Daily Dialogue — December 23, 2012

December 23rd, 2012 by


Ed and Erin come out and see DAVID BAUM waiting at reception. Forget law school, this kid looks like he’s just out of twelfth grade. Not a hair on his chin. His suit and shoes look brand new.

Ed stops suddenly, before being seen. Erin stops too.

ERIN: What?

Ed’s expression upon seeing the “young” representative tells us he’s none too happy.


Ed and Erin are seated across the table from Baum. To say this kid lacks authority is a gross understatement. He doesn’t talk; he squeaks.

BAUM: …in the interest of putting this whole thing to rest, PG&E is willing to offer the Irvings 250,000 dollars for their home.

Ed laughs a little in disbelief.

ED: 250,000?
BAUM: In terms of land value out in Hinkley, Mr. Masry, we feel it’s more than fair price.
ED: What about in terms of medical expenses? 250,000 doesn’t come close to what this family’s gonna have to spend on doctors.
BAUM: I understand they’ve had a bad run of luck, health-wise, and they have my sympathies. But that’s not PG&E’s fault.
ED: You’re kidding, right?

Baum doesn’t answer.

ED: Look at these readings for Christ’s sake. PG&E’s own technicians documented toxic levels of hexavalent chromium in those test wells on numerous occasions.

Ed shoves them across the table. Baum doesn’t look at them.

ED: Everything the Irvings have had is proven reaction to exposure to hexavalent chromium. They’ve had…

He stalls a moment. Erin jumps in.

ERIN: – breast cysts, uterine cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, immune deficiencies, asthma, chronic nosebleeds.

Despite their persuasiveness, Baum parrots what is obviously the party line:

BAUM: A million things could have caused those problems. Poor diet, bad genes, irresponsible lifestyle. Our offer is final and more than fair.
ED: Wait a minute — I thought we were negotiating here.
BAUM: 250,000 is all I’m authorized to offer.

Ed looks across at this pissant little kid. Then stands.

ED: I will present your offer to my clients. I doubt they’ll accept it.

As Ed starts out, Baum tries to take a stand;

BAUM: Mr. Masry, before you go off on some crusade, you might want to remember who it is you’re dealing with here. PG&E is a twenty-eight-billion-dollar corporation.
ED: (smiles, acting excited/greedy) Twenty-eight billion dollars! I didn’t know it was THAT much! WOW!

Baum suddenly realizes he’s made a mistake admitting the company’s wealth. Ed leaves the conference room. Erin follows him out.

Erin Brockovich (2000), written by Susannah Grant

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is negotiations, suggested by JasperLamarCrab. Today’s suggestion by blknwite.

Trivia: The real Erin Brockovich-Ellis sold the rights to her story to Universal Studios for a reported $100,000.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary from blknwite: “Is notable due to Masry’s sense of irony and the beginings of his willingness to really engage in this battle.”

Leave a Reply