As a plaintiff lawyer for over forty years, Clyde Bergstresser has typically brought cases against health care providers but also has developed a niche practice of representing physicians as “personal counsel” when others have sued them. Thus, he has forged many relationships with doctors and other clinicians.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, Clyde felt compelled to help healthcare workers risking their lives for us all. “I felt the need to honor their efforts and to say thank you in a way that could provide some support for those on the front lines fighting this deadly disease,” said Clyde.
Clyde first set out to investigate what was needed to help colleagues in medicine. The local legal community joined Clyde’s cause, including his partner Russ Pollock; Chris Duggan of Smith, Duggan, Buell & Rufo; former Boston College Law School classmates; distinguished trial lawyers Joan Lukey of Choate Hall & Stewart and Walter Prince of Prince Lobel Tye; retired Federal District Court Judge Nancy Gertner; and Jon Albano of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Retired Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall agreed to assist the cause as Honorary Chair of the Honorary Advisory Committee. Others joining the Honorary Advisory Committee included the President of Boston Medical Center, prominent Massachusetts physicians and lawyers, as well as representatives of the major Massachusetts medical professional liability insurers.
Initially, Clyde and his colleagues contacted Boston Medical Center, which has been on the front lines caring for individuals of color, a population disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Boston Medical Center had established an emergency fund for its staff, which was in dire need of additional funding.
They then reached out to Boston Emergency Medical Services, which has supplied the majority of first responders in the community during this crisis—with many describing their day-to-day work as like being in a war zone. Clearly, there was a great need for additional funding to help these brave men and women who need counseling and support.
Having identified the need and a way to honor their colleagues in medicine, Clyde and his colleagues created the charitable corporation, Lawyers Honoring COVID-19 Caregivers Inc. Please visit the website and support this worthy cause. Individuals can donate by clicking here or by mailing a check made out to “Lawyers Honoring COVID-19 Caregivers Inc.” to their treasurer, Chris Duggan, Esq., Smith Duggan, 55 Old Bedford Road, Lincoln, MA 01733.
Lawyers Honoring COVID-19 Caregivers Inc. has just started the ramping up of collections but wanted to quickly get relief to those in need. In the photo below, Clyde is presenting a check for $50,000 to Norman Stein, Senior Vice President of Boston Medical Center.
They are continuing efforts to spread word about Lawyers Honoring COVID-19 Caregivers Inc. to the legal community through various bar associations, professional societies and personal connections.