America’s Lawyer E54: The Democratic Party doesn’t want to have a primary for the 2024 election, even as challengers to President Biden gain momentum. A new report has revealed that Senator Dianne Feinstein’s health problems have been covered up by her staffers for YEARS. And Florida governor Ron DeSantis is tanking Florida’s entire economy with his new law cracking down on immigration. 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, Mike Papantonio and this is America’s Lawyer. The Democratic Party doesn’t want to have a primary for the 2024 election even as challengers to President Biden gain momentum, like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. A new report has revealed that Senator Feinstein’s health problems have been covered up by her staff for years. And Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is tanking, tanking bad because of this economy. All that and more it’s coming up. Don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts now.
Multiple Democrats have entered the 2024 presidential race, but the party has made it clear that they’re sticking with Biden and they don’t wanna risk him getting on a debate stage with another candidate. Pretty obviously why. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about what’s happening along with other issues. Farron, this is embarrass, this should be embarrassing to the Democratic party. I mean to say, no, we don’t want, I mean, look, Robert F. Kennedy right now, as soon as he announced he was 30, 31 points up on, not ahead of Biden, but he was closing that gap. He’s 31 on the announcement day. So don’t put him on the stage. Don’t let Biden have to answer any questions. Just let it rock on like a bunch of old, crazy people in charge of the US right now.
Farron Cousins: It really is sad. And, I mean, just because of the fact that we know how things played out for the Democratic party in 2020. Biden was not doing great. South Carolina came along, saved him in that primary, switched the trajectory. Had that not happened or had it happen at a different date, Bernie Sanders likely would’ve had the momentum going into that. Same thing with 2016. And so what they’re trying to do right now is avoid anything that could disrupt Biden.
Mike Papantonio: Right.
Farron Cousins: And that would include putting him on a debate stage. You and I both know Bobby Kennedy personally.
Mike Papantonio: Right. Been a friend a long time.
Farron Cousins: He’s a wonderful debater. Like, he’s super talented at that. And Marianne Williamson, who is also running, has really turned around the undeserved reputation she got in 2020, I will say. They tried to paint her as a kind of a kooky, nutty, but she’s not. She is an exceptionally intelligent individual that also deserves to be heard. If Biden is gonna be your candidate, let him earn it again.
Mike Papantonio: Last time running against Trump, and I would’ve done the same thing with Biden last time. They put him in a cellar, they put him on TV every now and then. They didn’t let him talk all that much because it would’ve scared the hell out of everybody. So right now though, it’s almost like they’re having a witness protection program. No, he doesn’t do interviews, won’t do any kind of press conferences, when he does it is a train wreck disaster. So along comes Bobby Kennedy with numbers like that right off the bat. And you gotta say the one thing he’s gotta overcome, Bobby has to overcome, obviously the issue with the vaxxer issue. But I gotta tell you something. This is a guy that I’ve tried cases with over the years. He’s been a close personal friend. I’ve done television with him. I’ve done radio with him. He and I have been to trial some of the biggest cases in America.
The last one I tried was in West Virginia, a Spelter trial where we hit ’em for $395 million because Bobby and I were able to show that they had put these stacks of toxin, I mean mountains of toxin. This company had put mountains of toxins up around the city. The wind was coming in, people were dying of all kinds of lung diseases. So they really punished him. But the point is, he cares. He’s done something. He doesn’t just, he actually walks the talk. Right now we’ve got a guy who said he wants to, hell, he doesn’t even want to talk. He wants to hang out somewhere and just let this thing go as it, you know, maybe somebody’s gonna pay attention to it. I don’t know.
Farron Cousins: Well, you know, it really at this point seems like it would be a walk in the park for Biden if he didn’t have Democratic challengers. Right? Obviously at that point, he secures the nomination no matter what. And he’s up against Donald Trump, who depending on the week, is 10 points down or 10 points ahead of Biden. I think when it comes down to it, Trump doesn’t really have a chance in a general election.
