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.
Attorney Dodig handles cases throughout Massachusetts and Vermont. He also handles select cases in upstate New York.
Recent News and Case Results:
2020 Massachusetts Bar Association Community Service Award: In October 2020, Chris was presented with the MBA Community Service Award. The award recognizes an attorney who has performed outstanding public service within their community. Since his arrival in Berkshire County in 1990, Chris has served on the Board of Directors for many social service agencies and not-for- profit businesses, volunteered his time and provided pro bono legal representation for community organizations, and served as an elected official for his home town and local school districts. In his capacity as a partner at Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP, Chris has, and continues too strongly encourage members of the firm to be engaged in the larger Berkshire community, especially the county's various non-profit groups. In no small part due to his leadership, the firm consistently provides fundraising support to various non-profits throughout Berkshire County.
Dodig name added to firm: In 2016 the 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.
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 Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America. 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.
Selected Recent Cases:
Chris 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 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 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 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 the 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 for the child's lifelong medical needs.
Chris negotiated a $5.9 million 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 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.
Areas of Practice
- Medical Malpractice including Birth Injuries, Spinal Injuries, Failure to Diagnose Cancer and Death Cases and Motor Vehicle including Tractor Trailer and Motorcycle Accidents
- Motor Vehicle, Tractor Trailer and Motorcycle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice including Birth Injuries, Spinal Injuries, Failure to Diagnose and Death Cases
- Work Place Injuries and 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
- Obert v. State of Vermont, 331 F3d 29, 2003, 2nd Circuit
- EFCO Corp v. Francese, et al, 124 F3d 394, 1997, 2nd Circuit
- Introducing & Excluding Evidence at Trial, MCLE, 2008 to 2008
- Successful Trial of Personal Injury Case, MCLE, 2000 to 2000
Honors And Awards
- Rising Legal Stars, Law & Politics, Boston Magazine
- American College of Trial Lawyers
- 2020 Massachusetts Bar Association Community Service Award
Professional Associations And Memberships
- American Association for Justice, Member, 1998 to Present
- Vermont Trial Lawyers Association, Member, 1998 to Present
- Massachusetts Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Governors, 1998 to Present
- American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 09/2017 to Present
- Massachusetts Bar Foundation, Life Fellow, Present
Pro Bono Activities
- Northern Berkshire United Way, Board of Directors and Cabinet Member,, 2003 to 2017
- Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Chair and Board of Directors, 1993 to 2013
- Berkshire County Bar Association, President and Executive Committee, 2008 to 2018
- Mount Greylock Regional School, Elected School Committee , 07/2012 to 11/2018
- Barrington Stage Company, Board of Directors, 01/2018 to Present
- Family Life Support Center and Louison House, Chair and Board Member, 1995 to 2003
- Moderator, Town of Lanesborough, 2018 to Present