Tuesday, October 2, 2007 · LBJ Student Center Mall · 7 p.m.
Famous from an Academy Award-winning portrayal by actress Julia Roberts in the film Erin Brockovich, the real Erin Brockovich was a legal clerk who headed an investigation and built a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California. Her investigation established that the health of more than 600 residents living in and around Hinkley, Calif., from the 1960s to the 1980s was severely compromised by exposure to toxic chemicals. The utility company was forced to pay $333 million in damages in the largest toxic tort injury settlement in U.S. history.
“I do care a great deal about the environment but my real work and my greatest challenge is trying to overcome deceits that end up jeopardizing public health and safety,” Brockovich writes on her website. “As with everything, some people go too far, too far to the right, too far to the left, and this is true of environmentalism and now, in many instances, our issues fall on a deaf ear.”
Brockovich is founder and president of Brockovich Research and Consulting, a consulting firm that specializes in environmental court cases. She is also involved in television production and motivational speaking.
She maintains that the fate of the environment should never be compromised. “Often times we don’t think about or worry about or understand what is happening to another until it happens to us,” Brockovich writes. “When it comes to cover-ups and destruction of our environment, we are all up for grabs.”