Mike Papantonio: No, I don’t think he does.
Farron Cousins: Moderate voters, Independents, no way they’re gonna break for him at the end.
Mike Papantonio: Thank goodness he does not.
Farron Cousins: Right. But that’s why it becomes even more important for the Democrats to have a real primary, because if Trump is gonna be the guy on the other side, and he’s also saying he’s not gonna debate.
Mike Papantonio: Right.
Farron Cousins: But if he’s the guy on the other side, then we’re at a point where we can actually choose, possibly in the primary, who the next president will be.
Mike Papantonio: Biden is 82 years old when he raises his hand and is sworn in. Behind him is Kamala Harris who scared, outta scare the bejesus out of anybody if you’ve listened to her word salad speaking. So you’ve got a real candidate. Let me just go back to Bobby. You know, it wasn’t just the trial. Look, this is a guy, Vieques. Do you remember Vieques?
Farron Cousins: That was before my time.
Mike Papantonio: You had the government bombing the Island of Vieques of Puerto Rico with radioactive bombs. People were dying of cancer. There were cancer clusters all over that area. Bobby comes in and actually is put in jail for protesting. There were only about a dozen people with enough guts to show up and protest. He spends his time in jail while his wife is pregnant. That is putting yourself on the line. That’s where you’re actually out there. How about Keystone Pipeline? He shows up, he says, look, I’m on the front line saying this is wrong. He doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks that talk. Dakota Access Pipeline, almost arrested there because he’s in the front of the line saying, this is wrong.
Labor protests where Amazon workers are getting abused, something horrendously, and Bobby shows up and says, this is wrong. Also putting himself in the risk of being arrested. So, take all that and now you have one issue that people get really angry about, by God, he wasn’t right on the vaccine thing. Well, he wasn’t. I got a vaccine. You got vaccines. We believe in the vaccine. But it’s the equivalent of us saying Biden, for example, the issue of racism on Biden was covered up. Do you understand, go back and look at the way he treated Anita Hill when she was working through that horrible story. Go back and look at his voting record on things like criminal justice. And, you know, it’s easy to say he has a race problem, but we overlooked that and we said he’s fine. Why aren’t we able to do the same thing with Bobby and say, look, we don’t agree with you on this deal with vaccines, but we sure understand that you’re in the fight. What’s your take?
Farron Cousins: Right. You know, look, as you said, I completely am on the totally opposite side of Bobby on the vaccine issue.
Mike Papantonio: Right.
Farron Cousins: But again, this is somebody, you know, you and him founded Ring of Fire. Y’all started this together. So we have known him and worked closely with him side by side. We know where he stands on all of these issues. And with the exception of, you know, maybe two or three, it is exactly where the Democratic Party used to stand and should be standing today. So he’s the best environmental champion we’ve got out there.
Mike Papantonio: No question.
Farron Cousins: There is no question about that. He’s been on the front lines of holding corporations accountable, which is something we don’t see from anybody else.
Mike Papantonio: He’s written two books about it.
Farron Cousins: Exactly.
Mike Papantonio: Crimes Against Nature, where he goes after corporate America, when we let them pollute the waters, we let ’em do whatever the hell they want to do. As taxpayers, we have to clean it up. Nobody ever goes to prison. Bobby’s saying, by God, it’s time we start putting some of them in prison. That’s not a bad position to take.
Farron Cousins: Well, exactly. And look, the whole point here is it doesn’t matter who you’re supporting right now, you know, who anybody wants to endorse. Because look, I may change my mind as we go on. Right now I’m leaning with Biden at the moment, but I want to see the debate. I want to have the conversations. I need to get to know these other people as presidential candidates, not the former radio host. I need to see what it’s like to make an informed decision. And if the DNC doesn’t want to do that, you are taking away my right to make an informed decision.
Mike Papantonio: That’s correct. But this guy goes back as a progressive a long way.
