Erin Brockovich

In: People

Submitted By lenny1
Words 1350
Pages 6
(Anderson, et al v Pacific Gas & Electric - San Bernardino Superior Court file BCV 00300).
Many people and animals in the desert town of Hinkley, California were becoming ill. Some people had even died. The question would start to surface if PG&E and their compressor station were contaminating the local water. On December 7, 1987 officials from PG&E Company advised the State of California they had detected levels of chromium 6 in a groundwater monitoring well north of the compressor station's waste water ponds. These levels were 10 times greater than the maximum amount allowed by law. Known as a cancer-causing agent since the 1920s, chrome 6 is seriously dangerous to the lungs. Since many of the Hinkley residents were reporting respiratory problems, chrome 6 contamination seemed possible. After PG&E reported the pollution to the government, company officials started a program to buy every piece of land in the community thought to be affected by the pollution. This is what medical records had to do with real estate transactions and led Erin Brockovich, a paralegal, to discover the illegal actions of PG&E. It wasn't long before PG&E had 75% of those houses and buildings demolished. The company reported that it was merely responding to vandalism in the area. PG&E distributed flyers discussing the company's use of chromium which one could build a strong case that carefully selected words were deliberately misleading stating that chromium is found in vitamins. Reading these words, one could reasonably think PG&E's hexavalent chromium was good for your health. Failure to properly identify the dangerous "chromium" they had dumped into the environment wasn't PG&E's only omission. The flyer implied that detection of contamination at the compressor station was a new development. It really was not and they were purposely…...

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