Erin Brockovich Headlines Xavier"s Heroes of Ethics Series

March 4, 2013

The name "Erin Brockovich" conjures images of strength, toughness, and stubbornness. The woman Erin Brockovich is a rebel, a fighter, an advocate for truth. She will share her story, Moral Courage at the Workplace: The Power of One, as part of Xavier University’s Heroes of Ethics Series on March 25 at 6:30 p.m. in Schiff Conference Center of Xavier’s Cintas Center. A book signing follows at 8:00 p.m.

The event is free, but seating is limited and attendees MUST register before noon, March 22, 2013 at

Her story as a legal researcher whose dogged persistence was the force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history, became a powerhouse film in which Julia Roberts won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Brockovich, who is every bit as tenacious and gutsy as the film depicted.

A divorced single mother with three young children, she took a job as a file clerk with a law firm. While organizing papers on a pro bono real estate case she found medical records that would explode into the largest direct action lawsuit in U.S. history. Her exhaustive investigation uncovered that Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) had been poisoning the water in the small town of Hinkley, CA for more than 30 years. Her tenacity exposed PG&E for leaking toxic Chromium 6 into the ground water. In 1996, as a result of the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind, the utility paid out the largest toxic tort injury settlement in U.S. history: $333 million in damages to more than 600 Hinkley residents.

Brockovich decided to use her notoriety to spread messages of personal empowerment and to encourage others to stand up and make a difference. As president of Brockovich Research & Consulting, she is involved in numerous environmental projects worldwide. She has requests for assistance from every state in the U.S. and as far away as Australia, and is working on cases in California, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri.

The Heroes of Professional Ethics Series is an annual event that celebrates the importance of ethics in the workplace. The lecture series is sponsored by Jerry and Janet Belle. Each year, the sponsors present a keynote speaker with a unique perspective or experience relevant to ethics in the work environment. Previous speakers have included Frank Abagnale, Cynthia Cooper, Aaron Feuerstein, Bill Gradison, John Pepper, and Sherron Watkins. This event is co-sponsored by Xavier Women of Excellence and Cintas Institute for Business Ethics.

Arrangements for the appearance of Ms. Brockovich made through the Brooks International Speaker’s Bureau.