tv Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield CNN November 12, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PST
joining us at this hour. >> "legal view" with ashleigh banfield starts right now. hello, everyone, i'm ashleigh banfield. welcome to "legal view." i want to begin this hour with some disturbing new video that's just been released that shows the minutes that lead up to a man's death. a man who's in police custody. but before we walk you through the video, there's a few things you should know. this is 46-year-old linwood lambert, the way his family would prefer he's remembered. three police officers tased him multiple times and he died not long afterwards. the incident happened on may 13th, 2013. it happened in south boston, virginia. and more than two years later,
the cause of his death is still in dispute. the officers involved have not been charged with any crimes. but the family has filed a $25 million wrongful death civil lawsuit. they've also filed a federal deprivation of civil rights lawsuit. in about an hour, there's going to be a hearing in this case. i want to take you to the video now because it speaks volume. deborah feyerick takes us through the early morning hours of that day. the video is tough to watch. it is graphic and it is without question not for children. >> reporter: 46-year-old lambert was allegedly acting strange when south boston, virginia, police decided to get him checked out at a local emergency room. >> we're not locking you up. what we're doing here is, we're going to take you to the emergency room. we're gonna get you looked at,
make sure you're good to go. >> reporter: during the ride, police video shows lambert becomes increasingly agitated. as the squad car pulls into the e.r. >> don't kick your window. don't kick your window. quit kicking the window. quit kicking the window. calm down. calm down. >> reporter: lambert, his hands catched behind his back, kicks out the window and sprints towards the emergency room, ramming the sliding doors. three officers draw their tasers and appear to make contact. lambert falls forward. >> get on your belly. >> reporter: instead of having him evaluated by doctors, the police put him back in the squad car. and when he fails to sit up, he's allegedly tased again in the neck. by the time officers arrive at the detention center several minutes away, lambert is unresponsive. it's unclear how many times he was tased. police called paramedics who began cpr. as they get to the hospital, according to court records, ham
better is in, quote, full cardiac respiratory arrest, intubated. they're unable to resuscitate him and he's pronounced dead. an autopsy report suggests three punctures on the right and left franks. the cause of death is listed as acute cocaine intoxication. the manner of death is listed as accident. south boston police say the use of tasers is appropriate when someone becomes violent, threatens property or puts others at risk. federal guidelines say police must be trained to understand that repeated use of tasers may increase risk of death or serious injury and should be avoided. the family has filed a $25 million lawsuit accusing police of using excessive, unreasonable and deadly force, saying they violated lambert's civil rights. the statement from lawyers representing the officers says the police did nothing wrong in their interaction with the late
mr. lambert and their actions did not cause his death. deborah feyerick, cnn, new york. the attorneys for the south boston police department went on to say that, quote, we are vigorously defending the case. our position is affirmed by the reports of two independent well-qualified experts in the field. we tried to reach south boston police as well as virginia state police who picked up the investigation of lambert's death, but we have not yet heard back. i'm joined now by cnn legal analyst and defense attorney danny savellas. danny gilligan, former special police sergeant and police officer. and larry borensi, form reensic scientist. albeit we are not showing the entire length the video, is there anything in there that
stands out to you when it companies to protocol and the reports that we did not do anything wrong? >> first off, since we're not looking at the entirety of the video, what you don't see there is an individual that continues to show violent behavior. even to the point where it's three officers trying to shackle his legs. so i have to commend the officers on one thing. they went to less than lethal force. this guy was cuffed. even though he was violent. you didn't see him draw the weapons. that was the right decision. however, once it got to a point where they saw that this less than lethal process was not working with the that'sing, i think they should have moved on to a different type of less than lethal force. >> like what? >> pepper spray for instance. calling in -- if they have, it's a small town, so other officers to come in. holding him until they bring a gurney out. all this shows you two things. one, when that individual took cocaine, he set these gears in motion for himself.
