Charles R. Douthat
A member of the firm, Charles Douthat has been an active trial lawyer in Connecticut for over 25 years. Among judges and other lawyers, Charles is widely known for his courtroom skills, his tenacity, and his innovative approaches to complex and challenging cases. He has been selected by his peers for membership in The Best Lawyers in America® in Medical Malpractice and selected by Connecticut Magazine as a Connecticut Super Lawyer® in Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice from 2011-2015. His practice is primarily devoted to representing clients seriously injured by medical malpractice, dangerous products, and in workplace accidents. He has achieved many large verdicts and million dollar settlements for his clients. He co-authored, with Jonathan Katz, Injury Claims in Connecticut, a consumer's guide to personal injury cases.
A few examples of Charles' cases include:
He secured one of the largest pre-trial work injury settlements in Connecticut history for a police officer who was rendered quadriplegic in an auto collision with a delivery truck. The total value of the settlement, which included an initial payment of 7.6 million dollars and lifetime payment of all medical and hospital bills, may exceed 22 million dollars.
He secured a 4.2 million dollar medical malpractice settlement for a special education teacher who suffered a massive stroke and became disabled due to hospital and physician negligence. The case was rejected as too difficult to prove by other law firms before the family hired Charles.
He secured a 1.4 million dollar trial verdict for an elderly woman who fell while left unattended in the Hospital of St. Raphael's emergency room. Due to her injuries, the woman lost her capacity to live independently and was confined to a nursing home for the rest of her life. The hospital offered $50,000 to settle the case before trial.
He secured a three million dollar settlement for a custodial worker whose CT scan was misread during an emergency room admission. Due to a delay in proper diagnosis, the man suffered a stroke and became permanently disabled.
He represented a teenage girl who was partially blinded by a parasite passed to her from a diseased puppy her parents bought at a local pet store. Charles filed a lawsuit alleging the puppy was a dangerous product under the Connecticut Product Liability Act. The trial court upheld this innovative claim, and the case settled shortly before trial for over one million dollars.
He represented Donny T, a young boy hospitalized with a head injury after running into a street and being hit by a car. From a coma, Donny was awakened when his family brought his dog into his hospital room. Using computer graphics, Charles reconstructed the accident to show the driver's fault. The case settled at the start of trial for $460,000.
He represented an elderly woman whose bladder was punctured during a routine interventional radiology procedure. She developed peritonitis and remained in the hospital for over a year. Eventually, Charles was able to obtain hospital records initially withheld which documented the physician's negligence. The case settled on the first day of trial for one million dollars.
He represented a machinist whose hands were injured while operating a computerized lathe manufactured by a Japanese corporation. Charles brought the case in United States District Court, claiming the lathe was defectively designed. After the first trial witness, the Japanese company withdrew all settlement offers. The jury awarded $560,000.
He represented the family of a construction site elevator operator who fell seventeen stories to his death at a hotel under construction at the Mohegan Sun reservation. Charles was able to prove that the elevator malfunctioned due to the installation of a defective brake part. The case settled after four days of court-sponsored mediation for a confidential amount.
Charles has been rated AV (the highest possible rating) by Martindale Hubbell, the attorney rating service. He has been appointed and served as an Attorney Trial Referee, Arbitrator, and Special Master in the Connecticut Superior Court.
Charles was born in Santa Monica, California where he attended public schools before graduating from Stanford University. He received his law degree from Hastings College of the Law.
Charles lives in New Haven and is a long-suffering Boston Red Sox fan. His son Ross, a graduate of Hamden Hall and Harvard University, is an author and columnist for the New York Times. His daughter Jeanne, a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, recently graduated from Yale University.
Areas of Practice
- Medical Malpractice
- Personal Injury
- Workplace Injuries
- Connecticut, 1982
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1983
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1987
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
- J.D. - 1977
- Stanford University, Stanford, California
- A.B. - 1972
- Honors: With Distinction
- Major: History
Honors and Awards
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, Member
- American Association for Justice, Member