I used to have a thing for Erin Brockovich. No no, in this way:
Brockovich and Masry's toxic-contamination lawsuits have been
supported by questionable scientific evidence at best, dating all the
way back to the case that made them famous.
As I once wrote:
Environmental icon Erin Brockovich-Ellis' latest campaign has taken her to Beverly Hills, where she has made a stunning allegation: Oil wells on the campus of Beverly Hills High School have been spewing a carcinogen -- benzene -- and causing cancer among students, staff and alumni.
I spent two months looking into Brockovich-Ellis' claims for an article for the New Republic and found her evidence to be curiously missing...
The two refused to share their testing data until a subpoena from the city compelled them to do so. Once handed over, the documents showed that nearly all readings were normal.
Beverly Hills isn't the only place where Masry and Brockovich-Ellis' data don't match their public allegations. Consider Avila Beach, Calif., where there had been an underground oil leak that resulted in parts of the town being excavated. Backed up by field tests Brockovich-Ellis says she took, the firm released a report warning that people "engaging in typical beach activities," such as "sunning themselves, would appear to be at great risk." As in Beverly Hills, authorities couldn't corroborate the findings....
Again, Brockovich-Ellis avoided sharing her test results. "She accused me at a community meeting of not properly reviewing her data," Greenberg recalled. "I apologized and said I would examine it if she sent it to me. I never heard from her again."
So this news from Variety seems entirely appropriate:
NBC is developing an hourlong legal drama to be exec produced by [Erin] Brockovich...Dubbed "Class Action," potential skeinskein will be set in the morally vague world of class-action lawsuits as seen through the eyes of a team of high-powered lawyers -- not all of whom have the most altruistic intentions.
Brockovich will not be a character in the project. Instead, she'll be on hand to supply story ideas and lend authenticity to the project.
Brockovich is "already feeding us great ideas from cases she's handled," Gibson said.