but when the department sends officers out without correct policy saying, five times is the limit. once you tase somebody five times. >> this may have been anywhere between 15 and 20 times. want to be real clear what the reports do show. those tasers were deployed. they may or may not have made contact. some were deployed at the same time. again, don't know if he was multiply tased at the same time. this is certainly a remarkable series of events. danny, if i could bring you into this. some of those who watch the process have said the officers did everything right once he kicked out the window and charged at the hospital. they needed to make sure that everybody was safe inside the hospital. but when he's in the back of the vehicle and he's been tased several times already and he's being told to sit up but he's not responding to that request to sit up, is there anything that speaks to the
appropriateness of tasing a man who has already been tased who is simply not sitting up? can he even be cognizant of what he's being asked to do? >> the problem is the lack of enough guidelines. every situation is different that law enforcement officers confront. even if you have guide lines for how to use less than lethal force, and that's what we're talking about here, they won't apply to every single situation. so the things these police officers are going to have to contend with is at some point the command decision was made to take this man to the emergency room. then once they are at the emergency room, he kicks out the window, they tase him, and then they change their mind. arguably, i guarantee the plaintiff's counsel is going to make this argument. you made the decision he needed immediate medical attention. then you tase him. then you decide, it's more important we arrest him and less important he gets that medical attention. that is going to be a real problem legally for them to be able to justify not only the use
of force but the decision not to take him to an emergency room. that's not a helicopter ride away, not 50 blocks away but 8 inches away -- >> through the glass. >> through pane glass. >> i want to ask you two questions. number one, the m.e. in this case, medical examiner, that's the kind of work you're very familiar with, was not given this video, nor the reports of the numbers of times this person was tased or how many times the contact was made. is that -- is there any reason that's okay? that an m.e. doesn't get all of the facts in trying to determine cause of death? >> no, it's not. the m.e. form aspin young about cause of death from other issues including police reports and videos like this. clearly, tasers are dangerous weapons. they're not always less than lethal especially when they kill. tasers can cause fibrillations
of the heart. the ventricles, the most powerful part of the heart, can fib ra late. it can lead to sudden death. >> but he knew this victim was tased, the m.e., just didn't know the extent and the patterns of the datasing. the m.e. clearly saw tase marks. i think that would make a difference. >> i'm not talking from police procedure, but the impact on the heart could be very, very important, especially when there's a question of cocaine in the body, which is a stimulant, which we know speeds up the rate of the heart, raises blood pressure, and we don't know the underlying health problems this fellow may have had. >> to that point, being you are a doctor, cab yn you weigh in o the cognition capacity of this person in the cruiser, once he's been put back in the cruiser and he looks despondent. he'd been tased. can he follow directions?
there's many studies that say congress anythi our cognition goes down once we've been tased. >> it seems to me, because he's not responsive, it may not be deliberate, it may be physiological and he just cannot respond. >> i want you both to weigh in quickly. the likelihood they could prevail in those two areas, wrongful death and then also the civil rights deprivation. >> federal courts have even where a suspect is restrained, in handcuffs, they have largely absolved police officers of liability where the suspect not only fights back but even where that suspect tries to flee. and, remember, tasers are viewed a little differently than deadly force even though death can potentially result as we've seen. but there are less than lethal alternatives. courts have traditionally uphold it but this is a unique case.
these officers have to contend with a lot of very bad facts. >> jonathan, do you expect to see any criminal charges potentially against these officers? >> i'm not sure in this day and age in the court system. it could go either way. but i think the department -- these departments need to start being held accountable. just as the doctor was saying, it's unpredictable. what is predictable is good policy. if somebody's done drugs or somebody's acting in a way that they look like they may be sick in some way, restrain then, put them on a gurney and take them in. make it the policy. that's the way the bureau is, the fbi. >> thank you, appreciate all of your insight. coming up next, taking back a town from terrorists. we're going to take you literally to the front lines. a very dangerous place where our nick paton walsh has gone to bring you the story firsthand in a major battle against isis. you do not want to miss this. diabetes, steady is exciting.
only glucerna has carbsteady, clinically proven to help minimize blood sugar spikes. so you stay steady ahead. this holiday season, gewhat's in the trunk? nothing. romance. 18 inch alloys. you remembered. family fun. everybody squeeze in. don't block anyone. and non-stop action. noooooooo! it's the event you don't want to miss. it's the season of audi sales event. get up to a $2,500 bonus
for highly qualified lessees on select audi models. to folks out there whose diabetic nerve pain... shoots and burns its way into your day, i hear you. to everyone with this pain that makes ordinary tasks extraordinarily painful, i hear you. make sure your doctor hears you too! i hear you because i was there when my dad suffered with diabetic nerve pain. if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands, don't suffer in silence! step on up and ask your doctor about diabetic nerve pain. tell 'em cedric sent you.
