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Erin Brockovich to shine spotlight in Aus

Erin Brockovich to shine spotlight in Aus

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Erin Brockovich, the famous lawyer activist who was thrown into the spotlight after Julia Roberts portrayal of her in a self-titled movie in 2000, is teaming up with an Australian law firm to unearth a swag of environmental disasters in this country.

ERIN Brockovich, the famous lawyer activist who was thrown into the spotlight after Julia Roberts portrayal of her in a self-titled movie in 2000, is teaming up with an Australian law firm to unearth a swag of environmental disasters in this country.

The US environmental crusader was in Brisbane yesterday to announced she would spend several weeks of the year in Queensland to raise the profile of local environmental cases.

Queensland-based Shine Lawyers and Brockovich have together already flagged several Australian pollution cases to address.  

And the single mum, whose David and Goliath battle in a pesticide poisoning case in the US resulted in the biggest corporate settlement in US history, described such organisations a underfunded, understaffed, and with the potential for bias.

The movie-covered US case was settled in 1996 for $333 million, and since that win Brockovich has worked as a consultant for New York law firm Weitz and Luxenberg, which fights for victims of asbestos exposure.

Shine Lawyers represents families at Collingwood Park near Ipswich, who have lost their homes due to underground mines collapsing.

But Brockovich's highest profile case in Australia is in Western Australia, against alumina miner, Alcoa. Compensation claims could come from 240 possible plaintiffs against the miner, for illness and health problems caused by working in the company's various refineries.

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