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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Injured Stanford Student Helped by Three BASF Departments

Lawyer Referral and Information Services panel attorney secures five-figure settlement


By Emmy Pasternak, Case Development Coordinator, LRIS


In October 2010, BASF’s Diversity Pipeline Programs Director Jayne Salinger reached out to BASF’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) Public Service Programs Director Carole Conn, to find an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist a former BASF School-To-College student who had been hospitalized for injuries in an accident. In early January, with the help of BASF’s Early Settlement Program, a five-figure settlement was reached to the satisfaction of both parties.

The previously homeless Balboa High School student was preparing to return to Stanford University for the start of the fall semester. The night before the accident the student attended a party at a friend’s house. Having had a few drinks, the student elected to walk home. While crossing the street, a California Highway Patrol officer riding a motorcycle struck the student, throwing him several feet. The officer was driving above the speed limit, as the officer himself reported in the police report, and although the officer drove away from the scene, he eventually returned. The student was taken to the hospital with injuries that included a severely broken leg that would require multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and a lengthy
hospital stay.

Chuck GeerhartLRIS was able to quickly refer the case to highly experienced LRIS Personal Injury attorney Chuck Geerhart, who agreed to represent the student in his case against the State of California.

Through detailed investigation and the testimony of an accident reconstruction expert, Geerhart was able to prove that had the CHP officer not been speeding, the accident would not have occurred.
The client, according to Geerhart, made a tremendous recovery and did not let his injuries or the legal case interfere with his studies at Stanford.

“Because the basic liability facts were bad for the plaintiff, this is a case that would not have settled without the plaintiff presenting very well in deposition and the officer being honest enough to admit that he was going five miles per hour over the speed limit. We were fortunate to be assigned to two excellent settlement mediators at the BASF Early Settlement Program.”

Through the collaboration of multiple BASF departments the student received the best legal representation possible and was able to continue on the positive path that School-To-College program set him on.


For information about the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS):

For information about BASF’s diversity pipeline programs, including School-To-College:

For information about the Early Settlement Program, visit: or read the article in this issue.

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