i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan,
insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, it could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call now to request your free decision guide. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him. [ male announcer ] you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. plus, there are no networks, and virtually no referrals needed. see why millions of people have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp. don't wait. call now. digestive core.r so choose ultimate flora by renewlife. it has 30 billion probiotic cultures. feel lighter and more energized. ultimate flora. more power to your gut. right now, in iraq,
thousands of kurdish forces are surrounding a small northern town. that up until today was 100% under isis control. [ speaking foreign language ] here's where it gets interesting. the kurdi isish troops were who the ground are getting help from coalition air strikes. that means american military planes and pilots are involved. cnn reporters in this town, called sinjar, say bombs have been exploding there for days. softening up those isis positions on the ground. getting ready for a big ground assault. their mission, cut off isis. cut off their supplies in syria. and eventually take that town back. and our nick paton walsh is right in the middle of it all. >> reporter: since 9:00 yesterday evening local time,
they have been moving towards the town of sinjar. we ourselves from the top of mt. sinjar heard the constant coalition air strikes. evidence now still today around us as they claim substantial process. the kurds say to the west of sinjar, they have taken a village called ar carbara which many say is on the route here. vitally important because many want to see it back in the yazi there, pushed out into captivity. it sat, that town, sinjar, on a vital artery, a vital road between the self-declared caliphate capital ar raqqar, syria. many, including the coion, central command actually, pentagon officials, believe if they sever that artery, they can severely hamper isis' ability to
make money out of the black market oil trade. now, that may be why we're hearing so much coalition air power in the skies. a succession of heavy blasts. that road itself is in the distance here. i can't tell you precisely where we are, as part of being with their peshmerga forces. but those peshmerga forces have been moving in great number down towards the direction of that road and we've seen, they say the numbers 7,000, quite easy to believe, given the strength of forces we have observed here. hopes high in kurdish official's hearts perhaps this could be a matter of days, perhaps hours. but they're already admitted that booby traps and mines laid pretty much everywhere is slowing them down. we hear blasts pretty much regularly here. hard to see how there won't be casualties and hard to see how this will be an easy operation. nick paton walsh, cnn, outside sinjar. >> nick, to you and your crew, be careful over those next couple of hours and days. next, a utah judge known for
some neighbors are energy saving superstars. how do you become a superstar? with pg&e's free online home energy checkup. in just under 5 minutes you can see how you use energy and get quick and easy tips on how to keep your monthly bill down and your energy savings up. don't let your neighbor enjoy all the savings. take the free home energy checkup. honey, we need a new refrigerator. visit pge.com/checkup and get started today.
my friend and colleague jeffrey tuman likes to say if you have the law on your side, pound the law. if you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. if you have neither, pound the table. i don't know whether a judge in utah pounded the bench this week. i can say this, the judge in question, scott johansson, does not seem to have the law, nor the facts to support his
heartbreaking decision to remove a 1-year-old girl from the home of her foster parents. those parents have been caring for her for three months now, since august, and they want to adopt her. becky pierce and april hogland were legally married 13 months ago. they were licensed by the state to take in foster children just a few months later. they've gone through all the checks. they have two biological children too. their foster daughter's birth mother is supporting their plan to adopt her child. get that? the mom wants this couple to adopt her baby. the utah division of children and family services is also supporting this couple. so why does judge johansson object? he is not commenting publicly but the parties in the courtroom say he claimed to have researched showing, quote, kids in homosexual homes don't do as well as in heterosexual homes.
