Talk:Erin Brockovich

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CCR Study[edit]

I removed the paragraph below the section citing the CCR study and article. I have no idea why a line regarding being unable to find the CCR study on their website would belong in the article, nor would someone's (uncredited?) off-the-cuff calculation of what the cancer rate should be, be in there either.

If there's credible evidence the CCR study didn't exist or reached some other conclusion than the WashPo story, that should be cited and added to the article, not what was there. 66.195.102.82 (talk) 22:04, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Questionable data?[edit]

" Since the movies release, the 'factual' data cited in the movie have been called into question."

How? Show me who is saying this. How has it been "called into question"? WhisperToMe 20:32, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Check out the two external links on the top article (the entry about the person, not the movie). It lists numerous "facts" that the author disproves. The rebuttal and the rebuttal to the rebuttal discusses it even further. If you like, I can cite the author for the phrase you removed. I'm not saying I agree with the author, but we do try to be NPOV here. Peace. :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 21:00, Jul 12, 2004 (UTC)
Read the Salon.com story link at the bottom of the article. It argues that the real story may not be as rosey and heroic as the movie portrays. It analyzes in great detail potential conflicts of interest by the arbitrator, questionable science regarding chromium's actual water-borne toxicity to humans in, and serious questions about how little money each plantiff (victim) actually received (compared to the $133 million their attorney's took off the top). I'm not saying the article is 100% accurate, but it's an interesting and informative read.

The prior criticisms of Brockovich in the article were based on some highly questionable work by Michael Fumento, a nonscientist with a partisan agenda. I have revised the article to provide more information and to avoid reliance on Fumento's work. John M Baker 17:40, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

oh stop. if you're going to sling mud such as 'nonscientist with a partisan agenda', then this label should be applied to ms. brokovich. i AM a scientist and have no interest in the case, but I have read mr fumento's well-footnoted reports, and they are, if not convincing, at least more than sufficient to show that there is significant controversy.

The characterization of Fumento's work as 'questionable' is entirely your opinion. The article as it stands after your edit does not clearly indicate that there is controversy over Brokovitch's claims - which there most surely is.

Fumento is not a scientist. His writings are highly partisan, and his selection and reading of evidence seem heavily influenced by political ideology.[1] He has been known to accept undisclosed funding from the business interests he supports.[2] Considering these facts, I think there is a heavy burden on anyone who chooses to cite Fumento.
The article currently states that scientists are divided on the merits of Brockovich's work. I would support a more detailed discussion, if one could be achieved based upon solid sources, without original research, and without abandoning NPOV. John M Baker 19:07, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I think you are the one having trouble with the concept of NPOV. The sections in the article that you have now twice removed did not 'cite' Fumento in order to establish a point of view, but simply pointed out that disagreements exist and provided links to source material if the reader is interested. The latest revision even went so far as to caution the reader against considering Fumento as an unbiased source. Simply inserting a throwaway 'scientists are divided' line into an entry that otherwise reads like a cheer squad chant for brockovich (with a link to supporting material that requires payment in order to access), does not provide a adequate level of objectivity. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 202.2.57.110 (talk) 08:36, 27 March 2007 (UTC).
Just to say that Fumento is "controversial" fails to convey his lack of credibility in an encyclopedia. I would love to see a good discussion of this issue, but that takes more than citing to Fumento, even with a disclaimer. I've corrected the references to cite properly to Science, rather than just linking to password-protected pages. John M Baker 19:34, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
This entry is a freakin joke. If you deleted all of the current text and replaced it with "Erin Brockovich is freakin awesome" there would be no substantive difference. It is absolutely hilarious that Michael Fumento's research is left out because he is a "non-scientist" with a supposed partisan agenda. Give me a break. Does that mean that a NY Times report critical of Brockovich would be discounted? I can guarantee the author would be a "non-scientist". If we had to go through Wikipedia and get rid of every citation that fits your description, half the entries would contain no citations. One doesn't have to be scientist to write a well-researched article concerning a scientific topic. Ever heard of the concept of journalism? Moreover, given Brockovich's complete lack of formal scientific training and her obvious financial gain from her frivolous lawsuits, criticisms concerning Fumento's funding and his lack of a science background are as hypocritical and laughable as they are pathetic. Furthermore, quit claiming that you want to see a "good discussion" of the issue if you are going to contineu deleting sources that are critical of Brockovich. Unless of course you are only interested in a discussion that makes Brockovich look like a saint. Why don't you just admit you are going to delete anything that is critical of Brockovich? "Non-scientist"? Seriously? In an article about Brockovich? What a joke. At least you didn't bring up questionable funding in an article about a woman who made millions whilst her clients were given next to nothing. Oh, wait... you did. My bad. This entry is one of the worst, from a neutrality standpoint, I have ever seen on Wikipedia.


