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Erin Brockovich: Corporate Misconduct

Movie analysis questions: Erin Brokovich

1. Did you come away from the movie convinced that the company had done wrong and that Masry and Erin had performed a beneficial service? If so, why did you reach those conclusions?
2. How might the basic story have been slanted more toward the company with equivalent dramatic effect?
3. Do the filmmakers have any obligation to give the company's side of the story?
4. What is the company's side?
5. Why do you think the company's employees did what they did?
6. How do you suppose films like this might affect public debates concerning, among other things, regulation of corporate misconduct and trial lawyers?

Note: Please reflect on these questions while developing your thoughts and comments.

Solution Preview

I did see the movie when it first came out, many years ago. I can discuss each question below, and you can use the discussion along with your movie-viewing and online research to craft your answers. I'll get you started in the right direction.

1. Did you come away from the movie convinced that the company had done wrong and that Masry and Erin had performed a beneficial service? If so, why did you reach those conclusions?

-- Yes, this was prevalent throughout the movie. In the end, the court awarded a settlement to the plaintiffs of $333 million because the company was found to have acted illegally. The company was literally poisoning the water with their toxic chemicals, and the residents were drinking the water. The chemicals caused a variety of different cancers, birth defects, medical problems, and even killed residents. The company knew that the toxins were being released into the drinking water, but failed to act upon it because it would have been too costly (in the company's opinion) to remedy. We see throughout the movie that the company was wrong, illegal, unethical, and that Erin and Masry performed a beneficial service.

2. How might the basic story have been slanted more toward the company with equivalent ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines each of the questions listed based on the movie, Erin Brokovich.

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