he would not provide that research that he said he had. nor would he say where he got that research. and state law does not bar same-sex foster couples. state law. the stuff he actually works within. does not support this decision. becky pierce, one of the moms, is live on the telephone with me from utah. becky, has there been any movement at all in this case since the media has highlighted what's going on with your family? >> well, we've retained an attorney and they're looking at the case to see what we can do with it, along with ups' attorney and the attorney general's office. >> as i understand it, you and your wife april are sort of under the gun here. you've got one week in which the child and family services has to find another home for your baby. is that still -- that train is
still going? >> that is correct. that's what we're trying to stop right now. we want to do what's best for the child and make sure she's taken care of the way she should be. we don't want her bounced back and forth. >> speaking of the care, did the judge in this case ask any questions about the kind of care that you and april provided not only the children we're seeing on camera right now in these lovely pictures but also to your 1-year-old baby, you know, the doctor's appointments, the inoculations, all those kinds of standard operation procedures new parents have to go through. were you asked about the care you're providing? >> we were not. this judge doesn't know us from anybody else. the people who recommended us to keep the child and adapt when her when the time comes has been in our home to see how the child is doing. the judge doesn't know anything about us other than we're a same-sex couple. >> so the judge is saying he has research, he has seen studies
that show that children don't do as well in a same-sex household as a heterosexual household. he won't share the research. i'm assuming your attorneys are pushing for this kind of revelation. what are your lawyers and the department of child and family services that supports you, what are you doing right now to sort of get through this week and stop, you know, your child from being moved into an unfamiliar household? >> we have so many attorneys working on this case. the firm we're working with is looking at it. and now the attorney general's is looking at it as well as the attorneys for dcfs so they're working to see what can be done in the best interest of the child. >> a lot of times lawyers will try to make your feel better about, look, this is a slam dunk, don't worry, we've got an injunction ready to go? or are you not feeling very
secure in this process? >> i'm actually feeling very positive. everybody's been positive. there's been a lot of support for us. and once again everybody just wants what's best for the child. so we're feeling pretty good about it. >> what do you want to see happen to this judge? >> you know, i don't want anything bad to happen to anybody. that's not what our intent is. we simply want to do what's best for our child and be able to continue to love her as her mother wants us to and as we have been for the last three months. >> becky, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. i hope you will update us as the story moves, hopefully forward. thank you so much for your time. >> thank you very much. >> want to go to my lawyers on this one because, oh, boy, i think they'll have something to say. defense attorney general midland charles on the right. legal analyst, defense attorney, former prosecutor phil kaplan on
the left. normally i have a sense where someone is coming from or benefit of the doubt. i cannot find it in this case midwin. >> in this case, you have the guardian ad litem, the biological mother and the department of children and families services all advocating this lesbian couple are the right people to care for this girl and i haven't heard anything about whether or not there was a problem with the sort of care that the child was receiving, whether or not she was being well fed -- >> becky says they weren't asked. >> right, and that's surprising because usually these kinds of cases, the analysis focuses on what is in the best interest of the child. surely, i think we can all say ripping her away from these two women is not in her best interest. >> paul callan, the last i checked, we're a nation of laws. we follow laws. we don't follow personal convictions. and this judge has been cited before, you know, in a judicial performance evaluation which is
government administrated. he's been -- he's had a lower than average survey when comes to separation of his personal beliefs from his legal rulings. but does that make any difference in this case? is something going to be overturned on procedure or this guy is bringing his own thoughts into a courtroom where they don't belong, the law belongs there? >> i'm confident this judge is way off the reservation and he's going to get reversed and a higher court in utah will say this child belongs with these foster parents. but the point i want to make is, you know, everybody i think who supported same-sex marriage was really happy on that day when the decision was made. as a matter of fact, they lit the white house that night in rainbow colors. i don't know if you remember that. but that was just the start really of a battle that now we'll see fought in courts across the country when we're looking at adoption, employment, all of the secondary things where people are discriminated against because of their sexual
orientation. and, you know, in brown versus the board of education when african-americans suffered in segregated schools, 19, what, '52 that came down. >> '54. >> it took 20 years before it sorted itself out and it still hasn't because there is still lawsuits relating to how education occurs in the united states. >> department of children and family services, the director says this, on the one hand, i'm not going to expect my caseworkers to violate a court order, but on the other hand, i'm not going to expect my case workers to violate the law. so ultimately their hands are tied even though they don't feel it's the least bit right to take the child out of this environment. quick question. it's really a one answer to both of you. what could happen to the judge? could he be brought up before his peers for judicial review and as an elected official could he be turfed and dumped and told he can never practice again? it's happened before.