A better question is why are edits on a TALK page being reverted without so much as an explanation? I'm done with Wikipedia. Honestly. The lack of transparency and appeal to popular belief here is laughable.Smidoid (talk) 01:53, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Miss Wichita[edit]

Was Erin really Miss Wichita? Or was that just artistic license? Tomertalk 22:42, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Not quite...Found it here...
Had Erin Brockovich really been Miss Wichita?
In responding to a question regarding the movie's accuracy, Erin answered by saying the following, "It's about 98 to 99 percent accurate. They took very, very few liberties. One of the liberties was, I was not Miss Wichita, I was actually Miss Pacific Coast, right here in California. Steven Soderbergh thought it would be cute since I was from Kansas to throw that in there." -CommonWealthClub.org
Tomertalk 22:57, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

I deleted a part of one sentence that said she entered a lot of lucrative beauty pagents. I looked at her bio on her website and she only entered one, the Pacific Coast pagent, and she won.Mylittlezach (talk) 18:37, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Correct name of the case[edit]

Isn't the correct name of the case Anderson v Pacific Gas & Electric, Anderson being the lead plaintiff? --ukexpat 12:53, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

There were multiple lawsuits, so using the name of just one plaintiff is misleading. I have changed the section heading to "Pacific Gas Litigation." John M Baker 21:30, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Good upgrade - thanks.--ukexpat 00:19, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

National Institutes of Health report[edit]

I believe to include this report is a violation of Wikipedia's policies prohibiting Original Research and writing in a non-neutral Point of View.

  • The report cited makes no mention of Brockovich or the Pacific Gas Litigation mentioned in her article. To include it without a direct mention of her is to take a (non-neutral) point of view that the report is germane in some way to either her or the litigation.
  • It also appears that it is being included to advance the position that Brockovich's work is of merit. Without a specific mention of her in the cited source, including it is a violation of the section of WP:OR prohibiting synthesis of published material serving to advance a position. Please note that the Science article cited explicitly mentions her and is therefore suitable for inclusion in article about her. Lawyer2b 01:28, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
The report is not original research, but is cited for the proposition that Cr (VI) may be carcinogenic when ingested in drinking water, a proposition for which it is directly relevant. It is irrelevant whether it specifically refers to the Hinkley situation. (In fact, it does refer to Hinkley, not that that matters.) This is in contrast to a discussion of Brockovich personally, where there does need to be specific reference to her. I have also added language to show the limits of the NTP report, as well as an additional reference on the controversy. John M Baker 23:46, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

Ok, I think this page needs some work. Most questionable part is listing her whole family. Is there some point to that? And I think the biography section should lay the foundation for the coverage in the legal arena. Now it just seems the focus is on the case, not the person. FrozenPurpleCube 04:33, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Add on a Brockovich for Governor of CA draft campaign?[edit]

I just received an invite from a facebook group calling for the organization of a draft campaign for Erin Brockovich to run for Governor of California in 2010. I was thinking perhaps we could add on a reference to the draft campaign to the article. Here is the link to the group:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=49490441370 Liberal92 (talk) 03:29, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Questionably deleted text[edit]

