Adams and Reese Special Counsel Phil Kirkpatrick was interviewed by Law360 in a special feature article, “10 Years Later, Attorneys Recall the Boston Marathon Bombing,” remembering the anniversary of the tragic event from 2013.
An attorney in the Adams and Reese Nashville office, Kirkpatrick traveled to Boston and was in attendance 10 years ago as a spectator. He was 12 feet from the blast.
“I got right down at the fence. I had my iPhone poised to the right where the runners were coming down Boylston Street,” said Kirkpatrick to Law360. “
“All of a sudden, there was the loudest noise I have ever heard in my life and a white fireball straight out in front of me. The explosion blew me backwards, and the other people standing next to me were just falling to the side and backward onto the sidewalk. Immediately my hearing was shut down bilaterally. I could hear nothing. I started crawling toward the building back behind us and then heard the second bomb go off down the street and that's when it really registered: Something is wrong. Something is terribly wrong.”
Kirkpatrick interviewed with Katie Couric. “Katie was very nice and easy to talk to, and she said, ‘Phil, do you have any closing remarks?’ I said, ‘Sometimes you can go from euphoria to despair in a blink, and that's what happened to a lot of people at the Boston Marathon.’”
From the sound of the blast, Kirkpatrick suffered a ruptured right eardrum and middle ear nerve damage, losing about 50% of his hearing. “I have tinnitus in both ears. It’s like 10 cicadas in a courtyard against your head. It never stops. That was permanent. There is nothing that can be done for it.”
The Boston Athletic Association offered all 260 injured from the 2013 Boston Marathon entries into the 2014 race. “I had never run a full marathon,” said Kirkpatrick. “But in April 2014, I ran it, and I came across the finish line of the Boston Marathon with the U.S. flag held up in one hand and the Tennessee flag in the other hand. My niece Shelley has run some other marathons but never Boston. I called her and I told her I had an entry to the Boston Marathon for 2023, and she is so incredibly excited to come to your town.”
At Adams and Reese, Kirkpatrick is a federal court litigator practicing in entertainment, intellectual property/technology, products liability and commercial matters. He is also a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31-listed general civil mediator.