Silent Spring meets Erin Brokovich in this eye-opening, riveting true story of the lawyer who spent two decades building a case against DuPont, one of the world’s largest chemical companies after uncovering a shocking history of environmental pollution and heartless corruption.
1998: Robert Bilott is a young lawyer specializing in helping big corporations stay on the right side of environmental laws and regulations. His life and career takes an unexpected turn when he gets a phone call from a man named Earl Tennant, a farmer from West Virginia. Earl is convinced the creek on his property is being poisoned by runoff from a neighboring DuPont landfill. His cattle are dying in hideous ways, as is much of the surrounding wildlife. Earl hasn’t even been able to get a water sample tested by local agencies, politicians, or vets. As soon as they hear the name DuPont—the area’s largest employer—they shut him down.
Once Robert sees the thick, foamy water that bubbles into the creek, the gruesome effects it seems to have on livestock, and the disturbing frequency of cancer and lung problems in the surrounding area, he’s persuaded to fight against the type of corporation his firm routinely represents. After some digging, Robert ultimately gains access to thousands of pages of DuPont documents, some of them fifty years old, that reveal the company has been holding onto decades of medical studies proving the harmful—more often than not fatal—effects of a chemical called PFOA, used in making Teflon. They’d kept them secret while at the same time dumping hundreds of thousands of pounds of PFOA powder into the Ohio River and landfills.
What emerges is an unforgettable and nail-biting legal drama about malice and corruption, the failings of environmental regulation, and a community of ordinary people who are struggling for justice in a life-and-death battle.