I don't really have time to deal with this, so I'll put it here. Historically, most of the attention on this article has been on the value of Brockovich's work, with some naysayers asserting that Hinkley residents weren't really in much danger anyway from the Chromium(VI) in the groundwater (they usually call it Chromium-6). Over time, the discussion of this issue became the most heavily researched and focused portion of the article. Recently, two editors have chosen to delete it. Here is the material; for now, at least, I'll leave it to others to decide if some or all of it should go in the article. I'm not sure why there's a "Citation needed" tag, since there used to be a cite for that point; it apparently got deleted somewhere along the way. John M Baker (talk) 23:46, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Chromium(VI) is known to be toxic and carcinogenic,[1] and the 0.58 ppm in the groundwater in Hinkley exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level of 0.10 ppm currently set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.[2] However, while it has long been known that chromium(VI) is carcinogenic when ingested via inhalation, drinking water laced with chromium(VI) is widely believed to be less toxic; some experts argue that the exposures at Hinkley were too low to cause health effects, while others respond that there were too many gaps in the data on chromium to dismiss the Hinkley residents' case.[3] When Harvard's School of Public Health gave Brockovich an award in 2005, scientists were divided on the merits of her work.[citation needed] National Institutes of Health researchers announced May 16, 2007 there is strong evidence that hexavalent chromium causes cancer in laboratory animals when it is consumed in drinking water. The two-year study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP)[4] shows that animals given hexavalent chromium for three months developed malignant tumors on their pituitary gland.[5] The report warns that extrapolation of these results to other species, including characterization of hazards and risks to humans, requires analyses beyond the intent of the report. Nevertheless, health care professionals agree that the current data on chromium(VI) are sufficient to justify strict legal limits on the hexavalent chromium concentration in water, and that neglect of these limits imposes a major health threat on the affected population.

  1. ^ David Blowes (2002). "Tracking Hexavalent Cr in Groundwater". Science. 295: 2024–25. doi:10.1126/science.1070031.
  2. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Factsheet on: CHROMIUM.
  3. ^ Cheryl Pellerin & Susan M. Booker, "Reflections on Hexavalent Chromium: Health Hazards of an Industrial Heavyweight," Environmental Health Perspectives 108: A402 - A407 (Sept. 2000).
  4. ^ http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/
  5. ^ NTP Report on Sodium Dichromate Dihydrate (CAS No. 7789-12-0) Administered in Drinking Water to Male and Female F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice and Male BALB/c and am3-C57BL/6 Mice
I'll speak to why I removed it. This article isn't the place to make the case for or against whether hexavalent chromium is carcinogenic, or detail the results of government studies regarding it. This article also isn't the place to debate whether Brockovich's work had value in regard to the dangers of hexavelent chromium. That is best reserved for a separate article addressing that in specific. Brockovich isn't a scientist so any discussion in this article regarding her involvement needs to address what her work was, and that wasn't determining the dangers of a substance. Her work was directed toward assisting in developing a lawsuit and assisting in obtaining a judgment from it. If the focus of the article was becoming a debate over the merits or weaknesses in the lawsuit, that has nothing to do with Brockovich's involvement since that involvement wasn't developing the scientific evidence covered in it. If the article had become a source of debate over the merits of the scientific evidence, that also belonged in a different article than this one. It is beyond the scope of this article to establish the validity of the science upon which the lawsuit itself was determined. It certainly wasn't what Brockovich's place in the case was. If debate over it is relevant to the case, then by all means write an article about the validity of the case itself and not try to justify or explain the whys that aren't relevant here. Also, there is no need to paste the section into the talk page. It is always available in the article history. Wildhartlivie (talk) 15:29, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Two different birthdays in article?! Which is it?! Should be corrected right away![edit]

I don't know how I could POSSIBLY be the first one to notice this, but under her photo, it says that her birthdate is November 19, 1960 , whereas in the article itself, at the very beginning, it actually says "Erin Brockovich, born June 22, 1960". This should be corrected right away, as this particular kind of error defeats the exact purpose of an encyclopedia. It's one thing to have a conflict related to POV guidelines, but this is a black and white issue. She can only have one birthday. Sorry, I'm just a little incredulous. Of course, since I am not the boss of the world, I will not just do something arbitrary...so, please... comment away... 70.49.105.165 (talk) 05:05, 27 November 2010 (UTC) (70.49.105.165 (talk) 05:05, 27 November 2010 (UTC))

The current version of the article also has two different birthdates, June 22, 1960 and June 22, 1961. I don't have a source as to which is correct. Wanderer57 (talk) 02:32, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Pacific Gas and Electric litigation comment on background levels[edit]

"Average chromium(VI) levels in Hinkley were recorded as 1.19 ppb with a peak of 3.09 ppb. The PG&E Topock Compressor Station averaged 7.8 ppb and peaks at 31.8 ppb based on the PG&E Background Study. Compare to the California proposed health goal of 0.06 ppb."

