America’s Lawyer E11: Juul e-cigarettes have been banned in the United States after it was revealed that the company lied to regulators about their products – we’ll bring you the details. And President Biden has signed a gun control bill that actually managed to get bipartisan support. We’ll tell you what it will do. And thousands of people may have been poisoned over the span of several decades from a contaminated water at a military base. We’ll give you the details on that. It’s a tragic story. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.


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

Mike Papantonio:             Hi, I’m Mike Papantonio and this is America’s Lawyer. Juul e-cigarettes have been banned in the United States after it was revealed that the company lied to regulators about their products. We’ll bring you the details. And president Biden, well he signed a gun control bill that actually managed to get bipartisan support. We’ll tell you about it. And thousands of people may have been poisoned over the span of several decades from a contaminated water at a military base. We’ll give you the details on that. It’s a tragic story. All that and more is coming up. So don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.

The FDA has ordered Juul e-cigarettes to be pulled off the market after they determined that the company lied about their products. Can you imagine lying about their products?

Rick Outzen:                          No, no. Never, never.

Mike Papantonio:             Joining me to talk about this is Rick Outzen, editor and publisher and owner of independent news. Rick, I looked at this story and, you know, there really are no surprises here, are there?

Rick Outzen:                          No.

Mike Papantonio:             That the, Juul has been lying about this for what, what are we going on now, 15 years.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, they were, you know, they, we know they targeted high schoolers. They were going after, they created fruit flavor, mint flavored. This time they were coming back to the FDA and to say maybe we could get by, by with tobacco flavored e-cigarettes and again, that got rejected. Same issue as before. They have no scientific data showing that it will not cause harm. They didn’t do any of the studies they’re supposed to do. Now, and remember, one time this company had almost 55% of the e-cigarette market here, which is a $9 billion business.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Rick Outzen:                          So this is again, not wanting to do the studies, trying to avoid lawsuits that are out there. They’ve already had a couple of big settlements in North Carolina, I think for like 40 million there.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s for the attorney general, yeah.

Rick Outzen:                          Right. Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, you know, as you know, this law firm started the case against the tobacco industry. And so we, we had a chance to look at all the documents. We, we took a look at the fact that these are companies that have no moral compass.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             What they’re really trying to do with the e-cigarette thing is simply create another generation of folks that are addicted to nicotine. Now, you know, the, the people hearing this, the, the, that the loyalty is insane. The people who are e-cigarette lovers are insane about this product.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             You can give them all the information that’s out there about how dangerous it is, how the diseases it causes. You can give them all the information about how the company’s lying to them about being safe. Doesn’t make any difference. If they’re an e-cigarette user, they say, well, you know what? It got me off of cigarettes. I’m gonna stick with it. You know, I can’t, I can’t do anything else. So I gotta go to e-cigarettes. You cannot talk a vapor out of not vaping, no matter what you show that person.

Rick Outzen:                          Right. They, you know, they argue, well, it’s not, it’s better than, than smoking, than, you know, actually lighting up a cigarette. But we know, and I’ve talked to your researchers and, and your, your team and you and I’ve sat around it. It’s a direct hit of nicotine to the brain, I mean.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. We, we’re handling the case.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             I mean, just pure disclosure. We’re handling the case, going out in California right now, the documents are atrocious.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             The documents show that this is an industry that understands they had to back off with straight cigarettes. So what they’re trying to do now is get an entire new generation hooked on, hooked on nicotine. They can put, they make it goofy grape taste. Oli oli orange taste, whatever they want to do. And they seem to get away with it around the world. At least we’re, we’re, we’re cutting they’re cutting legs out from underneath them a little bit. We’re gonna hammer ’em in this lawsuit. I promise you.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, here’s the scary thing. There’s 6.5 million applications for more e-cigarettes that are in the FDA now. So it, it, we got a long way to go to make a dent in this one, brother.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, no question.

