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Friday, December 15, 2006

Erin Brockovich Loses Hollywood High Oil Rig Lawsuit

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Wendell Mortimer Jr dismissed 12 lawsuits brought by Erin Brockovich-Ellis' law firm (Masry & Vititoe in Westlake Village) against Beverly Hills, its school district, Venoco (owner of the oil rig) and Sempra Energy (owner of a power plant near the rig) alleging that an oil well at Beverly Hills High School caused cancers in students between 1975 and 1997.

The oil rig has operated for decades at Hollywood High School and is shrouded with brightly collered flower panels. The rig is located at the northwest corner of Spalding Drive and Olympic Boulevard. The city and school district have received millions of dollars in royalties from the operation of the oil rig.

Brockovich, above left, became famous by winning a $333 million settlement from Pacific Gas & Electric for polluting the waters of Hinkley, Calif, near Barstow. The case was recounted in "Erin Brockovich," a 2000 film for which Julia Roberts, above right, won a best actress Oscar in the title role. (L.A. Times)
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