Chris S. Dodig
The majority of my practice is devoted to representing individuals and families in serious injury cases - and that's the way I like it. I knew after law school that I wanted to be a trial lawyer. What I didn't realize at the time was what a close relationship would develop with the people I represent and how important that would become to me.
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the "underdogs" who are willing to fight for what they believe in. To me, being an attorney is about helping people find justice.
Recent Case Results:
In late 2015, Attorney Chris S. Dodig settled a medical malpractice claim for $1.8 million on behalf of a single mother and her young child from Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The case centered around allegations that a medical office failed to diagnose hydrocephalus, a dangerous medical condition that can cause brain injury. The claim alleged that regular head circumference measurements were taken, which over a period of months were increasingly above the 95th percentile for children of the same age, but that the providers failed to appreciate the significance of the increasing head size, a strong indicator of fluid buildup around the brain and hydrocephalus. The child was finally taken to a local emergency room where the correct diagnosis was made. The child required emergency surgery to place a shunt to drain fluid from around the brain. Attorney Dodig and the Donovan & O'Connor team argued the child suffered permanent brain injury because the hydrocephalus was allowed to progress without being properly diagnosed, delaying treatment.
In late 2015, Attorneys Jay O'Connor, Buffy Lord, and Chris Dodig teamed up to achieve a $1 million settlement of a wrongful death case on behalf of a family from Middlebury, Vermont. The case arose from a motor vehicle accident involving a large cement truck that occurred in Hancock, Vermont while the client was at work. As such, the case involved both a workers' compensation component and a traditional wrongful death claim based on negligence. The wrongful death claim alleged that the driver was negligent in his operation of the cement truck. It was also alleged that the employer was negligent in failing to maintain the large truck with adequate brakes or tires. While workers' compensation is generally the exclusive remedy for an injured employee, Donovan & O'Connor, LLP argued that exceptions to that rule applied in this case because the driver breached an independent duty he owed to the employee and that the employer was not shielded from liability because its actions in failing to maintain its vehicles were egregious and led to a substantial certainty of harm to its employee. The case was filed in the Rutland Superior Court and settled after mediation.
In 2014, Attorneys Chris S. Dodig and Gregory P. Howard, served as Massachusetts counsel, in a medical malpractice case that settled for $16.05 million, on behalf of a family, whose baby suffered severe brain damage at birth, following a placental abruption. This settlement is among the largest pre-trial medical malpractice recoveries in Massachusetts. The parties agreed that the parties' names and all identifying information regarding the case, would be kept confidential. The primary allegations in the case were that the nurses delayed in triaging the patient and did not timely institute electronic fetal monitoring. Once electronic fetal monitoring was initiated, it became apparent that the fetus was suffering from Bradycardia. The plaintiffs also alleged the child was not delivered quickly enough after fetal distress was recognized, and that after the child was born, resuscitation procedures were not performed appropriately. Twelve expert witnesses in the field of OB/GYN, Neonatology, Hematology, Physiatry, Nursing, Neuroradiology, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Economics, were retained on behalf of the injured child and family. This extraordinary recovery will easily provide the child's lifelong medical needs.
In May 2012 Chris Dodig and Michael Hinkley obtained a $7,988,300 verdict (before interest and costs were added) in a surgical medical malpractice case. The clients were from Bennington, VT and the case was tried in Federal Court in Syracuse, NY. The primary argument was that the doctor failed to do appropriate and required pre surgical testing. The result is believed to be the largest medical malpractice verdict ever achieved in the jurisdiction.
In June 2012 Chris Dodig negotiated an $8,000,000 (eight million) dollar settlement on behalf of a teenage boy who’s undiagnosed spinal tumor resulted in lifelong paraplegia. Chris successfully argued that the tumor should have been diagnosed earlier and that if it had been, the boys paraplegia would have been prevented. The medical malpractice case was litigated primarily in Springfield, MA. The result was the largest personal injury or medical malpractice settlement in Massachusetts in 2012.
In October 2010 Chris Dodig negotiated a$ 5,900,000 million dollar settlement on behalf of the families of two men killed in a tractor trailer rollover accident in Vermont. The tractor trailer driver was operating at an excessive speed and had failed to properly secure the heavy load he was transporting. Several Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations were violated. Most of the case depositions were conducted in Rutland, Burlington, and Brattleboro, VT.
In 2006 Chris Dodig obtained a 9.5 million dollar judgment in the Berkshire Superior Court on behalf of a quadriplegic client victimized by domestic violence. This judgment is believed to be the largest of its kind ever awarded in Berkshire County. Our client was able to purchase a modified home for her family, which is now fully handicap accessible. She also purchased a handicap accessible van and created a special needs trust to pay for her future needs.
Areas of Practice
- Motor Vehicle including Tractor Trailer and Motorcycle Accidents
- Serious Injury claims including Motor Vehicle, Tractor Trailer and Motorcycle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice including Birth Injuries, Spinal Injuries, Failure to Diagnose and Death Cases
- Defective Product Injury Cases
- Wrongful Death Cases - Various Causes
- Dram Shop - Alcohol related Injury Cases
- Civil Rights including Police Misconduct and Discrimination
- Animal and dog Bite Cases
- Business Litigation
- Massachusetts, 1990
- New York, 1990
- Vermont, 2000
- U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 1991
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1991
- U.S. District Court Northern District of New York, 1991
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1991
- U.S. District Court Western District of New York, 1991
- U.S. District Court District of Vermont, 1997
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1996
- Albany Law School Union University, Albany, New York
- J.D. - 1990
- Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York
- B.A. - 1987
- Major: Psychology
- Introducing & Excluding Evidence at Trial, MCLE, 2008
- Successful Trial of Personal Injury Case, MCLE, 2000
Honors and Awards
- Rising Legal Stars, Law & Politics, Boston Magazine, 2005
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Association for Justice, Member, 1998 - Present
- Vermont Trial Lawyers Association, Member, 1998 - Present
- Massachusetts Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Governors, 1998 - Present
Pro Bono Activities
- Board of Directors and Cabinet Member, Northern Berkshire United Way, 2003 - Present
- Board of Directors, Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, 1993 - Present
- Mt. Greylock Regional School District, School Board Member, 2012 - Present
- Berkshire County Bar Association, Executive Committee Member , 2008 - Present