SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A lawyer representing two e-liquid manufacturing companies served District 13 Representative Paul Ray with a two-page letter stating make a retraction, and prepare for a defamation lawsuit against him and the State of Utah.
On September 10th, Rep. Ray told ABC4 News, Jason Nguyen, he had BeechTree Diagnostics buy and test vape juice in the Salt Lake Vally.
On September 11th, he held a press conference at the state capital to release his results.
“Out of the 12 bottles 10 tested positive for Opioids, PCP, Barbituates, and THC,” he told the media.
On September 13th Beechtree Diagnostics President told ABC4 News Rosie Nguyen the tests are only 40 percent accurate. Something Representative Ray knew about and acknowledged in the press conference.
Troutman spoke to ABC4 News Jason Nguyen on the phone from Kentucky.
“He alleged that he had these products tested and that 84 percent of them tested positive for opioids,” says Troutman.
Both companies had their e-liquid’s featured in the September 11th press conference.
“They were able to to look at the picture and the story on the TV news, and they identified their products. And they were not too happy with being accused of selling e-liquids which essentially are drugged,” he adds.
Troutman says his clients are registered with the FDA and list all ingredients on product labels.
“We put Representative Ray on notice. We simply ask, do a retraction, a public retraction,” he says. “Go before the cameras in the legislation and say look, I’m taking a mulligan. I made a mistake, and I think if he did that it would go a long way in repairing and soothing the anger of these manufacturers.”
Rep. Ray called ABC4 News Jason Nguyen September 20th and says he is not concerned about the pending lawsuit and is in contact with the states legal team.
“Vaping is harmful and it is illegal to sell in the State of Utah as of August 8th. That is what people are forgetting in this whole process and I plan to do something about it very soon,” says Rep. Ray.
The Representative says he is crafting a bill for the next legislative session to create more funding for more specialized tests of e-liquids in the State of Utah.