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Thomas R. Gerarde


Work Phone: (860) 249-1361

Fax: (860) 249-7665

Email: tgerarde@hl-law.com

Mr. Gerarde is a graduate of Fairfield University  (B.S. 1978).  He received his juris doctorate from Suffolk University (J.D., cum laude, 1981).

Mr. Gerarde has practiced in the State of Connecticut since 1981.  He defends municipalities, public officials and employees against all general and professional liability claims, including civil rights claims, and claims of negligence, nuisance, and roadway defects.  He regularly appears in all state and federal courts in Connecticut, representing public officials, law enforcement officers, Boards of Education, land use commissions, firefighters and emergency response personnel.

He is admitted to practice in the following jurisdictions:

  • State of Connecticut
  • United States District Court, District of Connecticut
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court
   
Mr. Gerarde is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  He has served as a Special Master of the United States District Court.  He is a member of  the American Bar Association, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Connecticut Association of Municipal Attorneys.  He has achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating of "AV Preeminent." 

From 2006 to present, Mr. Gerarde has been selected to New England Super Lawyers, an honor awarded to the top 5 percent of attorneys in their respective fields.    

Mr. Gerarde has extensive trial and appellate experience in cases brought against public entities, including the following:

Trials to Verdict in Public Entity Cases

Estate of Foster v. Branford.  This suit stemmed from a police pursuit of an intoxicated driver.  The driver went through a red light and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle broadside, killing one occupant and leaving theother with a traumatic brain injury. Town of Branford and its police supervisors were cleared at summary judgment based on governmental immunity, and the negligence claim against the pursuing officer proceeded to trial.  The case was heard at the Waterbury Complex Litigation Docket, and the jury returned a defendant’s verdict.

Malloy v. Colchester.  This suit stemmed from the plaintiff’s car striking a roaming horse, rendering the plaintiff quadriplegic.  Plaintiff sued the Town of Colchester and its animal control officer, who had received several prior complaints about the roaming horse but did not take significant enforcement action including seizure of the horse.  This suit was tried to a jury in Norwich Superior Court and resulted in a directed defense verdict.

Dingwall v. Old Saybrook Police Department.  This suit stemmed from the arrest of the plaintiff for a domestic violence crime.  Plaintiff was held at the Old Saybrook police department and claims he was improperly interrogated and denied his access to counsel.  His civil rights/due process claim, was tried to a jury at U.S. District Court in Hartford to a defendant’s verdict.

Pryor v. Officer William Proulx.  This suit stemmed from the traffic stop of the plaintiff by East Hartford police officer William Proulx.  During the stop narcotics were found in the back seat and the plaintiff was arrested.  Plaintiff brought a civil rights claim for illegal search and seizure.  This was tried before a jury in to a U.S. District Court in Hartford to a defendant’s verdict.

Coleman v. City of Bristol.  This suit stemmed from the SWAT response to the plaintiff’s home after a neighbor called 911 and stated a man in fatigues was shooting an assault weapon in the rear yard.  The man was a friend of the plaintiff who was actually shooting frozen paint balls from a paint ball gun.  Plaintiff was ordered out of the home by the SWAT team in full dress and was briefly detained.  He was not arrested but claimed emotional distress as a result of his being ordered out of his home at gunpoint and forced to the ground.  Plaintiff’s unlawful detention/excessive force claim was heard by a jury at New Britain Superior Court, which returned a defendant’s verdict.

Hall v. Town of Mansfield.  This suit stemmed from the search of plaintiffs farm property on suspicion that plaintiff had illegally buried hazardous materials and oil tanks in various locations. Plaintiff’s civil rights/unreasonable search claim was heard by a jury in U.S. District Court, New Haven, which returned a defendant’s verdict.

Aczel v. Labonia and Mabel (Danbury Police Department).  This suit stemmed from the arrest of plaintiff on a domestic complaint and use of force during arrest, resulting in fractured bones in plaintiffs face.  Plaintiff filed a civil rights claim for excessive force, which was heard by a jury in U.S. District Court, New Haven. The jury returned a defense verdict as to Officer Mabel, and deadlocked as to Officer Labonia.  The court then granted the defendant Labonia’s motion for judgment, and the plaintiff has appealed to the 2d Circuit.