yes or no. >> i don't know. utah is a state where 60% of the people are mormon and they do not -- the mormon church does not believe in same-sex marriage -- >> he's an elected official. >> right, he's an elected judge -- >> i've seen bad judges tossed out by their -- >> they are but usually they're taking a bribe or doing something clearly illegal and improper. he's going to say this was in his discretion as a judge. usually judges don't get removed from the bench for that. >> he'll just be reversed. >> think you're right. >> i strongly believe he will be. >> i just can't see any -- i can't see the merit in this when it companies y comes to the law. midwin and charles, thank you. i said midwin and charles. midwin and paul. >> i can change it to paul. listen, way too many guns are being used in crimes, we know that, but they're coming from a handful of strange places and you might be surprised. are they coming from ahead issh
suppliers? there are some gun stores in the crosshairs after this and you will be surprised on the stat of the number of stores selling criminal guns across this country. i don't want to live with the uncertainties of hep c. or wonder... ...whether i should seek treatment. i am ready. because today there's harvoni. a revolutionary treatment for the most common type of chronic hepatitis c. harvoni is proven to cure up to 99% of patients... ...who've had no prior treatment. it's the one and only cure that's... ...one pill, once a day for 12 weeks. certain patients... ...can be cured with just 8 weeks of harvoni. with harvoni, there's no interferon and there are no complex regimens. tell your doctor if you have other liver or kidney problems, or other medical conditions. and about all the medicines you take including herbal supplements. harvoni should not be taken with any medicines containing amiodarone, rifampin, or st. john's wort. it also should not be taken with any other
medicine that contains sovaldi. side effects may include tiredness and headache. i am ready to put hep c behind me. i am ready to be cured. are you ready? ask your hep c specialist if harvoni is right for you. don't even think about it. cough if you can hear me. i took mucinex dm for my phlegmy cough. yeah...but what about mike? it works on his cough too. cough! it works on his cough too. mucinex dm relieves wet and dry coughs for 12 hours. let's end this.
people who support new gun control laws say too many guns are getting into the hands of people who should not have them. people who oppose new gun control laws say we need to better enforce the laws we've got on the books today. and today a brand-new study from the brady campaign to reduce gun violence shows that in effect they're both kind of right. citing government data, the brady study shows that 90% of
the guns that are used in crimes across this country come from, wait for it, just 5% of the u.s. gun stores. let me say that again. 5% of the gun stores are supplying 90% of the crime guns that are being used in this country. the vast majority of crime guns are bought, not stolen. and the vast majority of gun stores sell no crime guns in any given year. so what are these so-called bad apple gun stores doing wrong or not doing right? and what can the rest of us do about this? want to ask the president of the brady campaign dan gross. he joins me live. the whole notion of the bad apple gun stores. there's a couple of things that you just line that give them that designation. let me put them up on the screen. we can guide our viewers what makes them this way. straw purchases, gun trafficking and selling off the books. can you package that up and
explain it to me? >> the gun dealers know exactly what they're doing. they're putting guns on to the streets of cities like chicago, cities like new york, guns that are killing cops. and they're doing it in ways that are at the very least reckless and irresponsible and very often illegal. they're selling guns to somebody who is intent on committing violence and obvious -- and is obviously a, you know, somebody who's likely to do that will walk into the store -- >> meaning they know there's a straw purchase -- >> yeah, with a young lady who will make a sale to a straw purchaser. sometimes they'll pull the blinds, lock the door, sell off the books to criminals. >> they're supposed to report certain pieces of information. they're supposed to write down who it is, where they live. >> sometimes they'll report the guns as stolen. sometimes they'll sell them to straw purchasers. sometimes they'll sell them to traffics who are loading up u hauls with guns and bringing them back up and selling them on streets of new york.
