In 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 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 & Dodig, 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 March 2013, Chris Dodig worked with co-counsel in securing a $1,000,000 settlement on behalf of a family in a wrongful death case arising out of doctor error in failing to diagnose pregnancy-related medical conditions, including fatty liver of pregnancy.
In June 2012, Chris Dodig negotiated an $8,000,000 (eight million) settlement on behalf of a teenage boy whose 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 boy's paraplegia would have been prevented. The case was litigated primarily in Springfield, Massachusetts. The result was the largest personal injury or medical malpractice settlement in Massachusetts in 2012.
In May 2012, Chris Dodig and Michael Hinkley obtained a $7,988,300 verdict (before interest and costs were added) in a surgery error case. The case was brought on behalf of a Bennington, Vermont, woman who had undergone an unnecessary Nissen Fundoplication surgery (anti-reflux surgery) in Albany, New York. The case was tried in federal court in Syracuse, New York. The primary argument was that the doctor failed to do appropriate and required presurgical testing. The result is believed to be the largest medical malpractice verdict ever achieved in the jurisdiction.
In October 2010, Chris Dodig negotiated a $5,900,000 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 Administration regulations were violated. Most of the depositions were conducted in Rutland, Burlington and Brattleboro, Vermont.
In June 2010, Chris Dodig negotiated a $1,000,000 settlement in a failure to diagnose cancer case on behalf of a Pittsfield, Massachusetts, family. The client had a chest X-ray performed which showed a suspicious lesion. This finding was not followed up on. It was not until three years later that the lung cancer was finally diagnosed. If the delay in diagnosis had not occurred, the cancer would have been very treatable.
In 2006, Chris Dodig obtained a $9.5 million 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.
In 2000, Chris obtained a $1 million judgment after trial in Woodstock, Vermont, on behalf of a client who was sexually abused over a period of nearly six years.
Jay O'Connor and Chris Dodig secured a $1,200,000 (1.2 million) settlement on behalf of a North Carolina child who suffered birth and delivery injuries, including cerebral palsy, as a result of negligently delayed delivery after fetal distress. The alleged malpractice took place at an Armed Forces hospital in California.
Chris Dodig worked with co-counsel in a products liability case that settled prior to trial for $1,400,000 involving a Pittsfield, Massachusetts, client who developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure.
Don Goodrich obtained a $1.37 million settlement arising out of a tractor-trailer - motor vehicle accident in Vermont.
Chris Dodig negotiated a $2.4 million structured settlement on behalf of a family in a complex pregnancy and delivery medical malpractice case involving doctor error in failing to appreciate the significance of pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) during extended childbirth labor and delivery.
In December 2012, Buffy Lord negotiated a $335,000 settlement in a personal injury case on behalf of an employee who suffered a serious injury to his non-dominant hand, including loss of a finger, during work-related activities.
In November 2012, Michael Hinkley obtained a $125,000 jury verdict (before interest and costs were added) in a motor vehicle case. The action was brought on behalf of a local man who was injured when his truck was struck by another car. The case was tried in the Central Berkshire District Court. The primary argument was that the defendant broke the rules of the road and injured the plaintiff.
In February 2011, Chris Dodig obtained an $825,000 settlement in a medical malpractice case involving allegations that errors by an ophthalmologist led to serious eye injury requiring corneal transplant surgery.
In September 2011, Chris Dodig obtained a $300,000 policy limit settlement on behalf of a Berkshire County resident who suffered burns during a kitchen fire in a Bennington, Vermont, residence.
In 2011, Buffy Lord settled an aviation injury case for the insurance policy limit of $100,000 on behalf of a Great Barrington, Massachusetts, client.
In 2011, Jay O'Connor recovered $725,000 for the family of a worker tragically killed while on the job. In 2011, Jay also obtained lump-sum awards for work-related injuries of $200,000 (knee), $350,000 (neck), $200,000 (knee), $200,000 (low back), $165,000 (back) and $220,000 (shoulder).
In 2011, Chris Dodig and Michael Hinkley negotiated a $150,000 settlement on behalf of a Berkshire County resident who was seriously injured by a neighbor's dog.
In 2010, Michael Hinkley and Chris Dodig obtained an $850,000 settlement in a medical malpractice case on behalf of a North Adams woman injured during a gynecological surgical procedure involving the use of vaginal mesh to control incontinence.
In 2010, Chris Dodig successfully argued before the Vermont Supreme Court (the state's highest court) to uphold his client's appointment as the administrator of an estate. The court held that the mother of the decedent's child rather than the mother of the decedent should control the estate. The case essentially established new law in Vermont.
In 2010, Michael Hinkley and Chris Dodig negotiated a $420,000 settlement on behalf of a Berkshire County resident who was seriously injured as the result of a misfilled prescription at a pharmacy.
In 2009, Michael Hinkley and Chris Dodig resolved two medical malpractice wrongful death cases, including one in Springfield, Massachusetts, for the total amount of $1,150,000.
In 2009, Buffy Lord and Chris Dodig achieved a $600,000 policy limit settlement on behalf of a Western Massachusetts man who was injured in a hunting accident.
Chris Dodig negotiated settlements exceeding $2,000,000 (two million) in the first half of 2008. The settlements included a failure to diagnose cancer medical malpractice death claim, a motor vehicle accident death claim and a motor vehicle/pedestrian accident claim on behalf of a Vermont resident.
Donald Goodrich and Michael Hinkley secured settlements totaling $957,500, reflecting payments and interest owed to a Vermont manufacturer in connection with a bridge replacement project in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Settled a products liability case for $750,000 on behalf of a 49-year-old man who suffered work-related crush amputation injuries to his left hand. The firm also achieved a favorable resolution of the client's workers' compensation case. The product case settled three weeks before trial.
Negotiated a $650,000 settlement in a medical malpractice case involving a failure to diagnose a heart attack which led to death.
Secured a $624,000 settlement in a Vermont motor vehicle case involving a fatality and a seriously injured individual.
Negotiated a $585,000 settlement on a behalf of a client with serious neck and back injuries resulting from a New York motor vehicle collision.
Obtained a $500,000 settlement, after the second day of trial, in a medical malpractice case involving a delay in diagnosing esophageal cancer.
Negotiated a $340,000 settlement on behalf of a young Pittsfield, Massachusetts, woman attacked and bitten by a large dog, and secured an additional $40,000 in workers' compensation benefits for the same client.
Obtained a $250,000 settlement, representing all available insurance, for an individual who suffered serious injuries when he was struck by an automobile while in a crosswalk.
Settled a case involving back injuries sustained by a young woman in a motor vehicle collision for $230,000 just prior to trial.
Obtained a $100,000 settlement, representing all available insurance, for serious injuries suffered by an individual who was struck by an automobile while bicycling.
Secured a $100,000 settlement, representing all available insurance, for an individual who suffered serious injuries when she was struck by a passing automobile while standing beside her vehicle.
Successfully negotiated a settlement on behalf of a local family in a hotly contested civil rights case which stemmed from the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a Vermont State Police officer. This case involved a complex appellate argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. The full decision may be found at O'Bert v. Vargo, 331 F3d 29 (2d Cir 2003).
Canadian Judgment Domesticated
In a case before the Berkshire Superior Court, the firm succeeded in converting an Ontario judgment for $60,000 (U.S.) into a Massachusetts judgment totaling $106,000 (U.S.), inclusive of interest, attorney's fees and costs, pursuant to the Uniform Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act. The international aspects of this case required the firm to deal extensively with the United States Consulate in Ontario, as well as local counsel and the court system there.
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