Erin Brockovich (2000) Script

You have no actual medical training?

No. I have kids.

I learned a lot right there.

I've seen nurses give my son throat cultures and... What is it?

You stick a giant Qtip down their throat and wait.

Or a urinalysis where you take that dipstick... to see whether or not the white count's high.

Yes, I understand.

And I'm great with people.

You'd have to observe me to know for sure, but you can trust me on that.

I'm an extremely fast learner. You show me something in a lab once... and I've got it down.

I always wanted to go to medical school.

That was my first interest, really... but then I got married and had a kid too young and that blew that.

When I got out of high school, I got a job... with Fleuer Engineers and Constructors in Irvine.

I fell madly in love with geology.

Geology?

I learned how to read maps. I love maps.

But I lost my job because... my boy came down with chicken pox, had 104 temperature.

My ex-husband was useless, so... that didn't really work out.

You got a really nice office.

Thanks.

Look.


Oh, fuck!

Goddamn it.


Good morning, Mr. Masry. How are you doing today?

Fine, thanks. And you?

Very well. Thank you for asking.

Good morning.

Did you see it last night?

I was out, but I taped it. Don't tell me what happens.

It was so good. Your 9:00 is here already.

Remind me.

Erin Brockovich. Car accident. Not her fault, she says.

She was referred.

Erin, hi.

Ed Masry. Sorry you had to wait.

That's okay.

Here, sit down.

Thank you.

I never thought just standing could take it out of you... but ever since that shithead hit me, I feel like my body's put together wrong.

You poor thing.

Did anyone ask if you wanted coffee?

Yeah. I'm fine. Good.

Listen. Whoever did this to you made one hell of a mistake.

And you and me, we're gonna make him pay for it.

Why don't you tell me what happened.

I was pulling out real slow... and out of nowhere... his Jaguar comes racing around the corner like a bat out of hell.

They took some bone from my hip and put it in my neck.

I don't have insurance, so...

I'm about $17,000 in debt right now.

I couldn't take painkillers 'cause they made me too groggy to care for my kids.

Matthew's eight and Katie's almost six... and Beth's just nine months.

I just wanna be a good mom, a nice person... a decent citizen.

I just wanna take good care of my kids.

Yeah, I know.

Seventeen thousand in debt?

Is your ex-husband helping? Which one?

There's more than one?

Yeah, there's two. Why?

So, you must've been feeling pretty desperate that afternoon.

What's your point?

Broke, three kids, no job.

A doctor in a Jaguar? Good meal ticket.

Objection. What? He hit me.

So you say.

He came tearing around the corner out of control.

An ER doctor who spends his days saving lives was the one out of control?

That asshole smashed in my fucking neck.

Open and fucking shut? It's that language that lost the case.

It was over long before then. I told you they'd get personal.

You told me I'd be set. I never said that.

You told me I had a good shot. I had no shot.

Let's settle down. Fuck settle down!

I've got $74 in the bank. I can't afford to settle down.

I'm sorry.

Do they teach lawyers to apologize?

Because you suck at it.


Hello?

You're back so soon.

Were you a good girl?

You're my little baby.

What, is that a little cough? She's got a little cough.

I sat in the steam with her to try to loosen it up, but...

I think I've got some cough medicine.

Listen. I didn't want to tell you before.

You know, with your worries. What?

My daughter, she bought a big house with a room for me.

I'm moving in with her. When?

Next week. Next week?

I know, but it's good for me.

Now I can help my daughter take care of my grandkids.

And it's good for you too. Now that you have money... you can hire a good baby-sitter, not the old lady next door.

Thanks.

Matthew? Katie? You back here?

Come on in.

Get in the house. No dripping.

Okay.

Please don't get sick on me. Please.

Let's fx some dinner.

Look at the water.

Oh, God!

Damn it.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

We're going out.

Go ahead and order.

I'm gonna have a cheeseburger deluxe with a Coke.

Mommy, can I have a cheeseburger deluxe with no cheese and no bread?

Did you get that? Yeah.

And she will have a cup of chicken broth and a few crackers, please.

And for you? Just a cup of coffee.

Mom, you're not eating?

My lawyer took me out to a fancy lunch to celebrate, and I'm still stuffed.

How 'bout that?


I'm calling about the job ad in the paper.

I'm calling about the job ad.

The great personality, good voice.

I don't have any actual sales experience.

I don't really have a resumé, but I can...

No, I don't have any computer skills, but...

I thought it... I thought it was the local store.

Okay. Thanks anyway.

Okay, bye.

Ed Masry, please.

Yes, I'm holding for Ed Masry.

Is he ever in the office?

I've called about a dozen times.

Yes, I'd like to leave another message.

Brockovich. B-R-O-C-K-O-V-l-C-H.

I'm a client. I want him to call me. It's as simple as that.


Goddamn it!

Who put that there?

Those are the files you asked for.

But I didn't ask for you to put it in the middle of the floor.

Look at me. Get a towel, will you?

What's she doing here? Who?

What's she doing here?

She works here.

How's it goin'?

You never called me back. I left messages.

You did? Well, I didn't know that.

Donald seems to think...

There's two things that aggravate me, Mr. Masry:

Being ignored and being lied to.

I never lied. You told me things would be fine.

They're not. I trusted you.

Sorry about that. I don't need pity. I need a paycheck.

And I've looked. But when you spend the past six years raising babies... it's real hard to convince someone to give you a job that pays worth a damn.

Are you gettin' every word of this down, honey, or am I talkin' too fast for you?

I'm sorry about that. I really am.

We have a full staff right now. Bullshit!

If you had a full staff, this office would return a client's phone call.

I'm smart, I'm hardworking and I'll do anything... and I'm not leaving here without a job.

Don't make me beg.

If it doesn't work out, fire me.

Don't make me beg.

No benefits.

What we do in here is file all of the cases.

That way, at any time, we can tell the status of a file... you know, where it is in the office, stuff like that.

Here's where we organize all the files alphabetically.

Simple enough.

And here is your desk.

Now I want to show you where the Xerox machine is.

Everybody has a code and you need to know about that.

Do I get to pick my own code? We'll see.

I was wondering, who would I talk to about getting an advance on my paycheck?

Just for the weekend.

Rosalind's the office manager. She handles the payroll and petty cash.

But she's gone already. She leaves early on Fridays.

Okay. Thank you. For Pete's sake. Here.

I've only got hundreds.

Here.

I don't want your money.

Where do you think your paycheck comes from? Here.

Have a good weekend. Thank you.

See ya.

Hi, my sweetie.

How are you? Matthew. Katie.

Hey, Mom.

Thanks a lot. You're welcome.


Hello.

What are you doing making all that goddamn noise?

Introducing ourselves to the neighborhood, I guess.

Well, I'm the neighbors.

There. We're introduced. So shut the fuck up.

Wait. Hold on there.

Let's start over, okay? My name's George. What's yours?

Just think of me as the person next door who likes it quiet.

Don't be like that.

We live next door to each other, and I feel bad.

I feel terrible. I'm sorry. Will you accept my apology?

We're livin' next door to each other. If you need a cup of sugar...

I don't need sugar. You don't.

Why don't I take you out to dinner to apologize for my rudeness?

