Christopher P. Flanagan Partner




Christopher Flanagan is the regional managing partner of Wilson Elser’s Boston office. His practice focuses on commercial and complex tort litigation, with emphasis on general liability, product liability, professional liability, employment practices liability, marine liability, trucking and transportation liability, and construction liability and defect, as well as insurance coverage and insurance coverage litigation, involving first-party property and third-party liability insurance policies.

Chris works with insured and self-insured businesses and property owners, helping to resolve their most complicated legal issues and defending them in litigation in state and federal courts in Massachusetts as well as in New Hampshire and Maine, where he is responsible for the firm’s practice. Chris handles defense and coverage matters for both the U.S. and London insurance markets.

Chris develops strong client relationships through trust, responsiveness, reliability and attention to detail. His prior experience as an underwriter strengthens his understanding of the insurance business, from procedures to policy language, and contributes to his effectiveness with coverage analysis and as a litigator.

Areas of Focus

General Liability
Chris defends general liability actions involving alleged defective or hazardous property conditions and negligent security and crowd control. These actions typically involve contractual indemnity claims with a focus on transferring risk or obtaining other insurance coverage for the client to reduce potential exposure.

Insurance Coverage
Chris has handled insurance coverage matters and represented insurers in coverage litigation in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. The coverage matters and litigation have involved both first party property and third party liability insurance policies. With specific regard to first party property insurance policies, Chris has handled appraisal or reference proceedings to determine the value of claims, as well as defended insurers in breach of contract and bad faith actions.

Product Liability 
Chris has defended a wide range of products, including manufacturing and industrial machinery, construction equipment, chemicals, recreation equipment, consumer appliances, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and health products and supplements. These cases often involve wrongful death and catastrophic injuries, including brain damage, amputation and paralysis, as well as substantial economic claims.

Professional Liability 
Chris defends insurance agents and brokers, lawyers, engineers, and other professionals. Chris counts a major international insurance broker among his professional liability clients.

Employment Practices Liability 
Chris represents employers before administrative agencies and in state and federal courts in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. The claims that he defends involve discrimination based on age, race and gender, harassment and wrongful discharge. He has also advised clients on and litigated matters involving non-compete and non-disclosure agreements.

Marine Liability
Chris defends boat and personal watercraft accident claims and cases, which typically involve catastrophic and permanent injuries, including amputation and brain damage. 

Trucking, Transportation & Cargo
Chris represents trucking and transportation companies, including long-haul truckers, in matters involving personal injury, death, property damage, and loss of cargo.

Representative Matters

Obtained dismissal of insurance agent errors and omissions claim involving failure to advise client to retain insurance policies.

Received summary judgment in Massachusetts state court for a major insurance broker in an employment case involving allegations of breach of contract and age discrimination.

Obtained defense verdict at trial in federal court in New Hampshire in a product liability action involving allegations that a defective electronic consumer product caused a fire that destroyed a house.

Received summary judgment in Massachusetts state court in an employment practices liability case, which involved allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Received summary judgment in Maine state court in a property insurance coverage action in which the court held that the appraisal process conclusively established the amount of the plaintiff's loss under the insurance policy.

Obtained defense verdict at trial for a major international insurance broker, which allegedly failed to procure proper insurance coverage for a product distributor, resulting in a significant uninsured loss.

Obtained defense verdict at trial in a case in which the plaintiff sustained a severe knee injury due to an alleged defective condition of the hot tub at a hotel.

Obtained dismissal of vicarious liability claim against an international youth sports organization through a motion for summary judgment.

Achieved substantially compromised settlement of a premises liability case prior to closing arguments at trial.

Defended complex, high-exposure chemical component product liability case in federal court, which involved property and economic damages to thousands of end-products.

Received summary judgment in premises liability case involving claims of negligent property maintenance.

Obtained dismissal of employment discrimination claim based on pregnancy.

Chris has a strong record of achieving settlements in potentially high-value cases, including:

  • A product liability case against a chemical distributor involving claims that the product caused the plaintiff to develop leukemia.
  • A boat accident claim involving the amputation of the leg of a young woman who was struck by the moving propeller while attempting to board the boat.
  • A liability claim against a property owner for serious injuries sustained by three occupants who were allegedly forced from the building because of an inoperable smoke detector system.
  • A boat accident case involving the amputation of the leg of a man struck by the propeller when attempting to board the boat after a swim.
  • A significantly compromised settlement of a boat accident claim involving a boat striking the head of a male swimmer.
  • A personal watercraft accident case involving a collision between two personal watercraft, which resulted in severe injuries to a man who ultimately had his leg amputated.