Erin Brockovich | MSS Research
The last time most of us heard about legal crusader Erin Brockovich, she was being glamorously portrayed by Julia Roberts in an Academy. On tonight's NewsHour, Miles O'Brien reports on the decline of Hinkley, Calif., the town featured in the movie Erin Brockovich. Here's the. Meet the real faces behind the movie, including Erin Brockovich and Ed Masry. Erin's biker boyfriend George (Aaron Eckhart) from the film is in fact a real person. that Erin was an unfit mother and that she and Ed once had a relationship.
And Roberta is looking to move again — out of Hinkley. But that does not guarantee she will find chromium-6 free water. The real-life ErinBrockovich has moved onto the national stage as a consumer advocate and now curates a crowd-sourced map of reported cancer clusters. It is a real eye-opener. They tested tap water samples from 35 cities and found chromium-6 in 31 of them. But at nearly 13 parts per billion, the water there is still considered safe according to the year-old EPA standard ppb.
It is, however, more than times greater than the public health goal established by the California Environmental Protection Agency in the wake of the Hinkley well poisoning scandal. Turns out it is. I am a big proponent of tap water. I think the widespread use of bottled water is an environmental disaster. So I bought myself a countertop filter. I might soon upgrade to an under-sink model. It is a shame that we cannot be more confident about the water that flows into our homes.
The spiritual truth is that we get precisely those conditions which are necessary for our progress. The only thing that matters is how we respond to the circumstances life presents us. Erin's accomplishment is the result of a combination of factors -- her personality, her external initiatives and life's response to that personality and initiative.
Erin has the energy, aspiration, drive, intelligence, skills and organizational capabilities for high accomplishment, but they are circumscribed by her rough, unpolished behavior, her defensive and offensive attitude towards life and other people, her lack of social qualifications and the demands of raising a family as a single parent.
Much of her energy and efficiency comes from the fact that she does not bother to relate positively to people, does not strive to forge positive human relationships and does not care what society thinks of her.
It is not that she has risen above society, but rather that she feels alienated from it and therefore does not try to conform.
Maximum Effort Still a major obstacle stood in the way of successfully prosecuting the case. Unless corporate is implicated, any final settlement would be grossly inadequate to compensate all the victims. In order to proceed with the case, it was also necessary to obtain signed legal statements from each and every household, an enormous, time consuming and very costly task. Realizing that the outcome was now in her hands, Erin then took it upon herself to make the Herculean effort to secure the required signatures.
Though she prides herself on her independence and self-reliance, Erin realizes she needs help to manage the family during this strenuous period. She makes amends with George and he return to support her efforts. In the days that followed, she worked relentlessly, visiting every victim in the Hinkley area to secure the signed documents. When life offers great opportunities, it also demands great perfection.
Erin Brockovich: jury out on the details
Her ultimate accomplishment issues from these psychological factors as they express in and through her actions and evoke responses from life. Her major initiatives are listed below: She tries and fails to get a job -- Her aspiration for work and self-reliance and her effort to get employed are genuine, but her lack of qualifications and personal characteristics make it difficult.
Her repeated failures raise her energy level and break down her social behavior so that she can assert herself regardless of society's response. Car accident -- The accident signifies that she has come to the end of her energy and her reserves and is pressed to the point of desperation.
Court case -- The verdict is society's response in favor of a respected physician and in condemnation of a woman living on the fringe of respectability. Her effort to solve her problem by the lawsuit fails because laws are intended to support the social norm, which the physician represents.
Erin Brockovich True Story at Reel Faces
Having rejected society, she cannot benefit by its organization. Can't get job -- Again she tries and fails to get a job. Life is demanding of her extreme measures of resourcefulness that do not depend on the sympathy, charity or goodwill of others. Demands a job -- She demands a job from Masry and gets it on the sheer strength of her determination and pushiness, without qualifications or any legitimate claim. Pro bono case -- The case coming to her is a life response to her aspiration for high accomplishment.
Once she has found a place in society, that aspiration opens a big door. Decides to research it -- Many in her position would have been content to do the work 9 to 5 and take home a regular salary. She aspires to rise.
Her drive is for accomplishment, not mere survival. Therefore she takes initiative to research the assignment and discovers a hidden opportunity. Trip to Hinkley -- Her effort at this stage can be termed extraordinary -- above and beyond the call of duty.
Extraordinary effort leads to extraordinary results! UCLA -- In addition to her physical effort, she exercises her mind as well and consults an expert on the hexavalent chlorine. Water Board -- Further initiative. Back to Hinkley -- She takes extraordinary efforts to win the confidence of the people of Hinkley and gain their support.
Personal Relationships -- Now for the first time she starts building positive personal relationships with all her clients, getting to know them, sympathize with them and feel committed to their success. Kurt's law firm -- Here too she has the courage to speak up and confront the arrogance of her professional colleagues and demand that they respect her. There failure in handling the clients shows that she has converted her lack of professional qualification as a strength in dealing with them.
She has transformed a limitation into a capacity by her resourceful attitude. Life Responds But effort alone is not enough. When Erin totally exhausts her capacities, life takes over and delivers a bonanza. One evening after another exhausting day of collecting signatures, Erin stopped at a Hinkley bar for one last signature. A strange looking man sitting at the bar approached her.
He said he had been watching Erin and decided she was someone he could trust implicitly. He then revealed to her that he had been ordered to shred documents implicating corporate, but that he had not destroyed the crucial documents.
He subsequently provided Erin with all the evidence needed to win the case! Maximum effort evokes a response from life. For the long-suffering people of Hinkley, it was the acknowledgement that a great wrong had been perpetuated, which they were now being handsomely compensated for.
As a result of their success, Masry and Erin are able to sign on several other similar cases that are even larger than the Hinkley case. For Erin Brockovich, it meant the end of her life of struggle - of poverty, insecurity, and low self-esteem -- and the beginning of an entirely new existence. Masry had agreed to pay Erin generously in the event they won the case. In view of her extraordinary efforts and contribution, he decided that the amount Erin had asked was too small.
Summary of Life Responses Erin meets Masry as the result of her car accident.
Erin Brockovich: The Real-Life Unhappy Ending | PBS NewsHour
In a moment of bravado, Masry promises to win the case which he fails to do. His broken promise becomes an excuse for Erin to demand a job from him later. Ultimately he does win 'the case' -- fulfilling his initial promise to her. After Erin loses the personal injury case, she finds it impossible to get a job anywhere. That forces her to go back to Masry and ask for work.
Erin Brockovich: The Real-Life Unhappy Ending
Thus her misfortune creates the circumstances that lead ultimately to great good fortune. She is assigned to process the pro bono Hinkley real estate case, which is apparently a routine insignificant affair. Actually life has placed in her hands an incredible opportunity.
It is her aspiration and resourcefulness that convert the routine matter into a chance of a lifetime. Masry fired her and then was forced to take her back after the call from the professor. As a result she got a pay rise and a more secure position in the firm. George moves in next door, but she rudely rejects his friendly advances. Shortly thereafter her unreliable babysitter unexpectedly leaves the children with George, who fondly attends on them.
Later George befriends the family and later becomes her lover. After life has deserted her for so long, this is a sign of changing times. First a job, then the Hinkley case, and now a reliable man. From then on, life responses continue to be favorable. Then the larger law firm comes forward to relieve Masry's financial pressures.
At the most crucial juncture, Charles Embry comes forward with the essential proof required to win the case. It is a direct response to Erin's aspiration, hard work and personal commitment to the people of Hinkley.