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Sonnenschein Partner Sued for Accident Caused by His Runaway Car

Posted Jun 4, 2009 9:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Sonnenschein partner is facing a lawsuit by a 7-year-old girl and her mother alleging his Lexus ran into them after he tried to park in front of a California grocery store to buy Girl Scout cookies.

The suit claims lawyer Paul Glad, a litigator who chairs the insurance group in Sonnenschein’s San Francisco office, was under the influence of the pain medication Oxycontin at the time of the March accident, Legal Pad reports. Above the Law also notes stories in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Mateo County Times.

"Astonishingly, [Glad] began to get out of his car without stopping it; he had not shifted to park," the suit (PDF posted by Legal Pad) alleged. After the car began rolling toward a group selling Girl Scout cookies, Glad stomped on the gas pedal instead of applying the brake, according to the suit.

Glad told police he hit the accelerator by mistake, the Chronicle story says.

Holly Rogers, 49, of Burlingame, says doctors amputated one of her legs as a result of the accident outside the store where she and her daughter, Caroline Schoustra, were among the group selling the cookies. Schoustra, one of the Girl Scouts, had multiple leg fractures, the suit says.

The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Jonathan Gertler, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Glad told police he had taken Oxycontin the day of the accident for pain from a spinal injury.

San Mateo County deputy district attorney Sean Gallagher told Legal Pad his office will likely decide whether to file criminal charges within the next week.

Glad made this statement to Above the Law: "I'm in the midst of a client's trial right now, and that's my focus. I am sorry that people were injured, but I don't know why that would be of interest to Above The Law."

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