Estate of Cooper v. Michael Breen (North Branford Police Department).  This suit stemmed from the fatal shooting of a fleeing motorist by Branford Police Officer Michael Breen.  The estate filed a wrongful death civil rights claim, which was bifurcated by the trial court.  The jury returned a plaintiffs verdict on the 4th Amendment claim and the matter settled as the court was considering the qualified immunity issue.

Queach Corporation v. Town of Branford.  This suit stemmed from a claim by the plaintiff development company that the Town of Branford reneged on a land swap deal, which prevented the plaintiff from building a golf course and residential community, and caused $5,000,000 in losses.  This breach of contract claim was tried to a jury in New Haven Superior Court to a defendant’s verdict.

Sutera v. City of Norwich.  This suit stemmed from the fall on an icy road by the plaintiff, at the end of a snowstorm.  Plaintiff brought a defective highway claim against the City of Norwich.  The case was tried to a jury in New London Superior Court to a defendant’s verdict.

Tsombanidis v. West Haven Fire Department.  This suit stemmed from the refusal by the West Haven Fire Department to waive fire code requirements for a drug/alcohol recovery home.  Plaintiffs filed a civil rights claim under the Fair Housing Act.  The case was tried to the court, at U.S. District Court, Waterbury.  The District Court found the plaintiff proved a disparate impact claim, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit reversed, and entered judgment for the defendant Fire District.

First Step v. City of New London.  This suit stemmed from the refusal by the City of New London to grant a special permit to a the plaintiff, which intended to operate a transition facility serving persons with psychiatric disabilities.  Plaintiff sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The case was tried to the U.S. District Court, Bridgeport.  The court entered judgment for the plaintiff, and the matter settled on appeal.

Avalonbay Communities v. Town of Orange.  This suit stemmed from the denial by the Town of Orange of a permit to a developer that planned to build a large-scale affordable housing project.  The Town sought to condemn the property for use as an office and technology park.  Plaintiff brought suit under the Federal Fair Housing Act violation, and for bad faith condemnation.  The case was tried to the court in New Haven Superior Court; judgment for defendant on Fair Housing Act claim, but condemnation of subject property enjoined.

Gold Diggers, LLC v. Town of Berlin.  This suit stemmed from the challenge of the Town of Berlin’s Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance by a live adult entertainment facility on First Amendment grounds.  The case was tried to the court in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, which entered judgment for the defendant.

Nikiel v. Town of Wethersfield.  This suit stemmed from a fall down in a pot hole by plaintiff while walking on a town road.  Plaintiff brought suit under the Defective Highway Act.  The jury returned a defendant's verdict.

Herasimovich v. Town of Wallingford.  In this suit, plaintiff claimed the Town of Wallingford overburdened a 1955 drainage easement, which authorized the Town to drain storm water onto plaintiffs land, when it allowed new subdivisions to drain their storm water  into the easement.  Plaintiff also sued on nuisance and takings theories.  The matter was tried to the court, which rendered a judgment for the defendant on all counts.

Edgerton v. Town of Clinton.  Plaintiff was a passenger in a car that fled the scene of a motor vehicle accident.  The victim of that accident followed the plaintiffs car and called in the plate to the Clinton Police dispatcher.  The dispatcher determined the owner of the fleeing vehicle while the hit and run victim continued to pursue the hit and run driver.  The fleeing vehicle thereafter left the road at a high rate of speed, striking a tree and causing serious injury to the plaintiff.  The Plaintiff sued the Clinton dispatcher for negligent failure to order the hit and run victim to stop pursuing the fleeing vehicle.  The defendant raised an immunity defense based on the acts of a police dispatcher being discretionary.  The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, however, the verdict was overturned by the Connecticut Supreme Court, which held the Dispatcher was entitled to governmental immunity.