Farron Cousins: Oh yeah.
Mike Papantonio: Air America, it was me, Al Franken, Rachel Maddow, Janeane Garofalo, Sam Seder, Cenk Uygur and Bobby Kennedy. We were there on Air America, the most progressive entity of its time right there in New York. Out of that, Bobby came in as a co-host and we built this very thing you’re looking at, Ring of Fire. This guy, I’m a hundred percent behind him. I’m not gonna be kind to Biden. I’ll just tell you straight up, I’m not gonna be kind to Biden. He’s reached his expiration date and it’s time to get some new people in there.
The workers that helped save the Gulf Coast after the Deepwater Horizon disaster are now developing illnesses that they say as a direct result of the work they’ve performed. The company’s responsible, well, they don’t want to help ’em, even though these workers did their dirty work to clean up their ugly, ugly disaster. BP, it’s fine with them just to let these folks die without any kind of compensation. It’s an ugly story, isn’t it, Farron?
Farron Cousins: It is. And this is one obviously for both of us for so many reasons, it hits close to home. I mean, literally hit close to our homes here where we’re at. And of course, you and your firm, you handled the cases against BP and got this done. And now all these years later, now we have these cleanup workers who were trucked in every morning, every day on my way into the office here, I would pass the truckloads of cleanup workers. These were low income people. A lot of them were Vietnamese fishermen who were out of work. They were out there with their hands touching this stuff, moving it, dealing with the Corexit that was poured by the barrel full into the Gulf of Mexico. Absolutely getting poisoned the entire time. And they knew nothing of it. BP was running their slick PR campaigns at the time as these people were inhaling these chemicals, letting it seep into their skin, not knowing how bad it would be. You know, what are we, 13 years later now.
Mike Papantonio: Right.
Farron Cousins: And now they’ve got these sicknesses, which they’re all calling BP sickness, is what they’re collectively calling it.
Mike Papantonio: Well, as you know, we handled the aspect of this case against BP. We were the lead lawyers in the BP case in general, which was to try to get this ecosystem cleaned up a little bit, to try to get business owners money that they’d lost as a result of this, and we learned a lot. We learned that this company BP knew about the risk of aplastic anemia relating to the chemicals that they were using just to clean this up. I’m wanna give a shout out to the lawyer. I don’t know him. His name is David Durkee. I’m not endorsing him. I don’t know. He’s with the Downs Law Group. He’s handling these cases and he’s saying he sees the same pattern. He sees respiratory issues, he sees bowel issues, he sees neurological issues. And the truth is they, BP has taken a scorched earth position. We’re gonna fight it out. No, you’re not gonna, we’re not gonna settle with anybody. Out of all the thousands of cases, they’ve settled one case and, you know, and they come out, as you say, with the ad campaign, we’re your neighbors. You know, touchy, feely, let’s have a puppy run across the screen, you know, let’s little babies in the background. It’s disgusting. And people buy into it, man.
Farron Cousins: They really do. And, you know, we understand and I wish I could tell people, like really explain it to you, the stench that we lived with. You’d walk outside our office here, you’d walk outside your home because we both live very close to the water here, the smell would just punch you in the face every time you open your doors. When you’re driving in your car, that smell, that chemical smell was out there. My wife was pregnant while this was happening. My daughter was born with very severe asthma, very severe eczema and allergies of all kind. Something that my other children do not have. Now, I don’t know if it’s related, but it’s still.
Mike Papantonio: Well, there’s some, there’s some relations because you’ve got people dying of all kinds of problems here. And so, you know, the point is, what they’re trying to do is wear these claimants down. They’re deposing them for two days. They’re trying to go through all their medical history and say this went wrong. That went wrong. And it’s just what they do. You know, these silk stocking corporate thug lawyers that are, they’ll do anything for the right amount of money. It doesn’t matter. The side doesn’t matter. The equity doesn’t matter. The fairness doesn’t matter. Just pay me enough money and I’ll do anything. These big corporate defense firms. And that’s so they’ve, they’ve sicced these lawyers on ’em and they’re trying to wait till a lot of them die. Because you understand when they die, the case is worth less. Right.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. That’s always the strategy here. Like, if we waited out long enough.
