Anger over the claim against the mill pits the sick girls and their families against employees of the mill who worry that their jobs are on the line. When the local Pastor’s daughter becomes afflicted with the illness, he blames the girls themselves. Parents begin keeping their healthy kids home from school, so to quell the mounting hysteria, the High School Principal cracks down on the affected girls and prevents them from attending their prom. Joanna fires back at the school, but victory eludes her. When the kids decide to throw a prom of their own, Billy and Joanna are made honorary prom king and queen. However, the moment is over-shadowed by the mill’s answer to her claim – they’ve hired her father’s law firm to represent them and they plan to annihilate her.
With Joanna disqualified and the clock running out on Billy who’ll have to face Joanna’s father alone, Joanna must think outside the box if they want to win this. She must face the one person who may be able to help her defeat her father, her mom. Not only does she learn the truth about her father, she gains the critical piece of evidence that ties the mill and their parent company to the dumping. Regrettably, Joanna returns too late and finds the case in shambles, her named plaintiff removed and the class de-certified.
Using the law to her advantage, Joanna herself reinstated on a technicality and plays her trump card. When it isn’t enough to elicit a settlement offer, Joanna makes things personal. She blackmails her father with incriminating evidence and threatens to expose him if he refuses to negotiate. Once she strong-arms him into a settlement, she must choose whether to expose his dirty little secret or not, but doing so may cost her more than she’s prepared to pay.