One thing people should consider with this statement is what the groundwater levels of the plume were at the site. Although the background levels may be above the California health goal (meaning PG&E should only have to clean up to the background level instead of the California health goal) more than likely the plume levels were much higher. We see this on many contaminated sites, that metals have high background levels, higher than safe drinking water levels (especially in the western United States). Just because water comes from the ground does not mean it's safe to drink even though there has never been site contamination. Looking at a plume map from February 2011 (EPA Website) they still have many wells that have values much higher than 50 micrograms per liter (ug/L), more than 12 times the highest background level and some values greater than 2,000 ug/L. So, although a doctor has said the cancer rates are lower than expected and the background levels are higher than what is recommended, it does not mean that the plume is "safe", just something to keep in mind. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Masvd7 (talkcontribs) 04:00, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Odd omission and argumentation[edit]

So we've got this whole section entitled "Pacific Gas and Electric litigation", in an article entitled Erin Brockovich, but the section does not so much as hint at the nature of Brockovich's involvement; rather, the section talks about the technical details of the case and includes unnecessary argumentation about cancer rates in Hinkley and comparative rates of contamination in other places. The section also draws upon primary sources and makes conclusions about the data therein, which I believe is original research.

Shouldn't the article and the section dwell primarily on Brockovich and her involvement? Shouldn't the section at least hint on why there's any reason for it to be included in the article? --jpgordon::==( o ) 16:42, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Despite the passage of 17 months, Jpgordon's question has not received any answer. Does anyone know of sources about what happened? Wanderer57 (talk) 20:16, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

The law firm who sued PG&E regarding to Hinkley groundwater contamination[edit]

Was Masry's law firm? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.230.25.50 (talkcontribs) 10:55, 20 November 2012‎ (UTC)

June 2013 arrest[edit]

Adding the section on Brockovich's June 2013 arrest for intoxication seems petty and off-topic for this article. It's tantamount to someone getting cited for having a burned-out tail light on their car. She isn't known for being a lush, and if she hadn't already been famous for something else, it probably wouldn't even have made the news. Although I don't know much about Brockovich other than what I've read here at Wikipedia and a few news articles, it seems to me that adding the section smacks of vindictiveness and pushes the limits on Wikipedia's BLP policies. I suggest the section should be deleted. — QuicksilverT @ 03:31, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree with the previous editor that the note about an arrest pushes the limits on Wikipedia's BLP policies. It is a piece of information not important enough to warrant inclusion in the article. I've deleted the note. Wanderer57 (talk) 03:02, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Im going to have to disagree. Public figures getting arrested (was she convicted?) of a serious crime like DUI is inherently noteworthy. It is not at all like a burned out taillight. Two kinds of pork (talk) 08:37, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
It is absolutely insane to compare a broken tail light to a choice to do something that kills and severely injures so many people every year. As as a woman famous for forcing others to pay for their legal transgressions, her own decision to violate a law that puts so many innocent people at risk is absolutely appropriate for a bio. If a DUI arrest is not worthy of being in her bio, then Wikipedia should be wiped clean of every single arrest on every single person's page.
Yes, a conviction for DUI (or other serious offense) is germane (that is, both relevant and appropriate), especially in the life of one who criticizes others and seeks to dictate the behavior of others.
However, if the prosecutor did not get a conviction, then let's omit an acquittal.
A conviction matters greatly, but an acquittal does not matter nearly as much.
Doc – DocRushing (talk) 12:41, 26 May 2014 (UTC).
Except she WASN'T acquitted. Like many famous people, she was allowed to plea it down to virtually nothing, and then pled no contest. Surely Wikipedia knows the difference between No Contest (which is the defendant admitting there is likely enough evidence to find them guilty, without actually admitting guilt) and actually being acquitted. If you are acquitted, you don't pay fines, serve 25 hours of community service and have to go to safety school. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.255.149.63 (talk) 10:50, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Nonetheless, there's no conviction of drunken boating.
If anyone wishes to pursue the matter of a plea bargain, will someone please present a credible report of it, including the terms and the performance or resolution of it?
Doc – DocRushing (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC).
But again...what I am saying is, if a plea bargain isn't worthy of being in a bio (and I realize it IS on this page now) then there are literally HUNDREDS (maybe thousands) of Wikipedia bio pages that need to be scrubbed of mentions of arrests since may end in plea bargains. And with Brockovich, a case could be made that it is MORE newsworthy than some random actor or actress because she is famous for seeing that people who violate the law are punished. Her getting a DUI means more than, say, Paris Hilton doing so because there is hypocrisy on Brockovich's part. As for a source for the plea bargain... http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/Erin-Brockovich-resolves-Nevada-drunken-boating-case-226541291.html198.255.149.63 (talk) 00:47, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
I get it; she's a hypocrite because she allegedly got caught driving while intoxicated, so her exposure of mass pollution by a corporation should somehow be discounted. How inane and smug of an attitude is that? I guess it's a difference in scale. Some of Hitler's victims got parking tickets so who are they to accuse him of lawbreaking. Give us a break!