Mike Papantonio: They’ll die.
Farron Cousins: We know that this, you know, what they’re calling again, BP illness, is gonna take ’em out.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. They actually have a name for, it’s called the ghoul defense. Let’s do this so long that we, that everybody dies and it lessens the amount of money we have to pay.
Multiple Democratic politicians managed to dump their stocks in the First Republic Bank right before the bank collapsed. This timing is incredibly suspicious and by God it needs to be investigated. I mean, come on. Okay. You’ve got the bank failing. You have Congress that is already looking into the whole Silicon Valley problem and the banking industry before this happens. Right? Some of the people involved that were dumping their stock, were involved in those investigations. And now March 15th, was it March 15th, important day, they all start dumping their stock. Come on.
Farron Cousins: It’s really sad too, especially because, well this is just kind of proof how we call the balls and strikes even when it’s against people that we really like. And Ro Khanna is somebody who I really like, but he is one of these five individuals along with, it’s Lois Frankel, Ro Khanna, John Curtis, who’s the only Republican in here, Earl Blumenauer, Dan Goldman and those are the ones that we know of.
Mike Papantonio: Let’s put, we’ll put ’em up on screen for the viewers to see.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. And it is sad, but Khanna does maintain, you know, look, I don’t trade the stocks. My wife has it all. Yeah, but you’re doing the trades or somebody for you is doing the trades while everybody else is doing the trades in a bank you know is about to fail. There’s no way. I mean, you cannot convince me these people did not have this insider information.
Mike Papantonio: No. And it’s hard for both of us because we both go, we support Ro Khanna all the time.
Farron Cousins: Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: But our job is not to be cheerleader for Democrats or Ro Khanna or the Republicans or anybody. We gotta call it like it is. He was involved. I wish he hadn’t been. I’m not convinced, I’m not convinced of the story that I’m hearing that a lot of times, here the reasons are, well we didn’t know, we weren’t responsible. It was a blind trust. Someone else made that decision for us. Nonsense. Nonsense. Some of these people are involved in the very committees that said Silicon Valley banking is in trouble. We gotta get ahead of this. And so they start selling their stock. And of course Nancy Pelosi again, she’s the one that has prevented, absolutely prevented from any type of reform in that area that says, you may not do it. Don’t give me any excuses, you may not do it. Period.
Farron Cousins: You know what’s interesting is right now there is bipartisan legislation working its way through the House to actually ban stock trading for members of Congress and any of their family members. Do you know who the two co-sponsors of that together are? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Matt Gaetz.
Mike Papantonio: No kidding.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. I mean, the weirdest pairing you could imagine.
Mike Papantonio: Wow. Okay.
Farron Cousins: But there is still room occasionally to actually work across the aisle even with people, I mean, those two have been at each other, you know, like cats and dogs.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah.
Farron Cousins: But even they can find common ground to be like, listen, we’re working among people that are skirting the law here. Let’s fix it.
Mike Papantonio: That’s downright weird, isn’t it?
Farron Cousins: It is.
Mike Papantonio: Okay.
Senator Feinstein’s health crisis has made her really unable to perform her job. A new report says that her staffers have been way, way aware of this for a long time and they’re having to use tricks to hide how serious the problem is. And they’ve been doing that for years. Wow. This, the list is almost, it goes on for, reports of she doesn’t know where she is. She doesn’t know what, she doesn’t even know she’s at work. Give me the story about, yeah, the last story came out today, I think.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. This is so horrible because she was talking to a reporter and the reporter mentioned all the time that she has missed and Feinstein snaps back. She says, what are you talking about? I haven’t missed any time. I’ve been here, I’ve been voting. And no, she hadn’t. At that point when she talked to the reporter, she had not voted on a piece of legislation since early February or late January. She didn’t know that she was gone from Congress for three months. At that point, I mean, at that moment the Democrats should have come out and said, Dianne, you’re done. It’s time to go home now.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. So viewers, what should we do? She’s a Democrat. Oh my God, she’s a Democrat. Should we stand up here and say she’s a Democrat so this is all right? Really? Is that what we’re supposed, is that what you want from us? Or should we analyze the problem?
