deal with the Interstate Compact for Placement of Children, which has strict provisions about placing "dependant " children with relative or foster caregivers out of state. James's end run around this procedure involves having the mother voluntarily relinquish her parental rights.

On the issue of whether Hunter is competent to testify, the law in Pennsylvania is that children under the age of fourteen might be held incompetent if they do not possess the following: 1) the capacity to observe or perceive the occurrence of the event, 2) the ability to remember the event which was observed or perceived, 3) the ability to understand questions and to communicate intelligent answers about the occurrence of the event, and 4) consciousness of the duty to speak the truth.

©2001 Almost Human