You give me your number. I already got your address.

So you can't get away.

I'll call you up proper and ask you out.

You want my number?

I do. I do want your number.

Which number do you want? George?

George. I like the way you say that.

How many numbers you got?

I got numbers coming out of my ears. For instance, ten.

Yeah. That's how many months old my baby girl is.

You got a little girl?

Sexy, huh? How about this for a number?

Six. That's how old my other daughter is. Eight is the age of my son.

Two is how many times I've been married and divorced.

Sixteen is the number of dollars I have in my bank account.

850-3943, that's my phone number.

With all the numbers I gave you, I guess zero is how many times you'll call.

How do you remember your bank balance off the top of your head?

That impresses me.

You're dead wrong about that zero thing.

How long has she been crying like that?

She's got that tooth comin' in.

Give her a cold wash cloth to suck on. I got to go.

I'll check back later.

Where's Anna?

She's out to lunch with the girls.

I have to open a file.

Real estate thing, pro bono.

You know how to do that, don't you? Yeah, I got it. No problem.

You're a girl.

Excuse me?

Why aren't you out to lunch with the girls? You're a girl.

I guess I'm not the right kind.

You may want to, now that you're working here... you may want to rethink your wardrobe a little.

Why is that?

Well, I think some of the girls... are a little uncomfortable because of what you wear.

Is that so?

Well, it just so happens...

I think I look nice.

And as long as I have one ass instead of two, I'll wear what I like... if that's okay.

You might wanna rethink those ties.

With this real estate stuff, could you remind me?

I'm a little confused exactly how we do it.

Why are there medical records and blood samples in real estate files?

You've been here long enough.

If you don't know how to do your job, I'm not about to do it for you.

Hello?


What the hell happened?

Hungry? Am l...

Why are they here? I went to pick them up.

She came by and said something came up and had to drop the kids off.

Something came up? Why didn't she call me at work?

I don't know. She... I was... I don't know why.

That stupid bitch! Mom!

Sorry. I just can't believe she dumps my kids off when nobody's home.

I was home.

We're fine. We cooked some burgers, had some milk.

Want a hot dog? There an extra one on the grill.

Or a cheeseburger.

But this mustard is slippery.

Mom, what do you think about me getting a tattoo?

One, two, three.

I got kings. You win. You got a joker.

King. Joker.

You stole a joker!

You cheat! What do you mean, I cheat?

You're cheating!

Get another one.

Time to go to bed.

Excuse me. Get ready for bed. Brush your teeth.

Play tomorrow?

Good night, buddy.

What's that?

This is a Harley-Davidson. It's the best damn motorcycle ever made.

And if I ever catch either one of you near one, I'll knock you silly.

Brush your teeth. And keep it down. The baby's asleep.

You got great kids.

Well, I'm sure I'll fuck 'em up eventually.

Why?

Obviously, not a good judge of character... or I would never have left them with that idiot... who cost a fortune and smelled like chicken fat.

And after I find her and kill her...

I don't know what I'm gonna do.

If you need help with them, I can do that.

I'm not leaving my kids with you. Why?

I don't even know you. What do you want to know? Ask.

Thanks for today. You're welcome.

It was my pleasure.

How many decks do you guys have here? We have more than enough.

What, you got so many friends you can't use one more?

I'm serious. If you need someone to look after your kids after school...

I don't have a job now, so...

That's a great recommendation. I'm unemployed.

By choice.

I work when I need to.

What do you do the rest of the time, live off your trust fund?

I do construction which pays real good, and I make it last by livin' cheap.

I hope that's not supposed to impress me.

Hey, bed.

Your little ghosts.

You always this hard on people who try to help you?

I'm out of practice.

Well, let me remind you, then.

The polite thing is to say, Thank you. Start it off with that.

And you could say, Hey, that's a really nice offer.

I don't mind taking you up on that."

Why the hell do you wanna watch my kids?

I like kids. Right.

I like hanging out with them. They keep it simple.

You're home every afternoon?

I'm usually just workin' on my bike.

It's no big deal.

If it doesn't work out, you can send them back to the chicken fat lady.

This isn't gonna get you laid.

Get in bed.

That's good, 'cause I didn't find you attractive either.

Well, good. Then we're even.

So we don't have to worry about that. I'm glad we got that out of the way.

I feel much better. I do too. Really, seriously.

I can just look after the kids and not worry about you coming on to me.


Bring the phone into the changing room. Of course they won't.

Mrs. Masry, don't be such a tease.

Hold on. Yeah?

Sorry. Would you mind if I investigate this further?

Investigate what?

This real estate thing with the Jensens. The pro bono case.

I just wanna make sure I'm understanding what I'm reading.

Sure. You don't mind?

Okay. Great. Thanks.


Hi. Donna Jensen?

I'm Erin Brockovich, with Masry and Vititoe.

Oh. You're a lawyer?

Hell, no.

I hate lawyers. I just work for 'em.

Do you have a minute?

I don't mean to be a pain in PG&E's backside... especially after all they've done for Hinkley, but...

I look around here and I think... if they want this place, they're gonna have to pay for it.

So you didn't put the house up for sale? They just wanted to buy it.

Oh, yeah.

I don't wanna move.

Uproot the kids? I got a couple of girls.

Honest to God, I don't know if I have the energy.

You know, I've been sick. Me and Pete both have.

The whole idea of selling this house... if they're not gonna pay us properly, I just don't see the point.

I can see that. But...

The thing confusing me, not that your medical problems aren't important... but how come the files on that are in with all the real estate stuff?

There's so much correspondence, I just keep it all in one place.

Right. Right.

I'm sorry. I just don't see... why you're corresponding with PG&E about your medical problems at all.

Well, they paid for the doctor's visit.

They did?

You bet. Paid for a checkup for the whole family.

And not like with insurance where you pay... and a year goes by and maybe you see some money.

They just took care of it, just like that.

We never even saw a bill. Wow. Why'd they do that?

'Cause of the chromium.

The what? The chromium.

Well, that's what kicked this whole thing off.


What kind of chromium is it? There's more than one?

There's straight up chromium, does all kind of good things for the body.

Chrom three, which is fairly benign.

Then there's chrom six, hexavalent chromium... which, depending on the amounts, can be very harmful.

Harmful, how? What would you get?

With repeated exposure to toxic levels, God, anything really... from chronic headaches and nosebleeds to respiratory disease... liver failure, heart failure, reproductive failure... bone or organ deterioration, plus, of course, any type of cancer.

So, that stuff, it kills people.

Yeah, definitely. Highly toxic, highly carcinogenic.

It gets into your DNA too, so you pass the trouble to your kids.

It's very, very bad.

What's it used for?

A rust inhibitor.

Utility plants use piston engines. The engines get hot.

They run water through them. Chromium's in the water to prevent corrosion.

Well, how do I find out what kind of chromium they use in Hinkley?

Been to their water board? What's that?

Every county has one.

It has records of anything water-related within its jurisdiction.

You should find something there. County water board.

All right. Well, thanks.

Good luck.

I wouldn't advertise what you're looking for.

Incriminating records have a way of disappearing when people smell trouble.

I'll remember that. Thanks.


Damn, that's a heavy door.

