A few years ago, Erin Brockovich spearheaded a lawsuit alleging that an oil-rig next to Beverly Hills High School was causing cancer. She got all sorts of attention. I dug into the story for the New Republic and concluded that, well, Brockovich was full of it and that moreover she had a knack for fomenting panic in communities by misleading them about purported toxins in their neighborhoods and potentially even forging testing data.
Why I am telling you this? Because a few days ago a judge agreed with me and tossed Brockovich and her suit to the curb:
The dismissals satisfied Wendy Cozen, an epidemiologist and an associate professor of preventive medicine at USC. "There's not a lot of evidence that a standing oil well could cause Hodgkin's or non-Hodgkin's or thyroid cancer," she said. "In view of the body of scientific evidence, it was a reasonable decision."
"The whole thing was really a pity," said Joan Isaacs, who is still a resident. "People questioned whether they should be sending their kids to Beverly Hills High School."
"If it had been Carson or Banning," she said, referring to two campuses in the South Bay, "it never would have happened."
True that. The decision comes just a few weeks after another judge dismissed--with prejudice--a series of Medicare suits by Brockovich.
Meanwhile, TNR has kindly reposted my piece.
P.S. Yes, I am alive...and still busy with classes.