Farron Cousins: When we first, well not just us, but everybody started talking about Feinstein back in February when she had to leave, when she had shingles, Nancy Pelosi came out and said that all these attacks on Feinstein are sexist. It’s sexism.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Yeah.
Farron Cousins: It’s misogyny at play.
Mike Papantonio: Right. Right.
Farron Cousins: And now we’re finding out that not only has her staff, Feinstein’s staff for years, been making it to where she’s never seen by herself. They always, you know, almost a Weekend at Bernie’s type thing happening with her, but now we’re learning that it’s Nancy Pelosi that’s keeping Feinstein in office so that Gavin Newsom doesn’t appoint Barbara Lee to that Senate seat because Pelosi wants Adam Schiff to have it.
Mike Papantonio: What about Katie Porter? I mean, she’s got a great choice. She could appoint some real living, people who are living, they’re not dead. This woman for all practical purposes, is dead. I mean, for her ability to be able to represent, what is it, 40 million people in California?
Farron Cousins: Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: They have no representation and they haven’t for a long time. The judiciary can’t move because she can’t vote on it. And you can’t simply say, well let’s replace her with somebody else. It doesn’t work like that. She is on the judiciary committee. She has to vote. There’s no way to solve the problem. And, you know, the truth is, Schiff would be a terrible, terrible candidate, especially up because he’s purely a Wall Street apologist. You know, the only thing that people remember about Schiff is he, you know, beat Trump down on the Russia gate. Now Schiff is looking like an idiot. So you’ve got Barbara Lee, you’ve got Katie Porter. Great, great potential. Just have her get outta the way and appoint ’em. Right?
Farron Cousins: Exactly. And the longer she stays in there, the worse things are for the Democrats. The worse this makes all elderly members of Congress look, to be honest with you. But I think.
Mike Papantonio: How old is she now?
Farron Cousins: She’s 89.
Mike Papantonio: 89, right.
Farron Cousins: She’s 89. And what we’re seeing right now, in my opinion, is nothing short of elderly abuse.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Good point.
Farron Cousins: That’s what’s happening because she doesn’t realize it either. The staff is abusing her. Nancy Pelosi, if these reports are true, is abusing her and this is sick and it needs to be stopped.
Mike Papantonio: AOC and Ro Khanna say, what the hell? Step down Feinstein and hush Pelosi. We’ve got a government we have to run. We have to make appointments. We have a window where we can make good solid appointments. She can’t even vote. She doesn’t even know who she’s voting for. Half the time she doesn’t even know, as you point out, that she’s actually voted.
Farron Cousins: Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: That is scary, scary, scary stuff. But I think it’s a trend in Washington. You have these old folks that don’t wanna give up any power. Most of the committees, the real important committees, those folks are between 70 and 80 years old. But you got people with talent, young people with talent sitting out there saying, what about me? Let me get involved. Let me help run government. Which is the logical thing to do.
Farron Cousins: It is.
Mike Papantonio: But I gotta tell you something. These old codgers won’t give up their position and she’s a great example of it. It’s really a pathetic story when you start understanding she is being abused. She needs to go home and relax.
