Erin Brockovich offers to help families with Berkeley case

US activist Erin Brockovich has offered her assistance to the victims of last week’s balcony collapse in Berkeley and their families.

Erin Brockovich offers to help families with Berkeley case

Ms Brockovich, whose 1993 campaign against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in Hinkley, California inspired a film starring Julia Roberts, has partnered with Dublin law firm Phelim O’Neill solicitors to offer her assistance.

The offer comes as the father of one of the six victims who lost their lives in the tragedy appealed for investigators to “leave no stone unturned” in their quest to prove the cause of the Berkeley balcony collapse.

Niccolai Schuster’s father John told the mourners at his son’s funeral that the accident would increase anxiety for parents of children heading off overseas, but he urged them not to stand in the way and to give them freedom and life experience.

“To the investigators I say: we have lost our magical son and best friend, we are devastated and rocked to our very core. Leave no stone unturned in this investigation. This cannot happen again,” Mr Schuster said.

Inspections have confirmed dry rot in the beams which held up the balcony and the District Attorney’s office in California is examining the information.

Ms Brockovich has called on Segue Construction, the company responsible for building the Library Garden’s complex at the centre of last week’s tragedy, to pay for the victims’ medical expenses and to do so without engaging in litigation. “As a Californian, I am devastated that these young visitors to our shores were caught up in this horrific situation,” Ms Brockovich said in a statement.

“My heart goes out to their families, friends, and loved ones, and along with all of the people of California, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the people of Ireland.

“The waking nightmare that these families have been living for the past week is hard to imagine, and no words from me or anybody else can ease their pain.”

Ms Brockovich said that it is the company’s duty “to ensure that the treatment of those who were affected is paid for, and that they are not burdened with the costs of this disaster as well as the trauma associated with it.”

“I will be calling upon those involved to do the right thing in an effort to avoid the need for prolonged and expensive litigation,” she said

The funeral of Olivia Burke also took place in Dublin yesterday.

The final funeral from the Berkeley tragedy takes place in Dublin today for Lorcan Miller, a UCD medical student.

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