Grant v. Town of Branford.  Plaintiff was a truck operator who entered a four way intersection in Branford with a green light.  At the same time, Branford Police Sgt. Gary Verni was responding to a domestic stabbing incident in a marked police cruiser with overhead lights and siren activated.  Sgt. Verni entered the same intersection as Plaintiff Grant against a red light, from Grant’s left side, after stopping and creeping forward.  Other motorists who were approaching the intersection stopped in response to Sgt. Verni’s lights and siren, but Grant continued through and  the Grant and Verni vehicles collided in the middle of the intersection.  Grant sued for negligence, given that Sgt. Verni had entered the intersection against a  red light.  The defense argued that Grant’s injuries were caused by his own negligence for not yielding to an emergency vehicle.  The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.

Harris v. O’Hare, et al.  Two City of Hartford Police detectives, acting on a tip regarding the whereabouts of illegal handguns, entered the plaintiff's property, only to be confronted by a large dog that charged at them.  They ran, but could not escape the dog, and faced a threat of imminent harm.  One detective fired his weapon three times as the dog lunged at him, killing the dog.  The Detectives were sued in U.S. District Court for a claimed violation of civil rights protected by the 4th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, based on an illegal entry of the property, an illegal seizure of the dog, and a due process violation.  The eight person returned a unanimous verdict for the Defendants.

Nikides v. Town of Wethersfield.  Plaintiff tripped and fell on a badly cracked sidewalk in the Town of Wethersfield, near a railroad crossing.  Aeriel photographs indicated the crack had existed for at least 2 years without having been addressed by the Town.  Plaintiff went to step over the crack but lost her balance when she put her foot down on the opposite side of the crack, resulting in a rotator cuff injury necessitating surgery.  The defense argued that despite the fact that the defect in the sidewalk was significant, and had existed for some time, the plaintiff could have been more careful as she stepped over it - or could have safely walked around it.  The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, and the case is now on appeal.

Arrigoni Enterprises LLC  v. Town of Durham.  This was a federal Equal Protection claim tried in the U.S. District Court in Hartford.  Plaintiff, a land developer, sought to build 3 industrial buildings in the Towns Design Development District.  Because of the high rock content of the plaintiffs land it would have been necessary to blast, crush and remove 75,000 cubic yards of bedrock to make a suitable building space for the project.  The Town of Durham Zoning commission denied Arrigonis permit request based on the impact of the intense site development on the nearby landowners, which would have included 2-3 years of noise and dust from a rock crushing machine, and thousands of dump truck trips past single family homes.  Arrigoni claimed a violation of the Equal Protection clause to the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, given that the Town had allowed a property owner on the opposite side of the same road to develop a smaller 1 building project, and sought $2,000,000 in damages.  The defense argued that the plaintiff could not meet the high standard for a constitutional equal protection violation-- that the situation of the comparator project be “prima facie identical” to the Plaintiff’s; and, in any event, the Zoning Commission had a rational basis for any different treatment, sufficient to defeat an equal protection claim.  The 12 member jury returned a unanimous verdict for the Defendant Town after 3 hours of deliberation.

Marchand v. Simonson - Plaintiff sued Willimantic Police Officer Eric Simonson, after being tased as he attempted to enter his home.  Officer Simonson encountered Plaintiff acting in an unstable manner while in the road, and Plaintiff refused to identify himself, or otherwise indicate he was in front of his own home.  He swore at the Officer, and fought with him as he attempted to move toward the door of the home.  After Plaintiff banged on the door and an elderly woman answered, Plaintiff was warned several times not to enter the home or else he will be tased.  Plaintiff ignored the order and was tased as he began to cross the threshold of the door.  Officer Simonson used his taser a second time after Marchand ignored orders to remain on the ground.  Marchand was handcuffed and arrested.  He thereafter sued for civil rights violation claiming the force used on him was excessive and violated the Fourth Amendment.   The case was tried in U. S. District Court in New Haven.  The jury returned a verdict for the Defendant Officer Simonson after three hours of deliberation.

