Brockovich takes aim at nursing homes in latest activist pursuit

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A famous activist who was the subject of a 2000 Hollywood film has filed suit against hospitals and nursing homes over medical errors.

Erin Brockovich filed seven lawsuits to force hospital and nursing homes in California to return any Medicare payments for illnesses they helped cause through medical errors or neglect. The suits seek to find evidence of wrongful treatment and billing. According to government estimates, medical errors may account for more than $9 billion in unnecessary healthcare costs annually.

Nursing home defendants include: Kindred Healthcare, Louisville, KY; and Mariner Health Care, Atlanta. A spokeswoman for the California Hospital Association called the suits a publicity stunt for Brockovich. The activist's successful crusade against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. inspired the movie "Erin Brokovich," which starred actress Julia Roberts in the title role.