Ethical Issues in film Erin Brockovich
There are many ethical issues in the movie Erin Brockovich. This movie is about a mother of three who uncovers a water poisoning case by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) in southern California. Erin has the responsibility to feed and educate her three children and she has a general distrust of people. She begins by forcing her lawyer Ed Masry to give her a secretarial job after he failed to get her a settlement from an auto accident.
She doesn't exactly fit in at the firm. Other female co-workers do not approve of her cleavage that she shows. Women in the office don't include Erin in going out to lunch and even helping her out when she asks for assistance.
There are several ethical issues both personal and professional in this movie.
The first ethical issue that comes up in the movie is when Erin asks if she could investigate the case further and Mr. Masry tells her to go ahead. He should not have given her the authority to investigate since she is not a lawyer and has no legal experience. Throughout the movie Erin was practicing law illegally and Mr. Masry was aware of that.
It would be cheaper for PG&E to dispose of the chemicals illegally since the company officials were more concerned with the profits than about people's lives. The hiding of this critical information had tragic consequences for the people involved. PG&E must have realized that they were guilty since they settled the case for $330 million in private arbitration. All in all, it probably ended up costing PG&E more money than it would have if they had properly lined the water pools and taken care of things the correct way in the beginning.
Once PG&E learn that Masry’s law firm is investigating their use of hexavalent chromium, a representative from PG&G is sent to the law firm to attempt to stop the investigation. This representative offers to buy out the Jensen 1 family who has...