The Supreme Court says that Bayer can’t escape liability for the people injured by Roundup. Now this first of all, to begin with this is a company, this is Monsanto that was sold to, to Bayer.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Who, whoever the numb nut was who bought this company. I mean, I hope that person’s been fired and ever, they never worked for the corporation again. They were advised, Bayer was advised to go in and buy Roundup. That was after three major lawsuits had determined that A, the folks, that Monsanto had been lying and phoning up rat studies. They knew that the, they knew that the, the product would cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             The information was overwhelming and some, you know, some CEO says, hey, looks like a good idea. We’ll go buy this company.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Take it from there.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, I think it had to be the attorneys that are representing them. The, you know, the defending attorneys, because they’re, this is a strategy here. They keep losing, $25 million case in California. They want to, they, they tried to go to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court says we’re not gonna listen to it. But this isn’t the first time they’ve tried to take a settlement all the way up to the Supreme Court, is it, Mike?

Mike Papantonio:             Right. Let me give a shout out for Biden on this. Biden got in the way of them doing this.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             He actually had his attorney general do something real significant, which is go before the Supreme Court and say, you know, you should not accept this review. We have all the information we need to understand this is bad, bad stuff. We know glyphosate is killing people all over the world. And, and, and I’m gonna send my attorney general to say, this is a bad idea. Now, Trump, just the opposite. Trump said, no, we oughta, you need to hear this. We need to protect Monsanto. We need to protect Bayer. Now listen, W H O had come out in, 10 years ago now, came out and said, this is bad stuff that’s killing people all over the world in third world countries because we were telling the world, hey, without Roundup, without glyphosate, we’re gonna have a food, food shortage. W H O came out and said, that’s a lie.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, and, and, but our EPA approved it.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Rick Outzen:                          And that’s what’s used in the cases against, against your firm, against all the firms that are representing the victims of this. That’s what’s used against them. The other thing that we, we found, and I started looking at this story for a while ago, you got the state of Mississippi, they actually recommend Roundup.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Rick Outzen:                          To kill all the weeds as, before you prepare for the crops.

Mike Papantonio:             There’s a reason for it. When I, I took depositions in this case.

Rick Outzen:                          Okay.

Mike Papantonio:             I took five major depositions before, even before the, the first one went to trial. And what we saw was that the, they’re masters of putting their people in important political positions. Matter of fact, they were so good at it that they had, they had three people that were basically running the EPA. They had people in the White House that had come up through the ranks and now were advising Trump about this and that dealing with the product. They were masters of doing that all the way down to the state level. So it doesn’t surprise me. It wasn’t just Mississippi that did that, by the way, there’s about, there’s about 14 states that jumped on the Monsanto bandwagon and said, hey, this is a great idea. That all the information showed that this company knew, knew 50 years before they were selling it, that it was killing rats with and they understood the science. It was non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             They phonied it up, they covered it up. And here’s where it really gets ugly. The EPA knew it and they bought into it anyway.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, and they have, I mean, they have settled. There’s been a, you know, a couple of, you know, what a, let’s see what $11.6 billion settlement.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah.

Rick Outzen:                          But they didn’t decide about the future cases. And that’s what’s biting ’em in the butt. Continue it.

Mike Papantonio:             The future cases are gonna be a disaster because it’s a, it’s a slow process.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s a latent cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. You may be exposed year one and may not have any symptoms for five or six years beyond that.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             So that’s what they, they need to be worried about it. They shouldn’t put the product on. The people who did it should be prosecuted.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             They should be perp walked. And unfortunately, we don’t do that to people that are dressed up in suits.

President Biden signed a historic gun bill into law with many wondering if legislation will actually help curb gun violence. It’s a start, isn’t it?

Rick Outzen:                          It’s something better than nothing. It’s kinda, it’s kinda how this, that goes, you know.

Mike Papantonio:             Give us a rundown on this.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, I mean the, the only thing that nationally has an impact is they’re, they are gonna do background checks on children, you know, kids under 21.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Rick Outzen:                          And that, that is something new. But everything else is a hundred, $750 million to go to the states, which mostly controlled by Republican governors.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Rick Outzen:                          They can use for mental health. They can use it for red flag laws. They can use it, you know, to put.

Mike Papantonio:             The discretion’s crazy, isn’t it?

Rick Outzen:                          Right, right. And it’s back to the Republican governors to be able to make those decisions.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Let me talk about red. The, the red, the idea of this red flag law, that, that’s important.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Because with the red flag law, a, an agency has the right to go into your home and confiscate your gun if you have reason, if you’ve given them reason to do it. Like wife beaters or somebody that’s gone.

Rick Outzen:                          Domestic violence is part of it.

