Edward L. Masry

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Edward L. Masry
Masry photo.png
Born
Edward Louis Masry

(1932-07-29)July 29, 1932
DiedDecember 5, 2005(2005-12-05) (aged 73)
Resting placeValley Oaks Memorial Park
Westlake Village, California
Alma materLoyola Law School
J.D. 1960
OccupationLawyer
Spouse(s)Jacqueline Wilson
Joette Levinson

Edward Louis Masry (July 29, 1932 – December 5, 2005) was an American lawyer, a partner in the law firm of Masry & Vititoe and also a mayor and city councilman for the City of Thousand Oaks, California.[1][2] With the help of his legal assistant Erin Brockovich, Masry built a case against the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) of California in 1993. Their successful lawsuit was the subject of the Oscar-winning film, Erin Brockovich (2000), starring Julia Roberts as Brockovich and Albert Finney as Masry.

Early life[edit]

Masry was born in Paterson, New Jersey, to Syrian immigrant parents who ran a silk apparel business.[1] He moved west to Southern California with his family when he was age eight, settling first in Venice and later in Van Nuys.[2]

Education[edit]

As an undergraduate, Masry attended L.A. Valley Junior College, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Southern California, and served with the U.S. Army in France[2] from 1952 to 1954 during the Korean War era, attaining the rank of corporal.[3] Although he never received a Bachelor's degree, Loyola Law School in Los Angeles accepted him on an exemption due to high placement test scores, and he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1960. Thereafter, he was admitted to the State Bar of California, and set up private practice in 1961.

Career[edit]

Masry's law firm was instrumental in bringing about the multi-plaintiff direct action suit against Pacific Gas & Electric Company, alleging contamination of drinking water with hexavalent chromium in the Southern California town of Hinkley. The case was settled in 1996 for $333 million, the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in American history.[4]

The case was adapted for the successful 2000 film Erin Brockovich, with Albert Finney portraying Masry. He had a non-speaking cameo appearance in the film as a restaurant patron sitting behind Julia Roberts, as did Erin Brockovich, who played a waitress.

Personal life[edit]

Masry died at age 73 at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, due to complications related to diabetes.[2] He had resigned from the City Council of Thousand Oaks one week earlier because of his medical condition.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Erin Brockovich Diner behind Erin Uncredited
2001 American Justice Uncredited

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (December 8, 2005). "Edward L. Masry, 73, pugnacious lawyer, dies". New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Oliver, Myrna (December 7, 2005). "Ed Masry, 73; Attorney won major settlement from PG&E, sat on Thousand Oaks council". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  3. ^ In Memory of Edward L. Masry - Hon. Brad Sherman of California in the House of Representatives; Tuesday, February 14, 2006 United States Government Publishing Office. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  4. ^ Pierson, David; So, Hemmy (February 4, 2006). "PG&E will pay residents who sued over groundwater pollution". Retrieved October 20, 2016.

External links[edit]