NEW ALBANY — Erin Brockovich, a modern-day “David” who loves a good brawl with today’s “Goliath,” will discuss her experiences getting justice for victims of environmental crime at the annual Sanders Speaker Series at Indiana University Southeast.
Brockovich will be the keynote speaker on Thursday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the Robinson Theater at IU Southeast’s Paul W. Ogle Center.
In 2000, Julia Roberts played Erin Brockovich in the Oscar-winning feat. The film transformed an obscure legal researcher into a 20th-century icon by showing how her dogged persistence was the driving force behind the largest medical settlement trial in history.
While organizing papers on a pro bono real estate case at the law firm of Masry & Vititoe in California, Brockovich first found medical records that would become the largest direct lawsuit in US history.
Brockovich’s extensive investigation revealed that Pacific Gas & Electric had been poisoning the small town of Hinkley’s Water for over 30 years. Because of their unwavering persistence, PG&E had now been exposed for releasing toxic Chromium 6 into groundwater. This poison affected the health of the population of Hinkley. In 1996, the largest direct lawsuit of its kind, led by Brockovich and Ed Masry, forced the utility giant to pay the largest toxic tort settlement in U.S. history: $333 million in damages for more than 600 Hinkley residents.
The story and later film made “Erin Brockovich” a household name. Over time, Brockovich realized she could use her notoriety to spread positive messages of personal empowerment and encourage others to stand up and make a difference.
Since that fall, Brockovich has conquered all forms of media, hosting television shows, publishing a New York Times bestseller in business, Take It From Me: Life’s A Struggle, But You Can Win, and two fiction novels.
As President of Brockovich Research & Consulting, she is currently involved in numerous environmental projects worldwide. She has requests for her help with groundwater pollution complaints in every state in the US, Australia and other international hotspots. She is currently working on cases in California, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri. Brockovich is one of the most sought-after speakers in the international lecture circuit and travels the world for personal appearances. She’s a true American hero whose iconic status and “stiffness” only fuel her determination to expose injustice and lend her voice to those who have none.
The Sanders Speaker Series is named after Judge Carlton and Sue Sanders, whose generous donation established the Sanders Speaker Series Foundation in 2008 for Economy.
This is a free event but places are limited. Register for the event online at www.ius.edu/sanders-series by November 30, 2022.