Mike Papantonio:             Domestic violence, or they’ve shown they’ve been on the internet and they’ve said things on the internet that should scare the bejesus out of all of us. The red, the red flag law is important. This idea of being, of saying to a 20 to somebody who’s under 21, we’re not gonna just let you walk in here and walk out with an AR 15. We’re gonna look at this for 10 days and we’re gonna find out, is there anything you’ve done on the internet? Is there anything that you’ve done that should cause us concern that looks like mental health, or it looks like criminal activity? I think, look, it is a start. And it’s tough in, it’s tough in the, the, the gun trafficking law.

Rick Outzen:                          Right. That was the other point they brought up in that you can’t go out and buy a gun for someone else, which we’ve seen happen in some of these cases. The other thing it does, it does close that boyfriend loophole, where in these domestic violence situations, you had to be married or part of the family for that to, to take place. Now it sort of closes that loophole, which is, it is a positive. And, you know, to get 15 Senator, Republican senators and 14 congressmen to step in favor is, you know

Mike Papantonio:             I, I, you know.

Rick Outzen:                          It’s a good move.

Mike Papantonio:             As Biden says, there, you know, there’s more has to be done.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             But it’s a start. It’s a good start. You know, the part of this story that’s so interesting is this, the gun trafficking. You know what goes on in Chicago, LA and New York, the traffickers just take droves and droves of guns and they empty them. This weekend, what 51 people shot in Chicago.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Every weekend you see that. Well, what’s happening? They know that this, it’s, it’s gang, it’s gang on gang.

Rick Outzen:                          Mm-hmm.

Mike Papantonio:             In Chicago. Nobody seems to care that 35, 40 people get shot every week in Chicago. Same thing goes out in places like LA and New York. And, and there’s nothing being done about it because if you think about it, the numbers of guns moving into those key areas are it’s, they’re being trafficked, knowing that it’s gonna be used for gun violence gang on gang.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             So nobody, you know, what the heck. Everybody says, well, that’s not our, that’s not our problem. We don’t, we don’t live in that part of the city. We live in the gated communities.

Inflation’s outta control, but a new report says that price gouging is even worse. God, if this doesn’t just infuriate you, I don’t know what would. Go ahead and jump in on this story.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, you know, we’ve heard, we’ve been told that business are victims of the economy. The pandemics hurt ’em. The supply chain has caused shortages. They’ve, government spending is driving inflation up. Ukraine, the war in Ukraine is driving it.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Rick Outzen:                          And what we’re finding is even though they have selling fewer cars, less gas, their profits are hitting record numbers.

Mike Papantonio:             Incredible.

Rick Outzen:                          And, and they’re buying back their stock. They’re giving out huge dividends.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, okay. So here their, their narrative is, I mean, Lord have mercy, the narratives all over the place that this is being caused by Russia. That gee, this isn’t our fault. And you know what, we’re doing everything we can to fight it. Well, Guardian, the Guardian took a real, they put some forensic people in there to see really what’s going on and it’s anything but that. The, the mar the profit margin has been raised 50%.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Since all, since they started this narrative. And as you, as you say, what that’s about is with that profit margin, they’re able to buy back stock. And that increases the value of the company. And not only that, they’re able to pay dividends to shareholders and dividends and, and shareholders keep.

Rick Outzen:                          And when the stock goes up, the corporate, the CEOs, their packages get better.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Rick Outzen:                          Because they get more stock. They can sell off their stock when they leave. Their parachutes get much, much healthier.

Mike Papantonio:             Chevron, 240%.

Rick Outzen:                          Right, I see that.

Mike Papantonio:             Spike in profits, 240%. As a matter of fact, it’s the best, they had the best two quarters that they’ve had in the history of the company.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Nike, you know, the, the public social responsibility company, 51% increase, and it’s still continuing to climb. Steel Dynamics, this is a company that touches almost everything that’s made with steel.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Their profit margin jumped 809%, 809% is their profit increase since all this started.

Rick Outzen:                          Dr. Pepper, 83%. You know, you’re looking at Hershey’s, your Reese cups.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Rick Outzen:                          They have gone up 62%. They did a $200 million stock buyback.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Rick Outzen:                          At Hershey’s.

