November 01, 2006
By Kerry Miller
When he’s not fighting for justice in the courtroom, Honolulu attorney Rick Fried is either playing tennis, golfing or spending time with his wife Susie.
The MidWeek cover model from August 2004 is keeping busy these days as the attorney for the Peterson family, representing them in their case against Tripler Army Medical Center. The Peterson’s 1-year-old son Izzy was mistakenly given carbon dioxide instead of oxygen in the moments after his birth.
“We had a recent significant verdict, for $16.5 million, which was the largest in state for a single individual. It was a fair verdict, frankly (it was) nothing that I did brilliantly,” Fried says. “The care that the child Izzy Peterson requires needed an award of this size to provide for his needs. Judge David Ezra was thoughtful and gave a conservative but fair award.”
Fried also is doing some board work (for charities), as well as handling other local cases. His firm’s cases consist primarily of personal injury claims and medical malpractice.
When he sheds his lawyerly attire, Fried puts on his tennis clothes and hits the courts, sometimes even getting up bright and early to play, as he did at 6:30 a.m. on a recent Friday morning. Fried plays in tournaments with others throughout the state and nationally.
“I’m in a new age group in tennis this year,” says the 65-year-old. “Age has brought a lot of us closer together in ability. Now there’s nobody nationally whom I don’t feel competitive with. I don’t feel like I did college, walking out there thinking I had no chance with people like Stan Smith or Arthur Ashe.”
Fried jokes that despite the workout he gets from playing tennis, “I’m not half as fit as my wife, who goes to the gym at least five days a week.”
He and wife Susie tied the knot six years ago. Susie, who’s in her 50s, works as a Realtor with Pat Choy, does some modeling and “basically she operates as the food police for me,” her husband laughs. “We got married on the millennium at my house, by our chief justice. It was the second (marriage) for us both.”
Fried also is involved with helping to raise money for the Shriners Hospital’s new facility, is on the Hawaii Theatre Board, and participates with the University of Hawaii Angels, a group that helps provide start-up funding for Hawaii high-tech companies.
As far as golfing goes, while Fried has been a member of the Waialae Country Club for more than a decade, lately, he says, he’s “been too busy to play a round.”
– Kerry Miller