Via America’s Lawyer: A panel of judges upholds the use of electrical shock treatment at a special needs school in MA, despite the UN classifying its use as torture. Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss more. Also, thousands of women experienced adverse reactions due to defective IUD’s that are falling apart upon removal. Attorney Stephen Luongo joins Mike Papantonio to explain how Paragard and Mirena have quietly swept concerns about their birth control products under the rug.


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

Mike Papantonio:             A panel of judges have ruled that a school in Massachusetts can continue to use a form of electrical shocks on students that the UN describes as torture. Okay, complicated story. This is a, this is a house, this is a housing for kids and all the way to 25 years old.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             That they’ve lost control of. They’re kids that are trying to commit suicide. They’re attacking other kids and causing all kinds of violence with other kids. These are very, very problematic kids. Supreme Court looks at it says, look, you know, sometimes you’ve got to use this process called shock therapy, but this is pretty ugly the way they’re doing this.

Farron Cousins:                  It really is, the kids have to walk around with these little battery packs on them and these electrodes on their body. And when they act up, when they do not listen, the people at this Judge Rotenberg Educational Center will shock them and they can shock them remotely. And that’s, what’s terrifying. The UN is actually classified this as a form of torture. And you and I actually did a story on this, this was probably 12, 13 years ago, we were talking about the Rotenberg Center and here it is still today fighting these legal battles and unfortunate winning.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Oh, they’re winning. They’re winning across the board because they’re saying, okay, look, here’s our options. Seclusion.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             We can put them alone. We can isolate them. There’s problems with that and there are very big problems with that. We can restrain them. We can put them with handcuffs. We can put them with a, a straight jacket kind of system where we just put them in their room. We house them forever. Or we can try to make inroads with this process, but it just sounds so awful. These kids have these electrodes that are implanted. They’re carrying around the batteries that are shocking them. And if they’re across the room and they’re doing something that somebody determines might be a problem hit a button and you have electro therapy.

Farron Cousins:                  And, and when you’re dealing with young individuals who have these behavioral issues, I know this because I have relatives that work within the school system with individuals, exactly like this, there are other ways to handle this. It is not easy. It is not fun. But you can get through to these children and you can make inroads into their lives and help them to overcome some of the issues they have. It is difficult, but you can do it without electric shocks.

Mike Papantonio:             Their arguments to the judge was judge, these are kids that engage in self-mutilation. They take a knife and they cut their arms. They cut all over their body. These are kids that are showing clear signs where they’ve tried to commit suicide. These are kids that sometimes have homicidal tendencies. So a judge listening to that says, okay, well, what are you going to do?

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             What, what are you going to put them in isolation? No. Are you going to do, so this is a very complicated story. And I, my thought about it is that the courts will probably continue to allow this. I wish it sounded a little bit more humane. Maybe it’s not as bad as it sounds when you read that article, but it sounds pretty awful.

Farron Cousins:                  It is. And you know, you, you feel for these kids, but you know, the courts are letting them do it.

Mike Papantonio:             Yep, yep.

Mike Papantonio:             Thousands of women are experiencing adverse reactions due to defective IUDs that are falling apart upon removal and while the FDA alerted manufacturers about the dangers of these devices, companies have been keeping it quiet. The media has been keeping it quiet when it comes to informing patients about the risks. Attorney Stephen Luongo joins me now to talk about it. You know, frankly, Steve, I got to tell you for ABC to cover this story, to have corporate media ever cover a story where they got advertisers out there is really unusual, but ABC is the only place we really found this story.

Stephen Luongo:               Absolutely. And what we’re talking about is Paragard, is a IUD, IUD, the only hormone free one out there on the market, there’s five of them total. But they, they bill themselves and advertise themselves as the safe hormone free alternative. What we’re finding is that the women that have these devices, once they try to get them removed, it’s breaking apart, the arms are falling apart. They’re being embedded in their uterus and their cervix and then requiring follow-up surgery to remove that and obviously causing tremendous pain and trauma.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, yeah, aside from the pain, I mean, the pain is obvious. If you have something embedded that they can’t get out, if it’s migrating. Is there an issue of migration here where pieces or maybe migrating through the body? We’ve seen that with other IUDs.

Stephen Luongo:               We have. We’ve seen that in the lawsuits with Mirena where migration was a major issue and the, the prevalent issue in that case. Here for us, we do see some migration, the bigger issues that we are seeing with the perforation of the organs, bodily organs there, the uterus sometimes resulting in a hysterectomy and ultimately resulting in infertility, which is the exact opposite.

Mike Papantonio:             So, the doctor goes in. I got to remove the IUD and the reports that are coming out, what are there 3000 or 3000 plus reports.

Stephen Luongo:               Correct.

Mike Papantonio:             Where the thing has shattered, it’s broken off. The doctor goes in, let’s remove it. And one of the arms, one of the arms on the IUD breaks off and is embedded in the tissue. And they can’t, you know, it’s, it’s major surgery to try to go in there and get it out, right?

Stephen Luongo:               Absolutely. And, and that’s, that’s the harm that has not been advertised to these women. They took the product, they thought they were being safe. They thought they were protecting themselves. This harm has not been advertised to them. They have not been warmed, warned correctly for it, with dating back as you said, with the FDA telling the company at Teva pharmaceuticals, a parent company that, hey, your advertisements are not sufficient. These women are going out there not knowing the dangers and it is being embedded. It is causing damages.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. So here’s what the FDA could do if the FDA were actually functional, they’re totally dysfunctional. The FDA is a joke. They allowed this to go on for a very long time. They finally said, you need to give a real warning, a black box warning that somebody can see, and the doctor knows about it. The patient knows about it, that if you put this in your body, it could shatter, break off and it can cause real systemic damage to you going forward. That’s a black box warning. So what they’ve tried to do is put it in small print. Doctor still is unaware of what the problems are. They don’t know about the 3000 plus problems. And, and the real issue comes down to the FDA could recall this immediately and say, until you get it right, we’re going to recall this product.

Stephen Luongo:               Absolutely. And the product, as you said, is still on the market as is in its normal form without these proper warnings. The, the FDA warning that we talked about was for the television ads. But this product is still out there. Women are still taking it and they’re not knowing the risk. But they, they could certainly recall it. The FDA right now is not even doing a full investigation of it. That’s why these lawsuits are out there trying to get public awareness and try to get people out there to start stemming something.

Mike Papantonio:             And the problem is if this ends up in front of a judge who is an ideologue, okay, the ideologue is I, I line up with corporate America. I don’t really line up with consumers. You see it all the time.

Stephen Luongo:               Oh yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             If it gets in front of an ideologue, we’ve already seen where one ideologue judge has said, we’re going to dismiss everything. We’re dismissing your case. Go, you know, go without any kind of recovery at all, right?

Stephen Luongo:               Absolutely. I mean, what you’re talking about is what we mentioned earlier, the Mirena lawsuit, that’s exactly what happened there. We’re hoping for different results in this lawsuit to get public awareness up, to get in front of a good judge that will make the proper rulings and to have success for these women.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Let’s hope. I mean, this is, this is an important case for these women. Thank you for joining me, Steve.

Stephen Luongo:               Yes, sir.

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.