Mike Papantonio:             You know, here’s the point. These are companies that have massive capital.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             They can operate in, they can operate in low profit times. If they, if they were asked to do it, if they’re forced to do it, if Biden would take some action and punish a few of them, and they got the picture, it’s not like they’re gonna go out of business or even have any difficulty during this downtime. They have, they have this massive amount of money that’s put into their company that’s available to them anytime. But rather than doing that, what’s, what’s socially responsible, they say, well, we’re just gonna, we’re just gonna rape and pillage right now because we can.

Rick Outzen:                          Right. And, and, and you know, anybody who challenges ’em you, we’re called business bashers. If you try to question it. Bernie Sanders has caught on to this. Elizabeth Warren has caught onto it some. But they’re voices in the wilderness. It’s not, there’s not a lot of momentum out there.

Mike Papantonio:             You know, so what ends up happening is what they’re trying to do and this is really scary is to create a new norm. In other words, once you get used to paying that higher.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             That higher thing for a box of cereal, you’re used to it. And so you’re gonna do it anyway. And when, when you have, when you have competition that’s not there because one company owns all the cereal.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s not as if a competitor’s gonna come in and say, well, we’re not selling our cereal for as much money. So buy our cereal. There’s not an alternative.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             The alternatives are so limited. And these companies are just are using this opportunity to rape and pillage. And unfortunately there’s nothing’s coming outta the White House. The white House can do something about this.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             When Chevron said, we’re making a 240% profit because of the suffering that people are going through with, with in gas lines, he, he oughta understand that, that this seals the fate of the Democrats in the midterm, if he doesn’t get this under control.

Rick Outzen:                          Right. This is, it’s kitchen table politics.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Rick Outzen:                          Where we’ve gotta go.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

You know, before you take off, give me a, just a quick on Clarence Thomas. As I look at, as I look at not just the, the abortion issue, as I look at everything coming out of the Supreme Court right now, you go, what’s up with this guy? Go ahead.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, he set the stage. He wants us to look at, he wants the Supreme Court to look at, you know, same sex marriages. Look at the right to contraception. Now, Roe versus Wade, we know almost 60% of the American public believes that that was a bad decision, to overturn that.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Rick Outzen:                          But we know that, that over 70% believe in the right of same-sex marriage, over 90% believe in the right to contraception, that it should be made available universally.

Mike Papantonio:             Are, are they reading this into Clarence Thomas or has he made statements?

Rick Outzen:                          No, he actually, he cited the cases he wanted to go back and see, and these are the cases.

Mike Papantonio:             And what would they be, Rick, specifically? What, what types of, I mean, obviously big social issues.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, it was Griswold and Connecticut, which was about government cannot interfere with the people’s right to procure contraceptives.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Rick Outzen:                          That’s, that’s the oldest one. That’s 1965. 2003 Lawrence versus Texas, where they effectively, you know, that they overturned a Texas law that said that people of the same sex couldn’t marry.

Mike Papantonio:             Correct.

Rick Outzen:                          So he’s, these are the cases he cited.

Mike Papantonio:             And he’s saying, I wanna go back and look at these.

Rick Outzen:                          I wanna go back and look at those.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay.

Rick Outzen:                          You know, that’s why they have a lower approval rating than Biden.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah

Rick Outzen:                          The Supreme Court does.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah. Thanks for joining me. Okay.

Rick Outzen:                          Good to be here.

Mike Papantonio:            Thousands of people may have been poisoned over the span of several decades from contaminated water at a military base. Joining me to talk about this is attorney Sara Papantonio. This is a huge case. Might be the biggest case in the country right now that, why, why don’t you lay it out for us a little bit? Okay.

Sara Papantonio:              Well, it absolutely is huge. And, and it hasn’t been brought to light really until the last, let’s say 10 years. So what happens is there’s a camp in North Carolina called Camp Lejeune. It’s primarily a Marine base.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Sara Papantonio:              From the fifties to the eighties, the base’s water supply and everyone who’s drinking the water, was contaminated with very, very toxic chemicals, things that we call benzene, TCEs, PCEs. That went on for 30 years. For, so for 30 years, Marines, veterans and their families were ingesting these toxic chemicals without knowing about it.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Sara Papantonio:              So just today, 20 years, you know, 50 years later we’re really learning just how bad and just what kind of an effect these toxic chemicals are having on those veterans and those families that were stationed there.