Let me give you a hand. Thank you very much.

Aren't you a gentleman, Mr... Scott.

Mr. Scott. Pleased to meet you.

I'm Erin.

Erin. Cool.

So what can I do for you?

Believe it or not, I'm on the prowl for some water records.

You've come to the right place. I guess I did.

Just tell me what you wanna look at and I'd be glad to dig 'em out for you.

I wish I knew. It's for my boss.

He's in this water dispute... and he wants me to find all kinds of papers from all kinds of places.

You know, it would probably be easiest... if I just squeezed back there and poked around myself.

Would that be all right with you? Heck, yeah. Come on back.

I'm just gonna need you to sign in here.

Sure.

Pattee. Is that your middle name? Maiden.

You're married?

Not anymore.

Can I just...

I love your pants.

Thanks.

This is it.

It's impressive.

I'll call you if I need anything.

Thank you.


Where's my stuff?

Where have you been? Where the fuck's my stuff?

Don't you use language like that with me. Who do you think you are?

Someone took my stuff. Nice to see you.

I had photos of my kids, a mug... Toothpaste, mousse and deodorant.

Here. What's going on?

There may be jobs where you can disappear, but this isn't one of'em.

Here, you don't do the work, you don't get to stay.

I've been working. Ask Mr. Masry. He knows.

You ask Mr. Masry. He fired you.

You said to fire me?

I'll call you back. You've been gone for a week.

I left a message. I was working on this real estate thing.

I was gonna write a report. You don't leave a message and take off.

Do I check in every two seconds? Yes, it's called accountability.

I'm not talking to you, bitch! Excuse me?

That's enough. Look, Erin.

This incident aside, I don't think this is the right place... for you, okay?

So I'll make a few calls on your behalf and find something else.

Don't bother. I'm trying to help.

You're trying to feel less guilty about firing someone with three kids.

Fuck if I'm gonna help you do that!

Get back to work!

What the hell are you doing here? Fixing the leak under your sink.

Damn it, George. I don't ask you to do things like that.

Look at this mess you've made.

I'm not done with that.

Get it out.

Jesus! Relax.

Shit! Where did it go?

Where is it? Somewhere back there.

Behind your foot. Going up your leg now.

Jesus! Who fucking lives like this?

Who lets their kids run around in a place... that is crawling with bugs the size of house cats?

All you have to do is call an exterminator. Everybody gets them.

I can't call an exterminator.

I can't afford one. I can't even afford my phone.

I got fired.

What?

What do you mean you got fired? You're working so hard.

It doesn't matter.

It doesn't make one fucking bit of difference.

I don't know what happened to me.

I mean...

God, I was Miss Wichita, for Christ's sake.

Did I tell you that?

You are living next door to a real live fucking beauty queen.

I still have my tiara.

And I thought it meant I was gonna do something important with my life... that it meant I was someone.

You're someone to me.

Are you gonna be something else that I have to survive?

'Cause I'll tell you the truth.

I'm not up to it.


So I get up on the stage, right?

And I have the big bouquet of flowers.

And I had my foot out like this, and I say...

I will devote my entire reign as Miss Wichita... to bringing an end to world hunger... and to the creation of a peaceful Earth... for every man, woman and child." God!

How long were you Miss Wichita? One year.

Of course, by the time I got through opening new supermarkets...

I only had a few weeks left to work on hunger and world peace.

Right. I don't know what I was thinking.

What about you, huh?

What about me?

What about you?

Hey, baby, let me tell you somethin'.

Let me get that out of your hair.

Thank you. Nice.

You're a very special lady.

Don't be too nice to me, okay? Why?

Makes me nervous.

It's some slim pickings here, baby.

Maybe that's Ed McMahon. Let's go see.

Wrong Ed.

I'm sorry? What are you doing here?

I had an interesting call this afternoon... from Dr. Frankel from UCLA.

He wanted you to know that the legal limit for hexavalent chromium... is.05 parts per million.

And at the rate you mentioned, .58... it could be responsible for the cancers in that family you asked about... the Jensens.

Well, wasn't that nice of him?

Isn't it funny how some people help people and others just fire them?

I'm sorry. You were gone. I assumed you were off having fun.

And why the hell would you assume that?

I don't know. Maybe you look like someone who has a lot of fun.

So by that standard, I should assume you never get laid.

I'm married.

What is all this... What is the story on this cancer?

You wanna know? Hire me back. I got a ton of bills to pay.

Fine.

So Donna just put in these new cabinets, real nice, stained the wood and all... when she gets a call from somebody at PG&E... saying a freeway's gonna be built and they wanna buy her house... to put in an off-ramp to the plant.

Meanwhile, the husband's sick with Hodgkin's.

She's in and out of the hospital with tumors... believing one thing has nothing to do with the other.

Because PG&E told her about the chromium?

Get this. They had a seminar.

They invited 200 residents from the area, had it at the plant... telling them all about chromium three, and how good it is for you... when all the time they're using chromium six.

That document you found at the water board... the one that says about the bad chromium... you didn't happen to make a copy?

Of course I did.

Well, could I have a look at it?

I want a raise.

And benefits, including dental.

This isn't the way I do business.

What way is that? Extortion.

A 5% raise. We'll talk about benefits later.

Ten.

There are lots of other places I could get work.

Ten percent raise and benefits. But that's it. I'm drawing the line.

He's drawing the line.

Is this all you've got?

So far. That place is a pigsty. I wouldn't be surprised if there's more.

Yeah, those things are a mess.

What makes you think you can just walk in there... and find what we need?

They're called boobs, Ed.

I understand.

Okay, I agree. I'm going to.

Right now.

I'm almost done. Look.

How are we doing?

We're doing great.

Good.

You've got quite a lot done already, so...

I'm sorry, but we need those records back now, okay?

What?

These papers are a matter of public record... and I'm not leaving until they're copied.

Fax these to this number, okay?

All of them? All of them!


An on-site monitoring well? That means it was...

Right on the PG&E property.

And you say that this stuff... hexavalent chromium... it's poisonous.

It's gotta be different than what's in our water...

'cause ours is okay.

The guys from PG&E told me.

They sat right in the kitchen and told me that it was fine.

I know, but the toxicologist I've been talking to... he gave me a list of problems that can come from hexavalent chromium exposure.

Everything you all have is on that list.

No, that's not what our doctor said.

He said that... that one's got absolutely nothing to do with the other.

Right.

But PG&E paid for that doctor.


Get out of the pool! How come?

'Cause I said so!

That's it. Okay, girls.

The minute Brenda sent that fax...

I'm saying the second she pressed the send button...

PG&E's claim department was on the phone to me... scheduling a meeting.

So you think... Wait. Let me do it.

You're driving me nuts. You think we scared 'em, don't you?

They've taken the trouble to send someone.

Sure as hell sounds like they're sitting up and taking notice.

Mr. Foil?

In the interest of putting this whole thing to rest...

PG&E is willing to offer the Jensens $250,000 for their home.

$250,000?

In terms of land value out in Hinkley... we feel that's a more than fair price.

How about in terms of medical expenses?

250,000 isn't come close to what this family is gonna spend on doctors.

I understand they've had bad luck, health-wise. They have my sympathies.