A new study has found that cancer causing chemicals called PFAS have been found in all the brands of contact lenses studied in the United States. These compounds have been linked to a variety of different and often fatal forms of cancer. As you know, I tried the very first PFAS cases ever tried in this country. Tried five of them against DuPont. Then we found out 3M was making as much of this as DuPont. We’re gonna start, our firm’s starting one of the biggest case, one of the biggest trials in America is gonna be starting up in South Carolina, June. And I’ll tell you what the documents are unbelievable.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. I actually, last week on America’s Lawyer talked to attorney Wes Bowden about that particular case and it is disgusting what’s happening up there. And this is just another story because you and I have sat here and we’ve talked about PFAS chemicals for so long in so many different instances. We talked about how it’s in your cereal, it’s in your toilet paper, it’s in your wood products, your paper and now.
Mike Papantonio: Baby diapers.
Farron Cousins: Diapers. Now, it’s in your contact lenses. And the eyes, obviously, in case anybody’s not aware of this, are one of the most vulnerable parts of your body. It is a direct connection to the inside of you as an organism. And we’re putting these PFAS chemicals into our eyes and we didn’t know it. And God only knows how many decades we’ve been doing it.
Mike Papantonio: Let put this in perspective. Okay. If you took one drop and put that drop in an Olympic size pool, that first of all, that one drop under the standards that should be followed is too much. That one drop in Olympic size pool. Now here’s what they’re finding. 18,000 parts per million, 18,000 parts per million are being found in these contact lenses. Even the government says in the most favorable situation that 2000 parts per trillion is the acceptable level. You get the deal?
Farron Cousins: Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: 18,000 per million and then 2000 per trillion. And so we’re seeing this and, you know, again, science won’t react. Ah, it’s not a problem. Everybody’s overreacting. No, nobody’s overreacting. You’re putting this in your eyeballs every day, man.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. We’re gonna deal with an entire, you know, up and coming generation that’s been more exposed to this than any other generation and we’re gonna see illnesses, cancers, all sorts of things in that younger generation more so I think than we have seen in any of the others.
Mike Papantonio: Oh, I don’t think there’s any question.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a new immigration law that’s left truckers boycotting the state, construction sites have been abandoned and fruits and vegetables, well, they’re rotting in the field. Florida’s economy is about to be completely destroyed and these folks sit by like buffoons saying, hey, we’ve really accomplished something here. No. Look, there’s again, why do we do these stories about Florida? Because DeSantis wants to be president of the United States. Okay. So all you gotta do is look and see what’s he doing down in Florida to understand how dangerous he could be as a governor of the state. Pick it up.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. This move by DeSantis to crack down on immigration in Florida is about the dumbest thing you could do. But he’s only doing it because he wants to run for president. That is 100% what this is about. He’s trying to run for president and he wants to show the country that I’m not the open borders Biden that you’ve got now. I’m better. Okay. Well, you just basically cut off a workforce that is what, 6% of Florida’s workforce.
Mike Papantonio: 800,000.
Farron Cousins: 800,000 people that you’re now saying you can’t work in Florida. You can’t work in the hotel industry, which is where they like to go. You can’t work in landscaping, which is where they’re utilized. Not construction, all of it.
Mike Papantonio: Chicken processing.
Farron Cousins: We’re dependent on them.
Mike Papantonio: Poultry processing. Can’t pick strawberries. These are people, look, I gotta tell you something. You were here two hurricanes. Every hurricane, if we didn’t have immigrant workers coming in, fixing and rebuilding, we would be in a a disaster.
Farron Cousins: We still wouldn’t be rebuilt.
Mike Papantonio: We still wouldn’t have roofs on our houses. Right. So, I think it’s sinking in to people that are paying attention to this. You’re gonna be killing the economy. You know what the price of orange juice is gonna be by the time this is over, or how expensive it’s gonna be to build a house or how expensive it is just to rent a hotel room? Because these people are, you know, they’re hard workers, man. They come in here, they want a better life. Now there’s another side to it. The US Chamber of Commerce looks at them like just insignificant, necessary entity to get stuff done.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. Livestock.