Smith v. Town of Redding—Plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury after from an unfenced retaining wall and sued the Town for nuisance, claiming $3M in damages..  The Town responded that the wall was not inherently dangerous given that it met applicable building codes and an alternative to a protective fence was installed at the top of a near by embankment.  Suit was brought in State Superior court in Bridgeport. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant Town.



Appeals Argued in Public Entity Cases

Dimiceli v. Town of Cheshire
  ___ Conn. App. ___ (2016) Plaintiff was injured after a hard landing on an old style see-saw in a public playground.  Plaintiff sued Town of Cheshire for negligent inspection and maintenance as well as failure to provide fall protection beneath the see-saw.  Plaintiff also sued for a failure to comply with Consumer Product Safety Commission Guidelines.  Defense raised governmental immunity as a defense arguing that inspection and maintenance responsibilities involve discretionary acts; and that the Consumer Products Safety Commission guidelines are not mandatory, but are recommendations only. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Town, and  the Connecticut Appellate Court  affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Arrigoni v. Town of Durham
____Fed. Appx. ___( 2dCir. 2015)  Plaintiff appealed a jury verdict in favor of the Town of Durham, on a civil rights claim,, after  Town land use commissions denied Plaintiff development permits on its property.  Plaintiff had claimed in excess of $2M in economic losses.  Plaintiff argued that the Trial Court should not have dismissed Plaintiffs unconstitutional takings claim pre-trial as being unripe, and also that the Trial court  erred in not allowing evidence of additional comparators to bolster Plaintiffs equal protection claim before the jury.  The Court of appeals upheld the decision of the trialcourt and the jury’s verdict in favor of the Town of Durham.  The Plaintiff has Petitioned the U.S Supreme Court to hear the case. 

Bouchard v. Town of Deep River, 155 Conn. App. 490(2015)  Plaintiff appealed a summary judgment granted by the trial courton the basis of governmental immunity.  Plaintiff has been disposing of recyclables at a local transfer station and accidently fell into the receptacle, resulting in personal injuries.  The Town raised the defense of governmental immunity, base on its discretion in operating the transfer station.  The Connecticut Appellate court affirmed that grant of immunity by the trial court, noting specifically that mandatory provisions in OSHA regulations cannot be cited as grounds for a duty owed to the Plaintiff, who was not a Town employee—given that OSHA is a workplace safety regulation designed to protect employees from harm.

Harris v. O’Hare, 770 F.3d 224 (2d Ci. 2014) Plaintiff appealed a jury verdict in favor of 2 city of Hartford police detectives who had entered Plaintiffs property after receiving a tip from a gang member that illegal guns were in an abandoned vehicle in the rear yard.  The jury returned a verdict for the defendants, finding that the entry into the Plaintiffs rear yard was justified by probable cause and exigent circumstances.  Plaintiff appealed, asserting that the jury should not have been charged on the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement.  The Court of Appeals agreed, and reversed the verdict in favor of the detectives.  The Defendants have petitioned the U.S. Supreme court to hear the case.

C& H Management v. Town of Shelton,  140 conn. App. 608,(2013) Plaintiff filed administrative appeal of the denial of development permits from Town land use commissions.  Plaintiff was awarded permits on appeal and then sought to sue Town for money damages.  Town asserted that Plaintiff was barred by res judicata, given that the money damages claims could have been brought at the same time the denial of permits was appealed. Trial Court denied Towns summary judgment motion, but the  Appellate Court reversed, holding that res judicata did in fact bar the suit against the Town.However, because the original administrative appeal was not brought against the Town Engineer as an individual, Plaintiff was able to proceed with an individual suit for damages.

