Tom Girardi and Erin Brockovich – Champions of Environmental Justice

Tom Girardi and Erin Brockovich are two names that are familiar to those who followed the landmark case aginst Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) in the late 1990s. The case, which was won by Brockovich and Masry, was a turning point in the fight against environmental pollution and corporate negligence. However, while Brockovich became a household name after the case, Girardi’s role in the case and subsequent legal battles has been less well-known.

Tom Girardi was a lawyer who worked with Ed Masry and Erin Brockovich on the PG&E case. Although he was not portrayed in the movie, he played a crucial role in the case, particularly in securing the $333 million settlement that was awarded to the plaintiffs. Girardi’s expertise in complex litigation and his connections in the legal community were instrumental in bringing the case to a successful conclusion.

After the PG&E case, Girardi continued to work on high-profile cases, representing clients in cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and toxic torts. He also became known for his philanthropic work, particularly in supporting the arts and education. However, in recent years, Girardi has been embroiled in several legal battles, both personal and professional.

In 2020, Girardi and his law firm, Girardi Keese, were sued by several clients who alleged that they had not received the full settlement amounts that were awarded to them in previous cases. The lawsuit also alleged that Girardi had misappropriated funds from his clients’ settlements for his personal use. Girardi denied the allegations, but in December 2020, he was placed under a conservatorship, with his brother assuming control of his finances and personal affairs.

The case against Girardi has drawn comparisons with the PG&E case, with some observers noting that it highlights the dangers of unchecked corporate power and the importance of holding those in positions of authority accountable for their actions. However, the case also raises questions about the role of lawyers in society, and the responsibility they have to their clients and the wider community.

Tom Girardi’s role in the PG&E case was instrumental in securing a landmark victory for environmental justice. However, his subsequent legal troubles have cast a shadow over his legacy, and raised important questions about the ethics and accountability of the legal profession. While the full extent of Girardi’s alleged misconduct is yet to be determined, it is clear that his case serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked power and the importance of holding those in positions of authority accountable for their actions.

Was Tom Girardi In The Movie Erin Brockovich?

Yes, Tom Girardi was indirectly portrayed in the 2000 movie Erin Brockovich, but he was given a different name for the feature film. Peter Coyote played the character based on Girardi, and the character was named Kurt Potter. Erin Brockovich and her boss, Ed Masry, used their real names in the movie, but Girardi’s character was given a pseudonym.

tom girardi erin brockovich

Who Was The Lawyer In Erin Brockovich Based On?

The lawyer in the film Erin Brockovich was based on a real-life lawyer named Edward L. Masry. He was a practicing attorney based in Thousand Oaks, California, and worked closely with Erin Brockovich on various anti-pollution lawsuits. Masry and Brockovich’s partnership eventually led to the groundbreaking lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which resulted in a $333 million settlement for the victims of contaminated groundwater in the town of Hinkley, California. Masry passed away in 2005, but his legacy as a champion for environmental justice lives on.

What Happened To The Lawyer In Erin Brockovich?

Edward L. Masry, the lawyer who was portrayed by actor Albert Finney in the movie “Erin Brockovich,” passed away on Monday at the age of 73. Masry was known for his aggressive approach in fighting for his clients and for winning millions in a toxic pollution lawsuit against a utility company. He died at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, California.


Tom Girardi played a significant role in the legal battle against Pacific Gas and Electric Company, alongside Erin Brockovich and her boss, Ed Masry. Despite being portrayed as Kurt Potter in the 2000 movie, Girardi’s contributions cannot be overlooked. He was instrumental in securing the $333 million settlement for the Hinkley residents and continued to fight against corporate malfeasance throughout his career. However, in recent years, Girardi has faced controversy for his alleged involvement in embezzling funds meant for his clients. This serves as a reminder that even thse who fight for justice may not always act with integrity. Nonetheless, the legacy of the Hinkley case and its impact on environmental regulation and corporate accountability cannot be denied.

Photo of author

William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.