To whom it may concern: How are Hitler and parking tickets relevant to a discussion of Erin Brockovich's DUI?


I've removed the brief mention that was reintroduced. Seems to be a POV, BLP, and NOT vio, especially in light of the comments above. --Ronz (talk) 18:00, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Provocative attire[edit]

Perhaps this,belongs in the film more than the BLP, but the subject did acknolwedged dressing in such a fashion that was quite out of place for her profession. Enough so that she gets asked the question all the time. I'd like to find a tasteful,and sourced way to to add this.Two kinds of pork (talk) 08:37, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

"Brockovich's attorneys"?[edit]

The article reads "Brockovich's attorneys received 133.6 million dollars of that settlement, and Brockovich herself received a bonus of two million dollars. However, Brockovich's attorneys held onto the money more than six months, then, after several threats for lawsuits, they finally paid out.[8]" Somebody please edit if necessary to clarify if 1) "Brockovich's attorneys" are lawyers she hired to represent her, or 2) this is the law firm she clerked for.Casey (talk) 15:17, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Hearing nothing, I rewrote this entire section of the article. Casey (talk) 19:07, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

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Adding a controversy section[edit]

User blocked. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:57, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

As I have previously disclosed, I have a prior existing and long standing professional conflict with Erin but I do have volumes or secondary sources for controversies she’s been involved in. I am going to slowly start adding this to this section.

I do have a concern that (Redacted) appear to be haunting this article and preventing things from being included.

More later 2Famous2UseMyName (talk) 02:34, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

Personal attacks against the article subject and Wikipedia editors will lead to your being blocked from editing. If you have a declared conflict of interest, it is in your best interest not to edit the article at all, but rather to discuss proposed changes (with reliable sources) here on the talk page. I have redacted your BLP-violating verbiage here and warn you strongly that you'll be blocked if you continue exercising a personal vendetta here. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:37, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
I’ve already addressed your concern on the admin noticeboard prior to your predicted response and asked for intervention, as posting secondary sources to Erin’s now dozens and dozens of scandals isn’t a personal attack and neither referencing unnamed editors. As I stated on the notice board, I believe that people watching this page are not declaring bias and are editing in her favor. Once again, all addressed prior to my post, also on which I was instructed to post my concerns here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2Famous2UseMyName (talkcontribs) 02:47, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
You haven't posted any secondary sources anywhere; you've merely made unsupported accusations and defamatory claims about the article subject and unnamed Wikipedians. Either substantiate your claims with diffs which show evidence of bias among editors, and reliable sources which support your vague and undefined claims about Brockovich, or drop it and move on. Or you can just get blocked. Up to you. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:51, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
As it notes here, we generally avoid having controversy sections. --Nat Gertler (talk) 02:40, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
Prior to posting this I started a thread for admins to monitor my additions to the page because adding a controversy section isn’t a personal attack and I predicted your behavior prior to my post and was actually instructed by admins to place this here. See the noticeboard. 2Famous2UseMyName (talk) 02:41, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
No admin instructed you to claim, without a shred of evidence, that Wikipedia users are part of a "cult of personality." NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:44, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.