Mark B. Decof
Mark B. Decof, the principal shareholder and senior trial lawyer at Decof, Decof & Barry, P.C., serves as lead trial counsel in state and federal courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts pertaining to complex medical malpractice, product liability and general negligence cases involving serious personal injury and wrongful death. He founded the personal injury law firm in 1980, along with his father and former partner Leonard Decof, and for more than 35 years has engaged actively in litigation and trial practice, winning more multimillion-dollar jury verdicts than any other trial lawyer in the state of Rhode Island. His stellar courtroom successes, combined with the achievements and reputation of Leonard Decof, have established Decof, Decof & Barry as the oldest and most accomplished Rhode Island law firm devoted exclusively to seriously injured individuals.
Awards and Other Honors
- Personal Injury Plaintiff “Lawyer of the Year” in Providence, RI by Best Lawyers®, 2017
- Appointed in 2013 by the Rhode Island Supreme Court as a member of the Board of Bar Examiners
- Among Top 10 “Super Lawyers” in the state, across all practice areas, every year since 2007
- Listed as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in New England, every year since 2007
- Named “Lawyer of the Year in Rhode Island,” Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, December 2004
Memberships and Affiliations
- American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2002-present
- American Board of Trial Advocates, Associate, 1996-present
- Rhode Island Association for Justice, Member and Board of Governors, 1996-present
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 1994-present
- American Association for Justice, Member, 1981-present
- Rhode Island Bar Association, Member, 1980-present
Education and Admissions
Mark Decof graduated from Georgetown University in 1976 and Suffolk University Law School (J.D.) in 1979.
He earned admission to the states of Rhode Island 1980 as well as the Federal District Court for the District of Rhode Island in 1980.
Notable Case Wins
James Woods vs. Kent HospitalRhode Island Superior Court, 2009
A confidential settlement following a 4-week jury trial for the wrongful death of Michael Woods, brother of actor James Woods, due to negligent cardiac care resulting in death.
At the conclusion of the trial Kent Hospital publicly admitted fault and apologized to James Woods and the family of Michael Woods. In addition to a confidential settlement to the family, Kent Hospital created the Michael Woods Institute to develop and implement changes in personnel, practices and policies to improve the quality of care delivered in the Emergency Department at Kent Hospital in Warwick, Rhode Island. James Woods is an active member of the Board of the Michael J. Woods Institute.
Estate of Mary O’Sullivan vs. Newport Emergency Physicians, Inc.Rhode Island Superior Court, 2007
$21.5 million jury verdict to the family of Mary O’Sullivan for negligence of physician in the Emergency Department at Newport Hospital in failing to diagnose and treat pneumonia, resulting in the death of Mary O’Sullivan, wife and mother of three young children. This was at the time the largest medical malpractice and wrongful death jury verdict in the history of Rhode Island.
Judith Oliveira vs. Chase Manhattan Automotive Finance Corp.Rhode Island Superior Court, 2003
$18.5 million jury verdict for a woman who suffered a spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia in a motor vehicle accident. This was at the time the largest personal injury jury verdict in the history of Rhode Island.
The case also established precedent in the Rhode Island Supreme Court for holding leasing companies legally responsible for wrongdoers who operate leased vehicles with consent.
Lambert vs. ParanscandoloNewport County Superior Court, 2015
October 2015 Newport Court jury verdict of over $2 million in favor of a 63-year-old commercial fisherman whose right arm was pulled into a machine, which traumatically amputated the arm below the elbow. Lead counsel Mark Decof, senior trial lawyer and principal shareholder of Decof, Decof & Barry, assisted by attorney and second chair Michael Quinn, successfully argued to the jury that the crane was negligently maintained, due to the fact that a rope used on the machine was deteriorated and should not have been in service.
Arthur LaPlante vs. Honda Motor Company, Inc.United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, 1993
A $9.6 million jury verdict for a young man who suffered a spinal cord injury resulting in quadriplegia from a crash involving a defectively designed All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
Richard Holland vs. Business Express, Inc.United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, 1998
A $7.2 million jury verdict for an elderly man and his wife. The man suffered severe injuries after falling from a stairway while exiting a commercial airplane due to the negligence of a commercial airline.
Mark Bennett vs. Thackery’s RestaurantMassachusetts Superior Court, 1983
A $1.3 million jury verdict for a young man who suffered a leg amputation injury when a drunk driver struck his motorcycle, against a restaurant which negligently served alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated driver. The case, affirmed on appeal, established precedent in Massachusetts for liability on the part of establishments negligently serving alcohol.
Matthew Valvano vs. East Side Anesthesiology, Inc.United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, 1991
A $3.2 million jury verdict for a young man who suffered a stroke due to negligence during a maxillofacial surgical procedure.
Karen Rodrigues vs. Miriam HospitalRhode Island Superior Court, 1990
A $2.8 million jury verdict for a young woman who suffered brain damage due to negligence of care providers in the emergency room in failing to perform a tracheostomy for airway swelling due to an allergic reaction.
Jacqueline Woods vs. Christos Erinakes, M.D.Rhode Island Superior Court, 1991
A $1.2 million jury verdict for a child who suffered brachial plexus injury due to negligence by an obstetrician during childbirth complicated by shoulder dystocia.
Peter Thibodeau vs. Margaret CaulfieldRhode Island Superior Court, 1989
A $1.2 million jury verdict for a 42-year-old man who suffered serious injuries in an automobile accident.
Estate of Linda Williams vs. Wallace Gonsalves, D.O.Rhode Island Superior Court, 1996
A $1.1 million jury verdict for the wrongful death of a woman for an osteopathic physician’s negligence in failing to diagnose a brain aneurysm.
Product Liability – Defective Tire – Severe Injuries to Multiple Passengers
Confidential settlements on behalf of five teenagers who were ejected from a mini-van when it rolled over following a tire tread separation. One of the occupants was killed and four were seriously injured. Settlements just prior to trial after five years of litigation against one of the world’s largest tire manufacturers.
Negligent Bank Security – Premises Liability – Wrongful Death
Confidential settlement during trial for the family of a man killed during a pre-planned bank robbery, where the bank’s security measures and physical properties were alleged to be deficient.