While most of our readers will remember the movie Erin Brochovich, I doubt that all will recall the actual lawsuit that was the basis for the movie. Before that movie, most folks weren’t aware of the magnitude of the problem relating to toxic torts. Now, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will pay $20 million to settle the last in a series of lawsuits that claimed it was responsible for poisoning water in the Mojave Desert town of Hinkley, California. The agreement involved claims that 104 people were exposed to water that contained chromium 6, a potential carcinogen. The settlement was the latest in a series of suits involving PG&E contamination that sickened hundreds of people in Kings, Riverside and San Bernardino counties from the 1950s through the mid-1980s.
The 2000 movie Erin Brockovich was based on the 1996 case that ended with a $333 million settlement on behalf of more than 600 Hinkley residents. Two years ago, PG&E agreed to pay $295 million to settle other lawsuits involving about 1,100 people. The final lawsuit was filed about seven years ago. As it turned out the people who lived by the PG&E plant weren’t the only ones affected. The settlement ends the last remaining lawsuit against the company over chromium 6 pollution in the region.
Source: Associated Press
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