Via America’s Lawyer: A federal judge warns drug manufacturers they won’t be able to plea out of an 800% price hike on diabetes med. Also, California lawmakers warn Nestlé to stop pumping away millions of gallons of drinking water while droughts intensify throughout the Golden State. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Finally tonight, some good news. A federal judge has warned several drug companies that they’re going to have a hard time convincing a jury that 800% price hikes on a diabetes drugs was necessary. Farron Cousins joins me to talk about this. We have done so many stories on the idea that the pharmaceutical industry is raping the American public. And it’s amazing. It’s amazing. When we do one of these stories, you know, if we do a story well, you know, we hate Trump, there’s going to be 200,000 people that show up for that. When we talk about something as important as this, there’ll be 10, 15, 20,000 people. It’s amazing that people aren’t paying attention to this. Pick up the story.

Farron Cousins:                  I, I know. This is, this is crazy. And again, this is the result of a really good lawsuit, where they’re saying, hey, these two pharmaceutical companies basically colluded together to keep generics off the market for a couple more years. And in the course of the discovery here, they realized like, well, hold up. Not only did you collude to keep generics off the market, you also kind of colluded to raise your prices by 800%, gouging consumers, instead of, you know, a couple dollars per pill to over $40 per pill. And you, the judge told them last week said, you do realize you’re going to have to go in front of a jury and you’re going to have to explain to them why you did that. And that’s not going to help your case.

Mike Papantonio:             I, I, I don’t do this very often. I’ve got, I just cracked up when I read the defense lawyers for these companies. This guy is Lev, his name is Lev L-E-I-V Blad. Okay. Leiv Blad. He says, well, there’s no antitrust taking place here, judge. This is just good faith, deep business dealings among friends. He said that. The other lawyer, another defense lawyer says, judge, we just raised the price 800% because we thought it was in the, he really said, I swear to God, we just raised it 800% because we thought it was in the shareholders’ best interest. You think? So the point being, this judge showed some courage and said, you know what, we’re going to let you make these arguments in front of a jury. Let’s see what the jury thinks at the end of the day. Right?

Farron Cousins:                  And that really is the best thing for the judge to do. Just sit there and say, listen, people are going to be paying attention to this case. And it’s almost, you know, taunting them. Like, I, I want you to come out here and I want you to make that argument for everyone to hear and let’s see what happens.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Leiv Blad and David Marriott, I’ve got to, I’ve got, I want to be there for this argument in front of the jury. I don’t think it’s going to float.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Thank you for joining me.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio:             As the state of California braces for more droughts, they’ve warned Nestle to stop stealing their water. Farron Cousins joins me again to talk about that. We’ve done this story, they are thieves. Nestle, they’re thugs and thieves. First of all, they’re operating without a license. They operated for years without even having a current license and they’re taking money in this state that is dying from dryness. Right?

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And, you know, and we all know, we’ve seen the wildfires in California over the last 10 years get worse and worse. And part of it is because the state is so dry due to climate change. But then you have this company come in Nestle, that’s been there for a hundred years or more, sucking water out of the state, bottling it, selling it for a huge profit, overstaying their permit, overdrawing what their permit even said to begin with. Not only was it expired, but they were still doing more than the expired permit allowed. And here the California state is begging them and they’re not really enforcing it too hard, but they’re begging them, you’ve got to stop.

Mike Papantonio:             Why, why beg, why? Go after them.

Farron Cousins:                  Kick them out, forever.

Mike Papantonio:             Have the attorney general do something that he has, that they have the right to do. Here’s where it is. They’re, they’re limited to 8 million gal, 8, 8 million gallons over a period of time. They’re actually pumping 32 million.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             So there’s that. Plus the problem is it, Sierra the entire area if Sierra, they used to have about more than 50 inches of rain. These last couple of years, it’s been less than 20 inches of rain. So are these people, this is public commons is at risk here, the public commons of California. And they’re letting these thugs just bully their way through. The attorney general’s doing nothing. Governor’s doing nothing to stop this.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and the water that they’re sucking out is supposed to make its way downstate and feed these areas that are already, according to the governor, well he’s declared an emergency, a drought emergency in these areas that may not exist, or may not be as bad if Nestle wasn’t over, over there stealing all the water.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And again, you hit a, you and I have been talking about this story for many, many years now. And unfortunately we’re, we’re probably two of the only people still talking about this story.

Mike Papantonio:             Why, why won’t regulators do it? Why won’t the governor and the attorney general do what they’re supposed to do? And that’s their job. This is a big story. The drought’s going to get worse and Nestle’s going to believe they can just push their way through here, Farron. Thank you for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.