>> that's the selling off the books. >> yeah. >> so there was this case just recently, badger guns in milwaukee. a couple cops were killed by a gun that ultimately had been sold -- actually, i'm association they weren't killed, they were shot and injured. by a gun that was sold by badger guns. it was proven in court this was a negligence case. the gun shop had not followed federal law. and that is the one thing that sort of folks who hate this have on their side. that if a store does something like that, actually doesn't follow federal law, they can actually have this happen, a $5 million lawsuit against that store. but it seems as though they're otherwise pretty immune. why is that? >> because the atf isn't doing its job in cracking down. the atf licenses every one of these federally licensed firearm dealers. they know what's going on. they know these gun dealers are conducting this unlawful practice and they're not doing anything because they're
kowtowing to congress. that's why we're putting pressure on the atf, as loretta lynch as the attorney general, to really put the power of the atf to bear to crack down on these bad apple gun dealers. >> this is the report you're raising today, right? >> yep, yep. >> as i understand it, there are three top mayors from l.a., from new york and chicago. they have all three crafted a letter and they're trying to spearhead others, other mayors around the country, to join in that letter as well to send to the attorney general? >> these mayors are the ones whose streets are being devastated by the activities of these bad apple gun dealers. >> what do they want lynch to do? if there's already federal law, albeit if they think it's toothless, it exists. if the gun dealers don't follow the law and proeshcedure, they have the same thing happen to them that badger guns had happen, big fat lawsuit. >> it's about issuing the licenses of these -- they should be revoked. >> why aren't they? why aren't they being revoked?
>> that's a question for loretta lynch. >> you're saying because of politics? >> that is what they believe. they're kowtowing to congress, they're not doing their job -- >> a lot of atf officers out there -- >> this is not about atf officers. this is about the people running this. this is about loretta lynch and bringing the power of the atf to bear to do something. the atf knows who these bad apple gun dealers are. they've issued reports who have shown who these are. they warn these bad apple gun dealers. yet they continue to let them do business unobstructed. yes, it is that shocking that these people are allowed to do business. what if 5% of meat distributors were selling 90% of tainted meat? what would the fda do? you know, this is the opportunity that the atf has. >> keep us posted on what happens with the report. it's fascinating to see this. i think a lot of people would be shocked to find out that 5% of the gun dealers across america are supplying 90% of the crime
guns in this country. it just shouldn't be. thank you for coming in. if you mix up or forget to take your birth control pills, your fault, right? but what if it's the pill maker that packages things with a big boo boo on a massive scale? still your fault? well, there are more than 100 women who say no and they're suing. so do they have grounds? could they win? and then what? that's next.
♪ nothing artificial. just real roasted turkey. carved thick. that's the right way to make a good turkey sandwich. the right way to eat it? is however you eat it. panera. food as it should be. i have a resident named joyce, and i said "come to class,bout let's start walking together" and i said "and i bet you money you'll be able to do that senior walk". that day i said "ok it's me and you girl, me and you!" i said "if you need to stop, there's a bench we'll just hang out in the shade." she said "absolutely not! we are going to finish this race!" and we were the last ones in, but you know what? we finished the race. and she goes "desiree, i'll never quit walking. ever" only glucerna has carbsteady, diabetes, steady is exciting. clinically proven to help minimize blood sugar spikes. so you stay steady ahead.
this is what we do. >> pamela knows what it's like to go hungry. the 52-year-old army veteran has made it her mission to help make sure no one else does. >> it's just like an ultimate high. like an unconditional high. >> today she is helping prepare meals for families, drawing on her experience as a cook in the army. that's when her life took a terrible turn. a friend looking after her two daughters while she was serving overseas killed her 4-year-old. >> my daughter had been hit with fists. then she was thrown down the stairs. i have memories and it hurts sometimes. >> the single mom fell into a
deep depression. she lost her job and even tried to take her own life. >> going into the military was supposed to make things better for my family and myself. >> she and her other daughter lived on the streets for years until they found a charity dedicate to ending homelessness. she got treatment for ptsd. she still thought about her friends on the streets. >> she's always bringing someone else with a tough story on street, bringing them to us. >> her dream is to own her own restaurant, buy a home and continue to help veterans. >> to me, it's the right thing to do. it's the way i was raised. >> more than 100 women are now saying that they were not protected from getting pregnant because their birth control pills were labeled wrong. it's as though they weren't taking birth control at all basically. quite a few unplanned babies were born. now these mothers are holding the company that made those pills responsible.