But that's not PG&E's fault. You're kidding, right?

Look at these readings.

PG&E's own technicians documented... toxic levels of hexavalent chromium in those wells on numerous occasions.

Everything the Jensens have had... is proven reaction to exposure to hexavalent chromium... and they have had...

Breast cysts, uterine cancer, Hodgkin's disease, immune deficiencies... asthma, chronic nosebleeds.

A million things could have caused those problems.

Poor diet, bad genes, irresponsible lifestyle.

Our offer is final. And it's more than fair.

Wait a minute. I thought we were negotiating here.

Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars is all I'm authorized to offer.

I'll present your offer to my clients.

I'll doubt they'll accept.

Before you go off on some crusade... you might wanna remember who it is you're dealing with here.

PG&E's a $28 billion corporation.

Twenty-eight billion dollars?

I didn't know it was that much. Wow!

Holy cow!

At least they made an offer.

That wasn't an offer. A million would have been an offer.

And they send their mail clerk to jerk me off, waste my time!

Why would they do that? Because they can.

You heard that kid. They have $28 billion at their disposal.

They can afford to waste time. And you can't?

You think I'm made of money? What are you yelling at me for?

Because I'm pissed off! Good.

Fuck you! Fuck you back!

I really hate you sometimes.

No, you love me.

You've been reading for hours.

I'm a slow reader.


Excuse me.

Are you Erin Brockovich? Yeah.

I'm Tom Robinson. This is my wife Mandy.

We used to live across the street from the Jensens.

I think you know Donna.

PG&E bought our house last year.

The vets said they had a bunch of tumors and stuff.

You can see they couldn't really walk.

How many were born like this?

Twelve or thirteen or so.

Yeah.

When Donna told us about you and what you told her about the chromium... we figured that might have something to do with this too.

Yeah, it might.

I'm really... May I keep these? Yeah.

Okay, great. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

There's something else too.

What?

Mandy here has had... five miscarriages.

I'm so sorry.

I figured it was something I did... like when I smoked marijuana, maybe... or took birth control pills.

But then Donna said... that you thought that this chromium might be to blame for her problems... so I figured...

maybe it wasn't just me.

Whoa.

I gotta take a bath.

You should go in.

They're not asleep?

Beth and Katie are.

How was school?

Fine.

Did you do your homework? Yeah.

Any problems?

I know you're upset, but... the way this job is, things come up at the last minute... real important things that I gotta deal with...

Fine!

Please don't be mad at me.

I'm doing this for us.

I know it's hard for you to understand, but...

Don't you want Mama to be good at her job?

Hmm?

I don't miss dinner all the time. We all ate together last night.

You were reading the whole time.

Okay.

There's something about this whole thing I don't quite understand, Mr. Masry.

If PG&E messed with our water... why would they bother saying anything about it to us at all?

Why not just keep quiet?

To establish a statute of limitations.

In a case like this, you only have one year... from the time you first learn about the problem to file suit.

So PG&E figures...

We'll let the cat out of the bag, tell people the water's not perfect... and if we can ride out the year with no one suing... we'll be in the clear forever.

But it was more than a year ago that they told us.

That's okay. We're not suing. Not yet.

All we're doing is using this information... to get you a real nice purchase price on your house... and you two a comparable retroactive bonus on your sale price.

That way PG&E can still look good to their shareholders...

'cause they're not involved in an ugly lawsuit.

All they're doing is buying a little property.

Doesn't say here how much this whole thing's gonna cost us.

My fee's 40 percent of whatever you get awarded.

Boy, do I know how you feel.

The first time I heard that number I said, You've got to be kidding me.

Forty goddamn percent?

I'm the one that's injured, this joker sits at a desk all day... and he wants to walk away with almost half my reward?"

But then...

I asked him... what he makes if I don't get anything.

Then I don't get anything either.

Plus, he's out all the costs.

So I realized... he's taking a chance too.

You got a pen, honey?

All right, then.

Oh, I made a bundt cake.

Who would like coffee and cake?

I do. We have to be getting back.

Have a fucking cup of coffee, Ed.

Coffee will be great. Thank you.

All right. I'll help you.

My wife makes really good bundt cake.

I love bundt cake.

Well, seems like everybody in the family ended up with a rash somehow.

It also seems like no matter what we did for it, it always came back.

Over what kind of period of time?

Oh, a long time. You know, years.

We never did keep track of it. Kids are sick, animals need to be fed.

Just couldn't get rid of it, that's all.

Uh, well, Mrs. DeSoto said... that she wasn't exactly sure what you had.

Oh, well, we know what it is.

It's gastrointestinal cancer.

She got sick about nine months ago... and they operated on her about six months ago.

The intestine. Right.

Hi. I'm Erin Brock... I know who you are.

Donna called me.

Oh. Can I come in?

I told Donna we're not interested in getting involved.

Can I ask why?

What's the point?

Well, Donna told me that you and your kids have been sick...

Oh, you people don't give a shit.

Anything to get what you want.

It's good of you to have me here. It's a good day to come by.

She's feeling good today.

Mike Ambrosino said he saw you folks at the hospital from time to time... so that's what brought me out here.

Yeah, we've been there from time to time.

And you. Wooftie!

Aren't you a beauty?

You have all the boys crazy, don't you?

I can see it in your eyes. You drive 'em wild.

You do, don't you?

Torture 'em. It's good for 'em.

Don't teach her anything too early.

Yeah, she can't wait to get on her new dress. Isn't that right?

She wants to go back to school, hopefully in the next couple of months.

Yeah, get her out of her nightgown here.

She's gonna do it.

Uh-uh. Absolutely not.

That's crazy. Why not? Because I said no.

PG&E is only talking to us because this is a quiet real estate dispute.

We add plaintiffs, suddenly we're in the middle of a toxic tort... with a statute problem against a massive utility.

No, thank you. Okay, so here's what I'll do.

I'll go to Ted and Rita Daniels, two of the nicest people you could ever meet... who every day watch their Annabelle fight like a dog against cancer... and I'll tell them we can't help them because you don't wanna work that hard.

Work hard? Why, you little manipulative...

Let me tell you something. I've worked all my life.

I built a firm and kept it alive through lawsuits, injunctions and evictions.

I've survived a quadruple bypass, cancer... being born with one kidney and having diabetes.

I've personally managed to save a million dollars... over 30 years of getting some clients ten times that.

Don't tell me I don't work hard.

Don't tell me I haven't earned the right to stop, take a breath and enjoy life.

What the hell do you know about any of this anyway?

Something like this, Erin, it could take forever.

They're a huge corporation.

They could bury us in paperwork for the next 15 years.

I'm just a guy with a small, private firm!

Who happens to know they poisoned people and lied about it.

We can get these people.

With a little effort, I really think we can nail their asses to the wall.

With all your legal expertise, you believe that?

Don't you ever just know? Where's the money coming from?

That's why most of these cases settle... lack of money.

Do you know what toxicologists and geology experts cost?

A hundred grand a month, easy.

I've already used a lot of my savings. We'll figure it out.

I admit I don't know shit about shit... but I know the difference between right and wrong!

Lovers' quarrel? Oh, bite my ass, Krispy Kreme.

I feel you looking at me.

I'm sorry.

