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CLYDE BERGSTRESSER MEDI CAL MAL PR ACT ICE L AW PL AINT IFF S BO STON , MA

For a young attorney right out of law school interested in social justice and the ins and outs of how to use a newly minted law degree for the greater good, there was no more exciting place than Cambridge in the early 1970s. It was a place, says legendary plaintiffs’ attorney Clyde Bergstresser, where things happened. For Bergstresser, it was where he met—and began working for—Lawrence Shubow, the iconic civil rights lawyer who helped feed a passion for justice in Bergstresser that is as fiery today as it was more than three decades ago. Bergstresser would soon take on his first delayed diagnosis case—serving as both trial and appellate counsel— for a woman whose doctors failed to diagnose her cancer, a case that is recognized today as a landmark decision in the state. “That was really the birth of my career in medical malpractice as a plaintiffs’ lawyer,” says Bergstresser, who also handled a seminal case early in his career that helped establish safeguards for the use of medications on psychiatric patients. “It blended smoothly with what I wanted to do with my career, which was simply to help people seek justice through our legal system.” He’s never looked back. Bergstresser’s verdicts and settlements are regularly among the highest in Massachusetts, year after year, and his cases are complicated. In one recent, highprofile case, Bergstresser represented a young woman—eventually for whom he recovered nearly $10 million—who lost all four limbs to necrotizing fasciitis after the delivery of her baby by c-section; her doctors delayed the diagnosis of the infection that ended up ravaging her body. “I can’t ever see myself doing anything else,” says the well-credentialed Bergstresser. “The work is too important.”

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