elizabeth cohen watching medical matters for us today. this is a big class action lawsuit. can you walk me through this? the packaging was backwards so people were taking the pills properly but the pills weren't being given to them properly, is that what essentially happened here? >> right, that's effectively what happened. sometimes you're taking a pill with a hormone in it but then there are placebo pills for one of the weeks. women were taking placebo pill, meaning sugar pills, for at times when they should have been taking hormone pills and vice versa. that is not effective birth control. the foreign polida put out a wa this and there was a voluntary recall. now these women are suing. it's interesting, these are called wrongful pregnancy lawsuits. people have had varying degrees of success with them. sometimes people sue, for example, for the cost of raising the child all the way to age 18. it's pretty tough to recover
that but it has been done. >> that could be incredible ton see that kind of compensatory case. but what's the company's position on this? are they saying, yes, we made a mistake, we're sorry but? >> you know, the company says, look, we issued this voluntary recall. patient safety is our first priority. and they're saying we have one -- we know of one confirmed case here. they're really not saying very much. it will be interesting to see what happens with these lawsuits. >> boy, will it ever. we'll have you back when we find out more, appreciate it. coming up next, you've heard the reports. there are many of them. we're going to be following not only what happens when someone on the ground does one of these little laser tricks to the people who are flying in the skies. it is way more serious than you might think. little did we know, but life was inviting us all this time. to step into the great unknown.
last night after dark in cities all across this country more than 20 airplane and helicopters with pilots in them say that somebody shot a laser pointer at them from the ground. i'm talking about something like this. a green or red laser beam. some of them are toys. some of them are very powerful. you can buy them just about anywhere. if you point one at an aircraft, you have committed yourself a federal crime. listen to this helicopter pilot after a lazier beam shot into his face last night. >> i see the people involved right now. they're walking in and out of the building. hitting us right now. don't look, george. yeah, you think this is a joke, huh? >> clearly, the guy seemed to think it was pretty funny. after that happened, laser strikes on three different planes trying to land in dallas
happened and by late evening the same thing happened in a dozen other cities in the united states and puerto rico. it's crazy. our guest is here, an airline captain and aviation analyst. as a boeing 777 pilot, that is scary when one hits you. i think people think they're pinpoints. but when they're at altitude, they're not pinpoints anymore. >> exactly, they spread out. the point being, people don't understand, it's just not aiming something. it creates this huge green flash in the cockpit. it's totally districting. i came down and i talked to one of my colleagues that actually experienced this going into miami at 2,000 feet on the approach. not only did it create pressure, an ache, that was with him for 24 hours but it created a distraction in the cockpit. where they went, are you okay, are you okay? co-pilot was fine -- >> this is on approach. >> cruising altitude, you're
coming in for landing. >> you won't get that kind of effect when it's up at higher altitude. but this guy was in essence they were distracted trying to make sure they were both okay. he did have some temporary blindness in that one eye for about two seconds. of how, he experienced also some discomfort later on. the bottom line is, at least we had another pilot and that co-pilot was flying at the time and he would have transferred duties so i want to assure the public we're not going to lose control of the airplane necessarily but -- >> unless both of you are blinded. i've been told it is like being in a pitch black closet and someone taking a flash camera and flashing it at you without your knowing it. >> you're exactly right. the anecdotal story, there was complete darkness. matter of fact, so much so, that he was enjoying the outside scenery while his kopp pilot was flying and he was doing the check list and, boom, it hit him. instinctively, he looked back to see and that's when he got hit in the right eye. >> these numbers are just sort
of astounding. when we first heard about the two helicopters. just last night, we weren't aware it was happening, you know, almost two dozen times across the country. is this becoming a bigger problem for you and your colleagues? is there something that can be done, a massive campaign to let people know, it isn't funny like the guy doing the push-ups and laughing about it on the the floor. it can be lethal. >> this is tantamount to attempted homicide. if you think of the implications. the airplane i fly, it's over 300 people. the people on the ground. we can qgo on about that. let's use the technology -- let's find the technology that's creating this problem and then make it a real serious crime, not just some sort of miscellaneous federal crime. >> by the way, folks, if you think it's funny, it's not so funny when you're in the federal pokey after doing this because that's exactly what can happen. to you and your colleagues, hats
off for dealing with it. i hope you don't have to deal with it again. good to see you. thank you, everyone, for watching. it's been nice to have you here with us this hour but i'm going to turn things over to my colleague wolf blitzer who starts right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 8:00 p.m. in cairo, 9:00 p.m. in moscow. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> let's get right to the breaking news. a new threat from isis, this time against russia. isis has just released a nearly 5-minute long video and auto statement saying it would attack russia, quote, very soon. the video is titled soon, very soon. the blood will spill like an ocean. that video's release comes at the same time as word that russia may be planning to retaliate for the crash of its