Erin Brockovich

Media Type: Film Clips Topic: Incentives, Externalities & Pollution

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Ed Masry (Albert Finney) and Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) meet with a representative of Pacific Gas & Electric to discuss a settlement offer from the firm. The company offer compensates the claimants for the value of the land they own, but no compensation is offered for medical damages as a result of toxic poisoning. Erin Brockovich believes that many of the health problems in the affected community can be traced to the introduction of the poison into the groundwater. However, PG&E counters that the condition of the residents is a result of lifestyle choices, heredity, and bad luck. This clip is a powerful example of negative externalities and how firms have an incentive to hide the adverse consequences from the public.

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