Once the parties agreed on an orderly way to arbitrate the case, about 36 claims were tried. The process took nearly two years. The plaintiffs' lawyers had to:

  • Prove medical causation
  • Deal with missing evidence that had been lost or destroyed
  • Reconstruct a complex hydro-geological water system
  • Prove the extent of PG&E's inappropriate conduct

At the end of the arbitration trial, the plaintiffs reached a global settlement with PG&E which:

  • Compensated all the named plaintiffs in the amount of $333 million
  • Required PG&E to clean up the environment
  • Required PG&E to stop using chromium 6.

The case has become a landmark for other plaintiffs whose "preconception" injuries would previously have been completely disregarded.

The plaintiff lawyers did their homework. They weren't afraid to take on a monstrous case requiring mountains of work. They fearlessly took on the biggest publicly owned utility in the world and shook it so hard the company had no choice but to write the big check.

But someone had to get the case started. Someone had to dust off a languishing file and actually DO an investigation. Someone had to talk to the clients and gather enough information to make everyone's "hairs stand on edge." Someone like Erin Brockovich is always needed to bring a giant to its knees.


NOTE: All quotes taken from the Anderson vs. PG&E case - Superior Court for the County of San Bernardino, Barstow Division - File BCV 00300
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 4279stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: May 18, 2015

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"TRIAL AND SETTLEMENT" Mar 01, 2000. Nov 26, 2015.
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