Mike Papantonio: Livestock. Cut off an arm, sorry you lost your arm working. We’re gonna ship you back to Nicaragua. Sorry, the chemical blinded you, we’re gonna ship you back to Mexico. The US Chamber of Commerce, the way they look at this is really, really ugly. All these people, all these folks are expendable. But the truth is, in Florida in particular, these workers have done incredible things to keep our economy alive. And I gotta tell you, look, you know what. This legislation to me is kind of the crown jewel. Okay. First of all, think of these, this legislation, oh, by the way, every one of these things I’m about to talk about. What’s this guy’s name? Alex Andrad Head.
Farron Cousins: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re good friend Andrade.
Mike Papantonio: Alex Andrad Head. Okay. So they come up with no Democrats can vote. You remember that legislation?
Farron Cousins: Yeah. That’s.
Mike Papantonio: How about blogger? If you’re a blogger, you had to register with the governor and the legislature, if you criticize the governor or legislature. Remember that legislation? How about do away with the standards of slander and libel, do away with New York Times v Sullivan. You remember that? How about destroy, and now we’re gonna destroy the citrus industry and construction industry and we’re gonna destroy labor market. But they also came out with a property insurance where it makes it almost impossible for somebody who’s had their home destroyed by a hurricane to actually recover. I mean, the truth is we could go on forever. And every one of these, you got into a spat with this Andrade guy a little while back. Right? You were, you and Andrade, I don’t even know who this guy is. I mean, he’s so insignificant. I’m surprised you even spent time doing it. You know, it was crazy talk, wasn’t it?
Farron Cousins: It was a very weird, weird situation. I got to the point I was just tired of dealing with it. I’ve blocked him on Twitter. But I think the cusp of all of this is just the fact that we are seeing this nutty, like truly nutty and stupid legislation here in Florida that these folks wanna take on the national level. All of these individuals enable this lunatic DeSantis who is about to announce he’s running.
Mike Papantonio: Well, it’s not just DeSantis, now. Nothing happened.
Farron Cousins: No, no, no. That’s what I’m saying. They’re all acting together to tell him, yes, do the crazy things. Be the stupid guy. Cripple our economy. Take 6% of our workforce away overnight because we’re just stupid.
Mike Papantonio: So we started criticizing Andrade. Didn’t he accuse me of wearing a, he said, Pap wears a toupée. No, I’m sorry Mr. Andrade. I don’t. That’s the mentality of these people, though.
Farron Cousins: It’s trash.
Mike Papantonio: Started attacking me and attacking you and because we were critical of him. And rather than saying, hey, look man, I put my big pants on when I signed up to be a politician. It’s just insane. And it’s like, it is like, it’s like insanity has visited Tallahassee and everything’s coming out of this year is the reflection of this guy right here who’s running for president.
Farron Cousins: Yep.
Mike Papantonio: Farron, that’s all for tonight. Thanks. I appreciate you joining me. Okay.
Farron Cousins: Thank you.
Mike Papantonio: The death of a disabled elderly man last summer has raised serious questions about the caregiving to disabled individuals all over the country and a trial that’s expected as a result of this death could have nationwide implications. Joining me to talk about this case and the impacts that it has is Troy Rafferty. First of all, Troy, it’s a case you’re handling, it’s a case that, this case has grabbed national attention. And I think because we’re seeing more and more news reports about elderly abuse, we’re not just talking about nursing home issues, we’re talking about elderly abuse. What’s the difference here?
Troy Rafferty: Well, elderly abuse, and not just elderly abuse, but also abuse of the disabled. The, you know, the developmentally disabled, that’s become rampant. Major sections of our most vulnerable populations we’re finding all over the country systemic abuse and all sorts of different types of abuse.
Mike Papantonio: Well, I think what’s important is when people think of elderly abuse, these are things that come to mind. Physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, financial, financial exploitation. So what we’re seeing now is finally America’s coming to terms with, we’ve got a baby boomer generation that’s moving through. And so we’re seeing these things that are resulting all over the country. We get calls all the time, emotional abuse, for example, threatening, yelling, ignoring, isolating, not bathing, taking elderly who really can’t take care of these kinds of problems. Neglect, withholding food, withholding medication, withholding access to Medicare, medical treatment. So I think what’s important about it is right now, I think we’re at a time finally where people are starting to understand it’s because you got the baby boomers moving through.
