CAMPAIGNER Erin Brockovich has offered her assistance to the families of the Berkeley victims.
The influential activist — played in the eponymous biographical movie by Julia Roberts — says she is “devastated” by the tragedy that occurred in her home state.
“As a Californian, I am devastated that these young visitors to our shores were caught up in this horrific situation,” Brockovich wrote on her Facebook page.
“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.”
With a report saying the balcony was suffering from severe dry rot, Brockovich called on the construction company responsible to help the families financially, writing: "The company behind the construction of the Berkeley apartment block should take action to ensure that the families of those involved in the balcony collapse disaster are not left with enormous medical bills as a result of the faulty construction."
Brockovich has offered to meet with the families and has teamed up with Phelim O’Neill Solicitors in Dublin.
“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,” said Brockovich.
“However, as a lifelong activist, I feel it is my duty to come forward and offer these families my assistance.
“For those who did not survive the accident, there is a need for us to uncover the truth about what happened.
“For those who did survive, there is a pressing need to ensure that the company responsible for this tragedy is held to account.
“It is their duty, I believe, 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.”
Brockovich came to prominence in the 1990s when her investigations into high levels of illness among residents of the town of Hinkley, California from suspected pollution helped lead to a class action against Pacific Gas & Electric that was settled for $333million.