How many families are we talking about here?

Four more. Eleven people so far.

You mean there's more?

Well, I found one document that was a toxic test-well reading from 1967.

A hell of a lot more people have lived on that land since then.

Oh, this is a whole different ball game.

A much bigger deal.

Kinda like David and what's-his-name.

It's kinda like David and what's-his-name's whole fucking family.

Okay, here's the deal.

If, and only if, you find all the evidence to back this up...

I'll do it, I'll take it on.

You're doing the right thing.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Remind me of that when I'm filing for bankruptcy.

Of course, gathering evidence is a big job.

A hell of a lot bigger than just filing.

I'll be working a lot harder now.

Taking on a lot more responsibility. I don't believe this.

Another raise wouldn't hurt.

And I'll be spending a lot of time in my car... so I'll probably be needing a cell phone.

I don't believe this.

Just a little phone?


Thank you!

Just go ahead and play.

Roll the dice and play.

Come on. Aren't you gonna play?

Roll the dice!

Come on.

Is this the Erin Pattee Brockovich who's been snooping around the water board?

Yeah. Who's this?

You should watch your step.

A young lady like yourself, with three young children, should think again.

Who is this?

Do you understand what I'm saying?

Who was it?

It's okay.

I'm not gonna quit 'cause of one creepy phone call, George.

Come on, Erin. Your job is supposed to pay your bills, not put you in danger.

I'm not in danger.

The phone might be tapped, but that's usual.

We've got a dead bolt. It's not a big deal.

You're not out of your league?

See? See?

That's what those arrogant PG&E fucks want me to think.

But they're wrong. It doesn't have to be so complicated.

There are plenty of jobs out there. How would you know?

What's that supposed to mean? Nothing.

If you'd rather I got a job instead of taking care of your kids, just say so.

I didn't say that. Because I will.

And you can start leaving the kids with the chicken-fat lady again. Okay?

I said I'm sorry. Keep your voice down.

Please. I know what these kids can sleep through.

I probably know 'em better than you.

Hey, Scott, tell me something.

Does PG&E pay you to cover their ass... or do you just do it out of the kindness of your heart?

I don't know what you're talking about. The fuck you don't.

Nobody calls me Pattee.

That sicko that called the other night could've only found about me from you.

People are dying, Scott.

You've got document after document right under your nose that says why... and you haven't said one word about it.

I wanna know how the hell you sleep at night.


I'm about to drive off the road, I'm so tired. Keep me awake, will ya?

What do you want, a joke?

No, I don't want a joke.

Tell me about your day. What went on back there?

Come to think of it, we had a pretty big event around here.

Beth... started talking.

What?

Beth? My Beth?

We were all sitting around at lunch... and she pointed at a ball and said...

"ball."

Right out of the blue.

It was pretty intense... you know, seeing somebody's first word.

All the words they say in their life, the first word she says is "ball."

She was pointing her little finger... with her beautiful, soft, chubby little arm... and her little cheeks...

She was looking at it like she'd been looking at it for nine months... and just couldn't get it out but knowing what it was.

She didn't look away or anything.

She was just sitting there with her arm out.

You should've seen Matthew and Katie and me.

Our jaws just dropped, and we were looking at her.

We must've stood there three or four minutes and just looked at her.

And she just had her arm out like that. "Ball."

And, you know, her little lips wrapped around her...

It was great. It was intense.

I brought some stuff that I thought you guys might be interested in seeing.

My name's Erin, and I'll be here all day.

Let's go over to these nice ladies. Hi. How are you?

My name is Erin, and I've brought some information today... if you want to look at it.

Any questions, please let me know.

Excuse me, ladies. I'm Ed Masry.

I'm a lawyer involved in the case. I thought you might like to read these.

Any questions, I'll be here all day. Sounds good.

Thanks so much.

You got your phone number in this?

There's more important information in there than that, trust me.

I'm bored. So are the kids.

Okay, well, I'm a little busy here, honey.

We invited all these people here. Ed and I have to... I'm sorry.

You know what? I have an idea. Please. I have an idea.

Can you take her?

She's getting heavy, and I can do my work faster if you take her.

Sugar sleepin' on two feather pillows Sleepin' on two feather pillows Got a need for me?

Hello. Hello, sweetness.

Guess what. What?

I would like to go home.

Get anything done? I got a lot of work done.

I think I ate three watermelons.

Piggyback!

Let's go, brother. Get on.

Careful, careful.

Here, get on me now.

Erin, excuse me. Oh, hi.

This is Nelson Perez.

He works at the compressor station. Hi. Nice to meet you.

PG&E.

Oh, hi. Wow.

I've come at a bad time. No, no.

Can you just give me one...

Of course. Sure. Thank you. Thank you.

Oh, my God.

You know what?

You guys go ahead without me... and I'll get a ride with Ed...

Sweetie, I'll be right behind.

I'll be right behind you. Okay?

I really... This is so... Fine. Go, go, go.

Get down, bud.

We're gonna go home. All right?

Hang on tight there.

Help your sister with her shoes. Come on. Let's go.

Mr. Perez, this is so helpful. May I write some of this down?

I have so many questions.

I wanna know how the plant works, the cooling towers, everything.

They used the hexachrome here in these cooling towers...

They used the hexachrome here in these cooling towers... as an anticorrosive.

Then they dumped the excess water into these ponds.

I don't remember seeing any ponds up there.

This is an old picture. They've been covered over.

And not too carefully, because if you dig one inch under the surface... the dirt's as green as a fuckin' shamrock.

And that's what caused the contamination?

Well, it didn't help, but no. The problem started on the bottom.

According to...

this... in most cases you would line these ponds... so this shit didn't seep into the ground.

But guess what. They skipped that step?

And here are the ponds.

The plume comes down like this, and Hinkley is down here.

It's, like, 14 years of hexachrome just flowing into the ground water.

Jesus.

And this guy just offered all this information?

Well, yeah.

Nelson cares what's in those ponds.

He used to spend half the day wading around in them... that was his job.

Shit.

What's the matter?

I don't know if we can pull this off.

This is a monster case.

We're up to 411 plaintiffs.

We've taken 162 declarations.

Probably hundreds more out there have moved away.

We're gonna have to find 'em. It's taking time, manpower.

Money's going out, nothing's coming in. I'll have to take out a second mortgage.

So? "So"?

So...

I have to tell you...

I've been making inquiries... with other firms, bigger firms... to share some of the cost.

They all said no, said we don't have it.

Bullshit. We got PG&E by the balls.

PG&E Hinkley by the balls.

But nobody'll get rich unless we can pin this on PG&E Corporate in San Francisco.

What do you mean?

PG&E Corporate claims they had no way of knowing what was going on in Hinkley.

Oh, they knew. They had to know.

Show me the document that proves it.

Then they didn't know, and if they didn't know... we can't hit them with punitive damages.

Punitive damages means a sum that can actually have some effect... on these people's lives.

So what do we do now?

Let's assume there are documents... connecting PG&E Hinkley with PG&E Corporate... and they know these documents exist.

We take our 400-or-so plaintiffs and everything you've dug up... we file a lawsuit to provoke a reaction... see if they offer a reasonable amount or just throw more paper at us.

