30 November 2010
The movie Erin Brockovich, is based on a case against a single family and a 28-billion dollar electric company in California called PG & E Hinkley that grew into a very large case with 634 plaintiffs. The basis for the suit was brought to a file clerks attention, Erin Brockovich, after finding medical records in a real estate file at the law firm she was working for. After doing some investigating she found that the illnesses of the family was due to the contamination of the drinking water of the family’s home that PG & E was responsible for.
The case incidentally began as a real estate pro bono case between a family, the Jensens, and PG & E. A pro bono case is one in which is taken on as a voluntary service without payment. While filing this pro bono case Erin found medical documents along with the real estate documents and decided to do some investigating. After speaking with the Jensens she found some suspicious information liking the family and PG & E.
With further investigation Erin found that there was a poisonous element called hexavalent chromium that was found in the drinking water of the area that the Jensens lived. She also found that the side effects from exposure to hexavalent chromium resembled the Jensens same side effects and that PG & E were paying for the families doctor bills. She then proposed that PG & E were paying the doctors to cover for them and to lie to the family about the chromium. After faxing over a document with proof of the chromium found in the water where the family lived, PG & E were very quick to respond with what they thought was a reasonable offer for the Jensens home of 250,000 dollars.
After some thought Erin proposed that obviously there had to be other families with the same problems as the Jensens. So after more investigation, they found a total of 11 families in the same area all with similar medical problems. Once speaking...