Erin Brockovich: Wikis


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Erin Brockovich
Born June 22, 1960 (1960-06-22) (age 49)
Lawrence, Kansas, United States
Occupation President, Brockovich Research & Consulting[1]
Spouse(s) Shawn Brown (m. 1982–1987) «start: (1982)–end+1: (1988)»"Marriage: Shawn Brown to Erin Brockovich" Location: (linkback:
Steven Brockovich (m. 1989–1990) «start: (1989)–end+1: (1991)»"Marriage: Steven Brockovich to Erin Brockovich" Location: (linkback:
Eric L. Ellis
(since 1999)

Erin Brockovich-Ellis (born June 22, 1960) is an American legal clerk and environmental activist who, despite the lack of a formal law school education, was instrumental in constructing a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California in 1993. Since the release of the film that shares her story and name, she has hosted Challenge America with Erin Brockovich on ABC and Final Justice on Lifetime. She is the president of Brockovich Research & Consulting, a consulting firm. She is currently working as a consultant for Girardi & Keese[2][3] on the east coast, the New York law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, [4]which has a focus on personal injury claims for asbestos exposure, and Shine Lawyers in Australia.[5]



She was born Erin L. E. Pattee in Lawrence, Kansas to Frank Pattee, an industrial engineer and Betty Jo O'Neal-Pattee, a journalist. She attended Lawrence High School then Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and graduated with an Associate in Applied Arts Degree from Wades Business College in Dallas Texas. She worked as a management trainee for Kmart in 1981 but quit after a few months and entered some potentially lucrative beauty pageants. After winning Miss Pacific Coast in 1981, she gave up pageant life because she found it shallow. She has lived in California since 1982.

Brockovich was involved in a car accident in Reno and was seriously injured. Her case was settled out of court for $50,000.

Brockovich received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa Degree and was Commencement Speaker at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on May 5, 2007.[1] She also received an honorary Bachelor's degree from Jones International University and an honorary JD from Lewis & Clark Law School in Oregon.

Pacific Gas and Electric litigation

The case alleged contamination of drinking water with hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium(VI), in the southern California town of Hinkley. At the center of the case was a facility called the Hinkley Compressor Station, part of a natural gas pipeline connecting to the San Francisco Bay Area and constructed in 1952. Between 1952 and 1966, PG&E used hexavalent chromium to fight corrosion in the cooling tower. The wastewater dissolved the hexavalent chromium from the cooling towers and was discharged to unlined ponds at the site. Some of the wastewater percolated into the groundwater, affecting an area near the plant approximately two miles long and nearly a mile wide.[6] The case was settled in 1996 for $333 million, the largest settlement ever paid in a direct action lawsuit in U.S. history.

Other work

Working with Thousand Oaks, California-based lawyer Edward L. Masry, Brockovich went on to participate in other anti-pollution lawsuits. One accuses Whitman Corporation of chromium contamination in Willits, California. Another lawsuit, which lists 1,200 plaintiffs, alleges contamination near PG&E's Kettleman Hills Compressor Station in Kings County, California, along the same pipeline as the Hinkley site. The Kettleman suit settled for $335 million in 2006. After experiencing problems with mold contamination in her own home in the Conejo Valley, Brockovich became a prominent activist and educator in this area as well.

Today, Brockovich is a noted speaker in demand for U.S. and international speaking engagements. She works with Girardi and Keese in Los Angeles, Weitz and Luxenberg in New York and Shine Lawyers in Brisbane Australia.

Brockovich and Masry filed suit against the Beverly Hills Unified School District in 2003, in which the district was accused of harming the health and safety of its students by allowing a contractor to operate a cluster of oil wells on campus.[7] Brockovich and Masry alleged that 300 cancer cases were linked to the oil wells. Subsequent testing and epidemiological investigation failed to corroborate any link, and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Wendell Mortimer granted summary judgment against the plaintiffs.[8] In May 2007, the School District announced that it was to be paid $450,000 as reimbursement for legal expenses.[9]

Brockovich assisted in the filing of a lawsuit against Prime Tanning Corp. of St. Joseph, MO in April 2009. The lawsuit claims that waste sludge from the production of leather, containing high levels of hexavalent chromium, was distributed to farmers in northwest Missouri to use as fertilizer on their fields. It is believed to be a potential cause of an abnormally high number of brain tumors (70 since 1996) around the town of Cameron, MO, which is currently being investigated by the EPA.[10]

In June 2009, Brockovich began investigating a case of contaminated water in Midland, Texas.[11] "Significant amounts" of hexavalent chromium were found in the water of more than 40 homes in the area, some of which have now been fitted with state-monitored filters on their water supply.[11] Brockovich said "The only difference between here and Hinkley, is that I saw higher levels here than I saw in Hinkley."[11]

Brockovich's book entitled Take It From Me: Life's a Struggle But You Can Win was published in October 2001, and was on the NYT Business Bestseller's List.[12]


Her story is the topic of a feature film, Erin Brockovich, starring Julia Roberts in the title role. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Writing in a Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Roberts won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Erin Brockovich. Erin Brockovich herself had a cameo role as a waitress named Julia R. The name Julia R. was selected to parody the fact that Julia Roberts was playing Erin.


