Wednesday, February 15, 2012
In 1999, Erin Brockovich had a hit movie made about her with Julia Roberts playing the starring role and the title being her name -- all because she’s an in-your-face woman. With three small children to support and only two years of college, Brockovich wheedled her way into a job filing in a lawyer’s office. Ultimately, though, she accomplished such wonders with her aggressive and uncompromising research tactics that Pacific Gas and Electric Company wound up paying out $333 million to an entire community of people who had been contaminated by toxic chemicals as a result of the company’s practices. This represented the largest toxic tort settlement in U.S. history and one can only imagine how much the company might have lost if they had tried to stay in the game against their unapologetic -- and victorious -- opponent.