Troy Rafferty: Right.
Mike Papantonio: And so that’s a big event.
Troy Rafferty: It’s a huge event. And I think one of the things that people don’t realize is how rampant it is throughout the country. We know, for example, not just the elderly, not just the disabled, but also teens. I mean, we’ve been seeing those, instances of that all over the country. But in this.
Mike Papantonio: What we’re seeing here though, Troy, to me, really concerns me from the standpoint of we’ve had government asleep on it. Anytime you talk about elderly abuse, everybody thinks okay, they think of the nursing home. That’s it. That’s where the analysis stops. Talk about this case right here.
Troy Rafferty: Yeah. This isn’t a nursing home case. So this is a case of a gentleman who was, has been developmentally disabled since age one. He can’t speak, he’s non-verbal and he can’t get in and out of a seatbelt. And this company, this transport company, left him in the bus for eight hours in 101 degree heat until he died, 66 years old. And they were responsible for him. They had the obligation to do it. And they just, you know, so many times in these elderly abuse cases, they just get forgotten. They’re forgotten because they’re like, well, you know, they were old.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Well, this man couldn’t speak.
Troy Rafferty: He couldn’t speak.
Mike Papantonio: He was disabled to the point where he couldn’t take his seatbelt off, couldn’t ask for help. I think the important thing to me though, as I look at this, you have these non-governmental entities. You have private sectors coming in and saying, let us take care of it. The same way they’re taking care of the prison industry, the same way that they’re moving into every aspect of our life. They’re now seeing the timing and the timing is, as I say, you’ve got a generation moving through. They’re, you know, certainly baby boomers, older baby boomers. So now you have this big movement, you have every corporation in the country saying, yeah, we want to help. This transport company, we want to help. The people who took care of him day to day, we want to help. Government has gotten to the point to where there’s no oversight anymore because they say, well, somebody’s taking care of it. Corporations are taking care of it.
Troy Rafferty: Right. Right. And interestingly in this case, their family, this was, you know, this family was caring for him in terms of going to see him, visit him regularly. Take him and get him his favorite home cooked foods and everything like that. And, you know, they just, all of these instances of the abuse that you just went through, the emotional, the psychological, all of them, they are rampant. And this case, for example, is just an example of one. Like you said, it’s got national implications.
Mike Papantonio: I think lawyers are slow to respond to how serious this is. Okay. We’re seeing it. We’ve got people coming in with financial, what I call financial exploitation. They’re losing their property, they’re losing their belongings over intimidation, over fraud. There’s all kinds of signs there. You know, when they come into the office and you say, well, what is it you didn’t see? You know, go through the signs. They lose weight. They’re not, there’s no reason they’re losing weight. Unexplained bruises and cuts and burns. You’ll, there’s a condition that happens and it’s really unique to the elderly. When they’re abused, they do, it’s called the rocking motion. They’ll sit back in their chair and just rock back and forth and what they’re showing you is something is really wrong. There’s sign after sign. Lawyers need to understand that these are serious cases. This case, when a jury hears about this, I know there’s limitations on the damages on how this is gonna be tried because we’re in Florida for god’s sakes. But the point is, this is the kind of case that lawyers should be watching for all over the country.
Troy Rafferty: Absolutely. These are the most atrocious cases.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Troy Rafferty, thank you for joining me. Okay.
Troy Rafferty: Thanks, Mike. Always a pleasure.
Mike Papantonio: That’s all for this week, but all of these segments are gonna be available throughout the next week. And make sure you follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer, where we tell you the stories that corporate media won’t tell you because their advertisers don’t let ’em, or their political connections won’t allow for it. We’ll see you next time.