Mike Papantonio:             What, what’s interesting about this, Sara, is every one of the chemicals you just mentioned if you go buy it in, however you go about getting it, it has a skull and crossbones on it. This is what people were drinking. Entire families were coming down with illnesses. Now, first of all, there’s 9 million service, 9 million service individuals that were exposed to this, right?

Sara Papantonio:              Right. We’re, we’re talking about the span of 30 years that these people had no idea what they were ingesting. And, and when you’re talking about a military base, people are coming and going, so up to 9 million people have been exposed to these dangerous toxins.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Vinyl chloride, as you pointed out, benzene, tetrachloroethylene, which is, I mean, all of these things are, this is the type of stuff that they use to kill rats basically. And this is what these folks were drinking. It was detected in 1982. Is that right?

Sara Papantonio:              That’s correct.

Mike Papantonio:             And what did they do in 1982? Did it, did anything activity wise take place after that?

Sara Papantonio:              So they became aware of the issue in 1982, and they really didn’t do much about it until the late 1980s. And that’s when we had a group of scientists come in and actually measured the levels and measure the, the rate or quantity of exposure.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Sara Papantonio:              That these people had. And, and I, I hate to say this, but really when you talk about these chemicals and you talk about the, the rate at which they were exposed, it is shocking.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, I see one, for example, TCE, which you ever, which you, what you would agree is actually one of the worst that there was the, the, the accepted threshold. In other words, the, the, the number that the EPA gives, which to me is meaningless, because they’re a bunch of dopes, but even they say you should not have more than five parts per billion in that water. TCE was 1,400 parts per billion that, that families were drinking. They’re bathing in it. They’re swimming in it. They’re watering their gar, their garden with it. And so entire families have come down with these, these terrible diseases. Right?

Sara Papantonio:              Right. And when we talk about the diseases, it’s, it’s everything in between, you know, a few and far between. So we’ve got all kinds of cancers. We have all kinds of birth defects, Parkinson’s disease, miscarriages. I mean, just terrible, terrible injuries.

Mike Papantonio:             Sara, this was, this has been characterized and I wanted, I mean, I know you’ve been working on this case and it’s been characterized in, in two or three articles I’ve read as the worst chemical contamination in, in US history. And as you look at this, do you, you kind of buy into that?

Sara Papantonio:              It absolutely is. I mean, we had a, this problem that existed for 30 years, had effect on up to 9 million people. This is, this is massive.

Mike Papantonio:             What is the VA doing with these folks right now? When they, when they figured out, yes we did we, we we’ve killed you. We’ve given you diseases that are gonna kill your children, your spouse, everybody in the family. We did that to you. What is the VA doing with that now?

Sara Papantonio:              So the VA is offering some compensation for veterans who have developed a, a small list of cancers or small list of injuries. The problem here is that the VA is not protecting the families. You don’t just have the veterans that were exposed. You have the mothers, the daughters, the sons, everyone who lived on the base with them. And as, at this point, they have no ability to recover for those injuries.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm. Okay. So the, so the list is birth defects, bladder cancer, breast cancer, cardiac effects, cervical cancer, esophageal cancer, female infertility, kidney cancer, leukemia, liver cancer, lung cancer, miscarriage, multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. I mean, this is the list that the, the, the government knew as early as 1982, actually, they, they should have known well before that. I think when we get into this, we’re gonna find they knew well before then. But certainly by 1982, they, it was clear that all of these illnesses that were, that, that were popping up from an epidemiology standpoint, I mean, the numbers were staggering. And nevertheless, they let it ride for a long time, didn’t they?

Sara Papantonio:              Right. When you, when we’re talking about TCEs, PCEs, benzenes, you don’t just take remedial action to clean the water. You close those water supplies down forever. Don’t let anyone touch them ever again because these, these toxins are so dangerous.

Mike Papantonio:             Sara, thank you for joining me. Good luck on, on this with, with this case.

That’s all for this week, but all these segments are gonna be available in the coming week right here on this channel. And you can follow us on Twitter @americaslawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer where every week we tell you stories that corporate media won’t tell you because their advertisers don’t let ’em or their political connections just don’t allow for it. We’ll see you next time.

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.