Erin Brockovich Gets Involved With Louisiana Sinkhole

March 7, 2013

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich and a California attorney hired by a group of Assumption Parish residents are coming to Pierre Part to discuss the legal options for residents evacuated from the Bayou Corne area due to a giant sinkhole.

Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Thomas V. Girardi tells The Advocate he and Brockovich will attend a community meeting Saturday at the American Legion Hall to answer residents’ questions.

Girardi was one of the attorneys who worked with Brockovich to secure a $333 million settlement for 650 residents of Hinkley, Calif., in a groundwater pollution case. Actress Julia Roberts portrayed Brockovich in the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich,” which chronicled that case.

The failure of a Texas Brine Co. LLC cavern is believed to be the cause of the sinkhole. About 350 residents remain under evacuation orders.

Girardi said he has not yet filed lawsuits for his 25 clients but will be filing soon.

“We are still looking into it,” he said.

Five lawsuits were filed last year by residents and large landowners in state and federal court over the sinkhole.

Four of the cases have been consolidated in U.S. District Court in New Orleans before U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey.

On Feb. 22, Zainey moved a fifth case, which was filed originally in state court on behalf of large landholders, from federal court back to the 23rd Judicial District in Assumption.

A steering committee of plaintiff’s attorneys led by Denham Springs lawyer Calvin Fayard Jr. has been established to help direct the federal litigation.

When asked about Girardi and Brockovich’s planned visit, Texas Brine spokesman Sonny Cranch said the company had no comment.

Latest Comments

  • March 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm
    Julia says:
    ...have you ever even been to Louisiana? These are normal people living in normal homes. You can't just brush us off like that. We're people, dude. This wasn't caused by the e... read more
  • March 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    Jester says:
    The entire state of LA is a sinkhole.....an economic sinkhole. All it does is cost taxpayers money.....big money. The homes involved are probably shantys and worth nothing. ... read more

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