That sounds great. Let's do that.

There's a downside.

PG&E will submit a demurrer... a list of reasons attacking each complaint... claiming that each cause of action has no merit.

If the judge agrees with them, he'll dismiss our case...

PG&E will have no reason to settle... and it's all over.

So, basically, it all comes down to... what this one judge decides.

Basically, yeah.

Jesus.


I'd gotten so used to having them come up benign.

Guess I just didn't expect it.

Sure wish I would have had longer to get used to the idea.

You think if you've got no uterus... and no breasts... you're still technically a woman?

Sure you are.

Yeah, you're just... you're actually a happier woman... because you don't have to worry about maxi pads and underwire.

We're gonna get them, Erin, aren't we?

You gotta promise me that we're gonna get them.

Yeah.

All right, I have before me a complaint... on behalf of the residents of Hinkley... who have filed this lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric... for damages, medical expenses and personal trauma... due to contamination of the ground water in their area... by the defendant.

And I have here 84 motions to strike... and demurrers submitted by representatives... of Pacific Gas and Electric... each one attacking the validity of this complaint.

I have reviewed all of the information carefully.

I'm ready to give my decision.

Before I do, is there anything anyone wants to say?

No, Your Honor.

Very well.

In the matter of the Plaintiffs of Hinkley, California... versus Pacific Gas and Electric... it is the order of this court... that each of the 84 motions to strike and demurrers... are denied... and the causes of action against Pacific Gas and Electric are upheld.

On a more personal note... as a resident here in Barstow, which is not far from Hinkley...

I am disturbed by reference to evidence... that suggests that not only was hexavalent chromium used... but that your clients actually sent these residents pamphlets... telling them that it was good for them.

Tell your clients they're going to trial.

Jesus. They look like the Secret Service.

Intimidation.

Let the games begin.

Show them into the conference room.

Donald. Anna.

I want to talk to you for a minute.

Counselors.

Let's be honest here.

Twenty million dollars is more money than these people have ever dreamed of.

See, now that pisses me off.

First of all, since the demurrer we have more than 400 plaintiffs.

Let's be honest. We all know there are more out there.

They may not be the most sophisticated people, but they do know how to divide.

Twenty million dollars isn't shit when you split it between them.

Second of all, these people don't dream about being rich.

They dream about being able to watch their kids swim in a pool... without worrying that they'll have to have a hysterectomy at the age of 20... like Rosa Diaz, a client of ours... or have their spine deteriorate like Stan Bloom, another client of ours.

So before you come back here with another lame-ass offer...

I want you to think real hard about what your spine is worth, Mr. Walker... or what you might expect someone to pay you for your uterus, Ms. Sanchez.

Then you take out your calculator... and you multiply that number by 100.

Anything less than that is a waste of our time.

By the way, we had the water brought in special for you folks.

Came from a well in Hinkley.

I think this meeting's over.

Damn right it is.


Fuck, George, did a bomb blow up? You letting the kids run wild?

What's that?

I saw 'em in a mall one day.

I said, " Damn... those would look good on those beautiful ears."

So I bought 'em and said, " Next time Erin does or says something nice...

I'll surprise her with 'em."

You know how long ago that was?

Six months ago.

I'm sorry...

And so what I'm thinking is...

either you gotta find a different job or a different guy.

There may be many men out there... who don't mind being the maid and getting nothing in return... but I sure as shit ain't one of'em.

I can't leave my job, George.

Yes, you can.

You can just quit. People do it all the time.

How can you ask me to do that?

This job...

For the first time in my life I've got people respecting me.

Up in Hinkley...

I walk into a room and everyone shuts up to hear if I've got something to say.

I never had that before. Ever.

Please don't ask me to give it up.

What about what your kids are giving up?

I'm doing more for my kids now than I did living with my parents.

One day they'll understand that.

Well, what about me? What about you?

You think either one of the men who gave me those children... asked me what I wanted before he walked away?

All I've ever done is bend my life around what men decide they need.

Well, not now. I'm sorry. I won't do it.

Well...

Erin, I'm not them.

What more do I have to do to prove that to you?

Stay.

What for?

Hmm?

You got a raise.

You can afford day care. You don't need me.


Thank you.

We can get them, Pamela.

We can.

I don't want to feel it all over again... and then not have it come out right.

I don't know if I could handle that.

Put the kids through that.

The thing is, it doesn't matter... whether you win, lose or draw here.

You were lied to. You and your kids are sick because of those lies.

And for no other reason, you all have to come together... to stand up in a courtroom and say that.

I'd bring the kids into the hospital... with towels soaked from their nosebleeds.

They called County Services...

'cause they assumed the kids were being abused.

Am I gonna get the best behavior I was talking about earlier?

What's with the attitude? I just need cool, I need quiet.

Okay?

Hello? Am I alone in the car? Yes?

I said we'll see. I don't wanna talk about it right now.

All the other moms gave permission. I don't care.

When can I get a freakin' answer?

Don't talk to me like that.

Randy's mom said ""yes"" right away. Goddamn it, Matthew!

Randy's mom doesn't work, and Randy's dad did not leave her.

Figuring out who can take who to roller hockey is easier at Randy's house.

Now cool it.

I'll be as quick as I can. Matthew, can you watch your sister?

All right, fine. Come here, Beth.

Can I come with you? No, baby, I'll just be a second.


You can't fight a war without ammunition, can you?

Thank you. I'm only sorry you didn't get to meet Erin.

Well, I will. We have a lot of work to do together.

Okay. Well, thanks for coming over.

Erin, I was just talking about you.

This is our new partner, Kurt Potter. He'll be handling Hinkley now.

Oh, I see what you mean about a secret weapon.

Erin, it's great to meet you. You've done a fabulous job.

I'll be seeing you. Thanks. I appreciate your coming over.

What?

Our new partner? When was I gonna hear about this, in the monthly newsletter?

Hey, just listen. Did I ever tell you about that airline case?

What the fuck are you talking about?

A few years back I was trying this airline case.

I got my ass kicked by this guy. He just buried me in paper. Brutal.

Toughest mother I'd ever been up against.

-Jesus, make a point! It was Kurt Potter.

When we got the PG&E decision, I asked him to partner. He didn't hesitate.

Of course he wouldn't hesitate now. We did all the fucking work.

Where was he before?

It doesn't matter. Erin, listen to me. You want to win this?

He just gave me this check. It covers all our expenses to date.

He's got more toxic tort experience than anyone in this state.

This is good news.

By the way, I got Pamela Duncan.

I wanna open it, Mommy.

You wanna open the can for Mommy? Well, here, I'll help you.

Can you turn it?

Hi, George.

Let's go see.

Let's go see if it's George.


Erin Brockovich?

Yeah. Package from Masry and Vititoe.

Thank you.

Let's see what's in here.

What's in here? Baby.

There's no baby in here.

What is it? A dolly.

It's a dolly?

It's--

Lookit.

"" Lookit"" is right.

Do you see that?

I want that. I want that too.

It's our lucky day.

PG&E has requested that we submit to binding arbitration.

What's that?

That's where we try the case without a jury, just before a judge.

It's called a test trial. The judge's decision is final. There's no appeal.

How many plaintiffs do you have? Six hundred and thirty-four.

