Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
As I've written elsewhere, Erin Brockovich has gotten a reputation for being a genius and a winner because one law firm she worked with, in combination with two of the largest law firms in California, had a huge settlement during non-judicial arbitration with a power company. In fact, she and her late boss Ed Masry often lost cases at the jury level and virtually all they did win were overturned on appeal. Alas, poor Brockovich began to believe her own myth and filed suit against 31 hospitals she claimed were making unfair claims against Medicare. Her one-third share of the winnings in 31 cases would have been quite a coup for her pocketbook. But a federal judge has just tossed out five and indicated the others will be thrown out as well. Why? Simple. Brockovich has no standing since she's not a Medicare participant - and at age 46 won't be one for quite awhile. (Disability also qualifies you for Medicare, but the inability to chew gum and walk at the same time is not considered such under Medicare rules.) The cases were dismissed "with prejudice," meaning they cannot be refiled. Lesson? Once again we see that while Brockovich is terrific at stirring up positive publicity, otherwise she's dumb as the proverbial doorknob. When are those 15 minutes going to end?