Chris S. Dodig

Chris S. Dodig

Partner
Location:
North Adams, Massachusetts
Phone:
413-346-5305
802-681-4687
800-365-9913
Fax:
413-663-7970
Email:

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.

Attorney Dodig handles cases throughout Massachusetts and Vermont. He also handles select cases in upstate New York.

 Recent News and Case Results: 

Dodig name added to firm:  In July 2016 Berkshire County’s oldest and largest law firm, announced that it had changed its name to Donovan O’Connor & Dodig, LLP.  The addition of Chris S. Dodig’s name marked the first name change for the well-known law firm since 1954 when J. Norman O’Connor, Sr. joined Walter Donovan in the general practice of law.   

Chris joined the firm in 1990, at age 24, after receiving his Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School.  Dodig focuses his practice on litigation, including serious injury cases, and broke new ground for the venerable firm by securing numerous million and multi-million dollar settlements, judgments and verdicts.  His most notable cases include a $5.9 million settlement in a Vermont double fatality case; an $8 million settlement in a Massachusetts medical malpractice case, a $9.5 million judgment in a domestic battery case and $7.9 million jury verdict on behalf of a Bennington family in a medical malpractice matter.  He also represented the family of Richard O’Bert in the civil rights claims surrounding his shooting death by Vermont State police in April 2000.    

Current managing partner, Stephen Pagnotta commented, “Chris is not only the leading litigator in the firm, he is also one of the best trial attorneys in Massachusetts.  He epitomizes what the firm stands for – providing the highest and finest quality legal service to clients while also serving our communities.  Chris is a wonderful leader and one of the finest examples of what an attorney can and should be. Walter Donovan and J. Norman O’Connor, Sr. would be proud of Chris and honored to see his name added to theirs on our letterhead.” 

Dodig Elected to ACTL:  In 2017 Chris was elected as a  a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.  The induction ceremony took place In September 2017  before an audience of 900 persons during the Annual Meeting of the College in Montréal, Québec.  Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada.  Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation.   Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. Chris is only the seventh member ever elected to the College from Berkshire County.   

Dodig Community Service:  In addition to practicing law, Dodig is active throughout the Berkshire County community.   He has been a Big Brother and has served on the Board of Directors of the Family Life Support Center (Louison House); The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse; the North County Development Corporation; the Northern Berkshire United Way; and has been elected to  Mt. Greylock Regional School Committee.  He  has served as a coach in the Williamstown/Lanesborough Youth basketball and softball leagues and participates regularly in the Community Reading Day at Lanesborough Elementary School.  Dodig has also served as President of the Berkshire County Bar Association and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys.


Selected Recent Cases

Chris along with Michael Hinkley obtained a $7,988,300 verdict (before interest and costs were added) in a surgical medical malpractice case tried in Federal Court in Syracuse, NY.  The clients were from Bennington, VT.   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. 

Chris 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. 

 Chris 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. 

Chris 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.  Attorney Dodig and the Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP team argued the child suffered permanent brain injury because the hydrocephalus was allowed to progress without being properly diagnosed, delaying treatment.

Chris, together with Jay O'Connor and  Buffy Lord,  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 case was filed in the Rutland Superior Court and settled after mediation.

 Chris 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 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 recovery will  provide the child's lifelong medical needs.

 Chris 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

  • Medical Malpractice including Birth Injuries, Spinal Injuries, Failure to Diagnose and Death Cases and 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

Bar Admissions

  • 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

Education

  • Albany Law School Union University, Albany, New York
    • J.D. - 1990
  • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York
    • B.A. - 1987
    • Major: Psychology

Classes/Seminars

  • 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
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, September 13, 2017 - Present

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