They'll never try that many all at once.

So we need to get them together in groups of 20 or 30-- worst cases, the most life-threatened, the sickest in the first group... and so on and so on.

Each one gets to go before a judge to determine damages.

PG&E has proposed that they are liable... anywhere between 50 and 400 million.

Wait a minute. Let me just get this straight.

If we went to trial, PG&E could stretch this over ten years... with appeal after appeal.

Those people in Hinkley-- These people are expecting a trial.

That's what we told them, you and me. They won't understand this.

Kurt thinks it's the best way to go.

Look, I promise you that we'll be very sensitive on this point.

We'll make sure they understand... that this is the only way that we can go forward at this time.

But we have a lot of work to do... before we even broach that subject.

Why don't I take Erin down the hall so we can start on this stuff... and I'll fill her in on the rest of the details.

Those are my files. Yeah. We had them couriered over.

And listen, good work. They're a great start.

We'll just have to spend some time filling in the holes in your research.

Excuse me-- Theresa, is it?

There are no holes in my research.

No offense. Some things we need you probably didn't know to ask.

Don't talk to me like I'm an idiot.

I may not have a law degree, but I've spent 1 8 months on this case... and I know more about these plaintiffs than you ever will.

You don't even have phone numbers for some of them.

Whose number do you need? Everyone's.

We need to be able to contact the plaintiffs.

I said, whose number do you need?

You don't know 600 plaintiffs' numbers by heart.

Annabelle Daniels.

Annabelle Daniels. 7 1 4-454-9346.

Ten years old, eleven in May. Lived on the plume since birth.

Wanted to be a synchronized swimmer, so she spent every minute in the PG&E pool.

A tumor on her brain stem was operated on on Thanksgiving... shrunk with radiation after that.

Her parents are Ted and Rita. Ted's got Crohn's disease.

Rita has chronic headaches and nausea and underwent a hysterectomy last fall.

Ted grew up in Hinkley.

His brother Robbie, his wife May and their five children...

RobbieJr., Martha, Ed, Rose and Peter also lived on the plume.

Their number is 454-95 54.

You want their diseases?

Look, we got off on the wrong foot here.

That's all you got, lady-- two wrong feet and fucking ugly shoes.

She insulted me.

Bullshit. It was a misunderstanding.

But instead of handling it politely and treating her with respect--

Why should I respect her?

Just because she's not supporting 3 kids with no husband and no education... doesn't make her an idiot.

Just because she dresses like a lawyer... doesn't mean she didn't work her ass off in shit positions to earn her way.

Excuse me for not going to law school.

Law school? At this point I'd settle for charm school.

Mr. Linwood.

Oh, God.

Bob?

6086 Bridge Road...

Hinkley, California.

Okay, now, if you could walk me through... all of the elements of...

Annabelle's illnesses.

Specific details.

When the symptoms began prior to the first medical visit.

If you could reserve sentimental embellishments, I'd appreciate it... because they're not gonna help you in court.

I just need facts, dates, time.

I know Theresa isn't real warm, but they say she's a good lawyer.

She asked the same questions you asked. I already told you everything.

I don't want her here again. She's kinda stuck-up, and she upsets Annabelle.

Okay, if you don't like Theresa, that's okay.

You know how important Annabelle is to me.

Ed and I are still here for you.

I called Ed two days ago, Erin. He still hasn't called me back.

Now, I hate to say this, but... everyone's pretty upset about this arbitration thing.

What?

Pamela's written a letter in the Hinkley News... telling everybody to get new lawyers... that we've been lied to.

Is it true?

Did you? Did you?

I'm telling you the truth, and I will get to the bottom of this.

Don't lie to us.

I'll take care of this, I promise. We're trusting you, so--

Thanks. I'll talk to you soon.

All right. Bye-bye.

I'm not saying it's not a strong case.

If it wasn't a strong case, every demurrer wouldn't have been dismissed.

I wouldn't be here.

What I am saying is, we still don't have a smoking gun... that ties San Francisco to Hinkley... something that proves that prior to 1 987...

PG&E Corporate knew the water was bad in Hinkley... and did nothing about it.

Hey, Erin. I thought you were taking a sick day.

So did I.

What's going on in there?

Meeting about the PG&E thing.

Are you sure? Yep.

We can find it, or we don't have a big win.

Can I take a brief break here for a moment?

I'll be right back.

What are you doing?

If you tell me to relax, I'm gonna choke you with that fucking tie.

You told me you weren't feeling great. Oh, that is bullshit!

If I was on my death bed, if it helped you, you'd drag me out of it.

How could you take this away from me?

Nobody's taking anything. Bullshit!

You stuck me in Siberia, dictating to some goddamn steno clerk... so you could finish this without me.

They screwed up, Erin. Do I have your attention now? They admit it.

The arbitration proposal they submitted could have been written in Sanskrit... for all the sense it made to the people in Hinkley.

I know. I spoke to Ted. Pamela Duncan wouldn't even get on the phone with me.

She's got everybody seeing red with that letter she wrote. She called us thieves.

The whole thing is falling apart. Why? Why?

Because before we go to arbitration, we have to get the plaintiffs to agree.

How many? Usually they require about 7 0%.

PG&E is demanding 90. In other words, everybody.

Now do you understand? This is serious.

And what, Ed? I'm not serious?

You're emotional. You're erratic.

You say whatever comes into your head. You make this personal, and it isn't.

Not personal?

That is my work, my sweat, my time away from my kids.

If that's not personal, I don't know what is--

Hey, come on.

Come on.

Go home. Get well.

Because you're no good to me sick.

I need you. All right?

This case needs you.

Did you tell them that?


Binding arbitration isn't all that different from a trial.

It's overseen by a judge.

Evidence is presented in much the same way.

Then a jury decides?

Oh, no, sorry. I forgot to mention that.

There's no jury in binding arbitration.

No jury, no appeals.

What option do we have if we don't like the result?

None. The judge's decision is final.

Not a good answer. But we don't think that's a problem.

As I already told you... it's definitely between 50 and 400 million dollars.

Well, which? There's a big difference there.

I wouldn't like to speculate at this point.

Well, how does it get divided?

Yeah, who gets what?

My medical bills started two years ago, before some of the other people here.

My daughter has been in and out of hospitals a lot more than his.

It shouldn't matter when it started.

Just a minute, please.

People, listen, please.

Please, the point we have to address tonight is getting everyone to agree... that going binding arbitration... is preferable to a trial that could last ten years before you see any money.

Maybe some of us want to wait ten years.

Everyone has to agree, or no one has a chance.

Those of you about to leave, keep this date in mind--

1 97 8.

That's the year of the Love Canal controversy.

Those people are still waiting for their money.

Think about where you'll be in 1 5 or 20 years.

Look, everyone, is this a big decision? Absolutely.

But I do not believe, and I wouldn't say this otherwise, this is a sell-out.

This is the best shot at getting everyone some money now.

You and I both know... there are people in this room who can't afford to wait... who need to take that chance.

Are you gonna make them wait?

So, how many altogether?

Well, we got just about everybody that came here tonight... but that still leaves us about 1 50 short.

Oh, shit.

We'll have to go door-to-door.