  1. ^ a b "Erin Brockovich Biography". Archived from the original on 2010-02-27.}&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a. Retrieved January 17, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Girardi & Keese Law Firm". 
  3. ^ Maddaus, Gene (September 22, 2009). "Erin Brockovich goes after Shell Oil in Carson". Daily Breeze. 
  4. ^ McDonough, Molly (September 26, 2008). "Erin Brockovich Signs On With NYC Law Firm". ABA Journal. 
  5. ^ "Erin Brockovich Shines". Shine Lawyers. 
  6. ^ PG&E Hinkley Chromium Cleanup California Environmental Protection Agency, 9/10/08
  7. ^ Beverly Hills Mystery People Magazine. May 19, 2003, Accessed May 30, 2009.
  8. ^ "More Brockovich Claims Tossed." Balance. Civil Justice Association of California. Third Quarter 2007, p.2.
  9. ^ Beverly Hills Unified school District Press Release. Beverly Hills United School District. October 8, 2007.
  10. ^ Lawsuit alleges fertilizer was contaminated around Cameron, Mo.
  11. ^ a b c "Brockovich: Midland, Texas Water Sullied." CBS News. June 10, 2009. Accessed June 10, 2009.
  12. ^ "Take It From Me: Life's a Struggle But You Can Win." Accessed December 1, 2009.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Erin Brockovich is a 2000 film about the true story of an unemployed single mother who becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, produced by Danny Devito and written by Susannah Grant.
She brought a small town to its feet and a huge corporation to its knees.


Erin Brockovich

  • For the first time in my life, I got people respecting me. Please, don't ask me to give it up.
  • Not personal?! That is my work, my sweat, my time away from my kids! If that's not personal, I don't know what is!
  • [From memory, to a group of lawyers who don't think she adds anything to the case] Annabelle Daniels: 74-454-9346. 10 years old, 11 in May. Lived on the plume since birth. Wanted to be a synchronized swimmer so she spent every minute she could in the PG&E pool. She had a tumor in her brain stem detected last November, an operation on Thanksgiving, shrunk it with radiation after that. Her parents are Ted & Rita. Ted's got Crohn's disease, Rita has chronic headaches, and nausea, and underwent a hysterectomy last fall. Ted grew up in Hinkley. His brother Robbie, and his wife May and their five children: Robbie Jr, Martha, Ed, Rose & Peter also lived on the plume. Their number is 454-9554, you want their diseases?


Ed Masry: What makes you think you can just walk in there and take whatever you want?
Erin Brockovich: They're called boobs, Ed.

Ed Masry: In a law firm you may want to re-think your wardrobe a little.
Erin Brockovich: Well Ed, I think I look nice. And as long as I have one ass instead of two I'll wear what I like if that's all right with you? You might want to re-think those ties.

George: How many numbers you got?
Erin Brockovich: Oh, I got numbers comin' outta my ears. For instance: ten.
George: Ten?
Erin Brockovich: Yeah. That's how many months old my baby girl is.
George: You got a little girl?
Erin Brockovich: Yeah. Yeah, sexy, huh? How 'bout this for a number? Six. That's how old my other daughter is, eight is the age of my son, two is how many times I've been married -- and divorced; sixteen is the number of dollars I have in my bank account. 850-3943. That's my phone number, and with all the numbers I gave you, I'm guessing zero is the number of times you're gonna call it.

Ed Masry: This is a whole different ball game. A much bigger deal.
Erin Brockovich: Kind of like David and whats-his-name.
Ed Masry: Kind of like David and whats-his-name's whole fucking family.

[At the meeting with the PG & E lawyers]
Ms. Sanchez: Let's be honest here. $20 million dollars is more money then these people have ever dreamed of.
Erin Brockovich: Oh see, now that pisses me off. First of all, since the demur we have more than 400 plaintiffs and... let's be honest, we all know there are more out there. They may not be the most sophisticated people but they do know how to divide and $20 million isn't shit when you split it between them. Second of all, these people don't dream about being rich. They dream about being able to watch their kids swim in a pool without worrying that they'll have to have a hysterectomy at the age of twenty. Like Rosa Diaz, a client of ours. Or have their spine deteriorate, like Stan Blume, another client of ours. So before you come back here with another lame ass offer, I want you to think real hard about what your spine is worth, Mr. Walker. Or what you might expect someone to pay you for your uterus, Ms. Sanchez. Then you take out your calculator and you multiply that number by a hundred. Anything less than that is a waste of our time.
[Ms. Sanchez picks up a glass of water]
Erin Brockovich: By the way, we had that water brought in special for you folks. Came from well in Hinkley.
Ms. Sanchez: [Eyes the water warily and sets the glass back down] I think this meeting is over.
Ed Masry: Damn right it is.

Donna Jensen: You're a lawyer?
Erin Brockovich: NO, no... I hate lawyers. I only work for them.

Kurt Potter: Wha... how did you do this?
Erin Brockovich: Well, um, seeing as how I have no brains or legal expertise, and Ed here was losing all faith in the system, am I right?
Ed Masry: Oh, yeah, completely. No faith, no faith...
Erin Brockovich: I just went out there and performed sexual favors. Six hundred and thirty-four blow jobs in five days... I'm really quite tired.

Ed Masry: [giving Erin her bonus check] It's not exactly what we discussed.
Erin Brockovich: Ya know why everyone thinks that all lawyers are back stabbing, blood sucking scum bags? cause they are! and I can not believe you expect me to go out, leave my kids with strangers and get people to trust you with THEIR lives while all the while your screwing me! You know, Ed, it's not about the number! It's about the way my work is valued in this firm...
[She looks at the two million dollar bonus check]
Ed Masry: Like I was saying, I thought that the number you proposed was inappropriate, so I increased it.
[Turns to walk away and turns around to her]
Ed Masry: Do they teach beauty queens to apologize? Because you suck at it!
[Long pause, as Erin looks at the check]
Erin Brockovich: Uh, Ed... Uh... thank you...


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