Erin Brockovich
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Erin Brockovich can be found here.

Yes. In a Q&A session, Erin said that because she suffers from dyslexia, she is unable to read and comprehend in a normal manner. In order to cope with her illness, she said that she has learned mostly everything in her life through memorization. This is how she remembered all of the Hinkley residents' cases. In addition to dyslexia, Erin also claims that she has struggled through anorexia and that she has panic disorder. -CommonWealthClub.org

At a National Press Club Luncheon, Erin answered this by saying, "I don't know that I had in my mindset, I'm going to come in here and show my cleavage to get these documents. I really don't think I was operating at that level. My dress code is not designed to offend anybody. It's just simply the way I dress, and if my cleavage was showing and the guy let me in the door, I mean, I was happy to get in and I never really paid any more attention to it. So, however you dress, it's your own personal style. I don't mean to offend anybody. That's just who I am, and I don't deliberately utilize it as a tool to get what I'm looking for." -NPR

Yes. In a Q&A session, Erin Brockovich said that this happened but in a different context. Instead of an office meeting room, it happened in a court of law.

In 1996 PG&E settled the case for $333 million. This was the largest settlement ever awarded in a direct-action lawsuit in the history of the United States. The lawyers received forty percent, which was a little over $133 million. As in the film, attorney Ed Masry rewarded Erin Brockovich with a $2 million bonus. The more than 600 Hinkley plaintiffs, many of whom had become seriously ill, were in the end left with $196 million to be divided between them. On average, each victim received $300,000.

Not all of the victims were happy with the amount of money that they were given. After being billed an extra $10 million for undetailed expenses and having to wait nearly six months after the $333 million had been deposited by PG&E, many of the victims were unhappy with the sum of money that they had been rewarded. The lawyers determined this sum confidentially by various factors, including the severity of their ailments. On average, this came to $300,000 per victim, as stated previously. Some did receive several million. Others received less. For example, Dorothea Montoya received $60,000; Christine Mace got $50,000; Lynn Tindell $50,000; Tiffany Oliver got $60,000. Plaintiff Carol Smith argued, "It didn't make sense why my husband, who's had 17 tumors removed from his throat, got only $80,000." After the residents, including Smith, were told that their awards would be based on their medical records, some claimed that their medical records were never looked at. "No one ever looked at my medical records," said Carol Smith. "I'm sure of that, because my doctors told me so after I asked." As a result, some of the plaintiffs appealed their settlements, seeking sums that they felt were more justified.

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."

During a Q&A session, Erin responded, "This is a true story: Ed Masry loves to tease me. He wakes up every day and thinks, 'What can I do to Brockovich today?' We used to be driving back from Kettleman, Hinkley, whatever case we were on, two or three years before this movie ever came out. And he'd ask, 'Who do you want to play you?' I said, 'I don't know, Ed. I don't sit around and think about it.' And I really didn't. He goes, 'I don't care either, so long as it's not Julia Roberts.' I said, 'Really, you don't like her?' He goes, 'No. She can't play you. Roseanne Barr can.' That is true, and that is what he said, so I had fun with him the day Universal called and said Julia Roberts is going to play the part. He goes, 'You're kidding me; she can't play that part.' I thought her performance was fantastic."

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