I gotta go pick up my kids.

You need a hand with that? No, I got it.

You did good.

We'll see.

Yeah.


Thanks for coming.

Don't take 'em anywhere on your bike, okay?

I'll give you some money for a cab if you wanna go somewhere.

I got money.

So how long is this gonna take?

I don't know. A few days.

Got you your own room.

I am really sorry, George.

Have the kids eaten?


Wanna go get some pancakes?

Let's go. Everybody up.

Everybody up today.

All right.

Let's go get some pancakes. What time is it?

It's early. We're gonna take your car and get some breakfast.

No, I need my car.

We'll be back in a minute.

Okay. Get some sleep.

Hey, buddy.

Put that down. Let's go. I'll be there in a minute.

Let's go eat some pancakes, girlie.

Come on.

Baby, don't play with that. It took me so long to get it organized.

Will you put that back, please?

This girl's the same age as me.

She's one of the sick people?

That's why I'm helping her. We'll get her some medicine, make her feel better.

Why can't her own mama help her?

Because her own mom's real sick too.

I'll bring you back some breakfast.

You want eggs?

Eggs would be great.

Eggs would be perfect.


Hey, Matt.

Erin, how are you?

So, been at this all day? Yeah.

You look tired. You want some coffee? I'd love some.

I'll make a fresh pot. Thanks.


Don't I know you?

I don't think so.

Sure, you were at the barbecue in Hinkley... and at the town meetin'.

I was watching you.

I had my eye on you.

How nice.

Sure, you were talkin' to everybody and writin' down a lot of stuff.

When I saw you I said to myself...

""There's something about her.

I really like that girl.''

Matt, can I get that coffee to go? Sure thing.

I feel like I can talk to you too... like you're the type of person I could say anything to.

There you go. Great. What do I owe you?

There's no charge.

Thanks, Matt.

Well, nice talking to you.

Would it be important if I told you that when I worked at the Hinkley plant...

I destroyed documents?

Maybe.

What was your name?

Charles Embry.

Nice to meet you.

Can you excuse me for just a quick second?

Come on.

Oh, you fucking piece of crap with no signal!

Fuck!

Ed! Oh, my God.

This guy Charles said he destroyed records.

He worked at Hinkley.

Slow down.

I'm trying to relax, and this Charles Embry guy--

Who? Charles Embry.

First I thought he wanted to kill me. Then I thought he wanted to pick me up.

But why would he say that? Why would he use that as his line?

Shit. Now go back and see if he'll make a declaration.

A declaration. Yeah, but be careful.

Don't scare him off.

And stay calm. Stay calm!

Remember, if it weren't for you, I'd be in Palm Springs right now.

You're good at talking people into things.

Don't pepper him with questions. Don't do that.

Just let--

You know, people want to tell their story. Just let him talk.

Let him do all the talking.

Sorry.

Would you like another beer?

My cousin passed away yesterday.

He had kidney tumors. No colon.

His intestines were eaten away.

Forty-one years old.

I remember seeing him over at the plant.

He'd be cleaning the cooling towers wearing one of those--

What do you call 'em?

A mask? Yeah, yeah, doctor's masks.

It'd be soaked in red from the nosebleeds.

I was working in the compressor... and out of nowhere the supervisor calls me up to the office and says...

""We're gonna give you a shredder machine and send you on down to the warehouse... to get rid of the documents we've got stored there.''

Did he say why?

Nope.

And I didn't ask.

Did you get a look at the stuff you destroyed?

It was a lot of dull stuff-- vacation schedules and the like.

But then there were a few memos about the holding ponds, the water in them.

They had readings from the test wells... stuff like that.

You were told to destroy those?

That's right.

Of course, as it turns out...

I wasn't a very good employee.

Good morning! Good morning.

Ed, Erin, what's this?

May I? Go ahead.

Well, you know what, Mr. Potter?

We completely forgot your birthday this year... and as you've been so good to me, it seemed a terrible oversight.

So what Ed and I have been doing is putting together a present for you.

Six hundred and thirty-four.

They're all signed, every single one.

Holy shit! Don't go getting jealous, Theresa.

She's getting jealous.

We have something for you too.

Internal PG&E documents all about the contamination.

The one that I like best says--

I'm paraphrasing here, but it says, Yes, the water's poisonous... but it would be better for all involved to not discuss this with the neighbors.

It's to the Hinkley station from PG&E headquarters.

Stamped "" Received, March 1 966.""

How did you do this?

Well, seeing as how I have no brains or legal expertise... and Ed here was losing faith in the system...

No faith. I just performed sexual favors.

Six hundred and thirty-four blow jobs in five days.

I'm really quite tired.

Oh, thank you.


I'm still not sure why you wanted me to come.

I want to show you what you helped to do.


How are you feeling today? Good.

It's a good day. Oh, I'm glad.

Come on in.

What a nice surprise this is.

I wanted to come out here instead of calling... because the judge came back with a number.

For the whole group, or... for us, or--

Both.

He's gonna make them pay...

333 million.

Oh, my God.

And he's gonna make them give five million of that to your family.

Five million dollars?

I don't even know how much money that is!

Well, it's enough... for whatever you could ever need... or whatever your girls need or your girls' girls need.

It'll be enough.

Oh, Erin.

Oh, God.

Thank you so much.

It's okay.

I don't know what I would've done without you.

It's a good day.

This is too much!

Masry and Vititoe. Can I--

Shoot.

I have a delivery for Ed Masry.

It's the last office down the corridor on the right.

Thank you.

Masry and Vititoe--

Damn it. Does anyone know anything about these phones?

Everybody loves the desk... you picked out for me, baby.

And guess who's on the cover of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine.

Talk to you later. Bye.

Thank you. You're welcome.

I'd rather walk her through this in person.

There's some things I want to show her-- visual aides, documents and stuff.

If you could just tell her I won't take up too much of her time.

Right.

Well, it's a little more complicated than Hinkley, so let me do that.

Tell her I'm not a lawyer. That may help.

Great.

Why don't you give me the address now, just in case.

All right.

Thanks so much. Bye.

What's up?

I have your bonus check.

I want you to be prepared... because... the figure's not exactly what we discussed.

Why not?

Because after careful consideration, I felt... that the figure was not... appropriate.

Although you may not agree... you have to trust my judgment.

Trust? You want me to trust you?

Do me a favor, Ed. Don't use big words you don't understand.

It's a complicated issue, Erin. You're not a qualified lawyer.

I did a job. You should reward me accordingly.

That is the problem. All you lawyers do is complicate uncomplicated situations.

Do you know why people think all lawyers are backstabbing, bloodsucking scumbags?

Because they are.

I cannot believe you'd do this when I'm up to my ass in Kettleman plaintiffs... which, by the way, looks like it's gonna be double the amount we had in Hinkley.

You expect me to go out there, leave my kids to be looked after by strangers... get these people to trust you with their lives, and all while you're screwing me.

I want you to know something, Ed. It is not about the number.

It's about the way my work is valued in this firm.

It's about how, no matter what I do, you're not--

As I was saying...

I decided that... the figure you proposed... was inappropriate... so I increased it.

Do they teach beauty queens how to apologize?

Because you suck at it.

Thank you, Ed.