Pines v. Bailey  563 Fed. Appx.  814 (2d Cir. 2014)  Pines was arrested by warrant after Enfield Police officers, while responding to a domestic call,  found a loaded gun in an area accessible to Pines’  children.  Pines sued for civil rights violation, claiming his arrest was unlawful because the Defendant filed an improper affidavit in support of the arrest warrant by (1) leaving out the fact that Pines told the officers that he planned to remove the gun from the home but the domestic dispute with his wife ensued, and he was unable to do so;  and (2) by including a statement attributable to Pines that the gun was loaded.  The District Court denied the defendant’s Summary Judgment motion, finding that it was up to the jury to determine whether the omitted information would have made a difference in the ultimate decision to issue the warrant.  On appeal the 2d Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District court  and ordered that judgment enter for the Defendant on the wrongful arrest claim.  The Court of Appeals noted,  noted, “Contrary to the district court's finding, including in the affidavit Pines’ statement that he intended to retrieve his pistol and omitting the erroneous assertion that Pines stated that the pistol was loaded would not have altered this analysis. At a minimum, the corrected affidavit would still support the reasonable inference that Pines left a loaded pistol accessible to his children before he purportedly attempted to retrieve it, permitting Bailey and a reasonable magistrate to conclude that probable cause existed to initiate a prosecution for reckless endangerment.”


Burgess v. Town of Wallingford  569 Fed. Appx. 21 (2d Cir. 2014) Plaintiff was arrested for disorderly conduct after patrons of a pool hall became alarmed at the sight of his exposed handgun and extra clips of ammunition.  Plaintiff had a valid permit for his handgun, however, Wallingford Police officers determined he had caused annoyance and alarm sufficient to support arrest for Disorderly Conduct.  Plaintiff sued for civil rights violation based on a false arrest and violation of his 2d Amendment right to bear arms.  The District Court granted summary judgment based on Qualified Immunity, given that there was at least arguable probable cause for a disorderly conduct arrest and there was no clearly established right under the 2d Amendment to openly carry a handgun outside the home.  On appeal, the 2d Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the entry of summary judgment for the officers, noting that Connecticut Appellate has warned all permit holders that even though they carry a lawful permit to possess the handgun, they still can be arrested for breach of peace or disorderly conduct if they cause annoyance or alarm in public.

Lost Trail v. Weston
,  ____Conn. App. ____ (released 1-15-13
).  Plaintiff owned land in the Town of Weston, on which he intended to divide into 4 lots and build houses.   A town official advised plaintiff he believed the Plaintiff needed to secure permits from the Weston Zoning Commission, as his plan to build 4 houses constituted a subdivision.  Plaintiff refused to appear before the Zoning Commission, and instead brought state and federal claims against the Town.  The Town argued that the plaintiff had failed to exhaust administrative remedies by failing to appear before the zoning commission for an up or down vote on whether its proposed development was a subdivision—and, thus, the plaintiffs stae and federal claims were unripe.  The plaintiff argued that he was so sure he did not need subdivision approval that he should be excused from having to have appeared before the Commission.  The trial court dismissed all claims based on failure to exhaust/ripeness, and the Appellate Court has now affirmed the dismissal.  The Appellate Court noted that no matter how sure the Plaintiff was that what he was doing was not a subdivision, he still had to go to the commission for the development of a record and an up or down vote.

Himmelstein v. Bernard, 139 Conn. App. 446 (2012).  This suit was a spin off from the Himmelstein v. Windsor suit cited below.  Plaintiff Himmelstein was injured when he struck, while riding his bicycle, a radar trailer put onto State Rte. 159 by the Windsor Police Department.  The Plaintiff had summary judgment entered against it in Himmelstein v. Windsor,  a defective highway claim, because the plaintiffs accident occurred on a state road and the  Town of Windsor was not the party bound to keep the road in repair—it mattered not that the Town is the party who created the defect by placing the radar trailer on the State route.  Plaintiff then tried to bring a separate nuisance claim against Town of Windsor employee Bernard, for creating the dangerous condition.    The defense argued that the inability to bring a nuisance claim in connection with the plaintiffs injury on a state road was already decided in Himmelstein v. Windsor, so the matter was res judicats.  The trial court disagreed, and was prepared to allow the case to go to trial  The defense filed an immediate appeal of the denial of res judicata, and the appellate Court has now reversed the trial court and entered judgment in favor of the Town.

Fromer v. Town of Windsor, 472 Fed,. App. 40 (2d Cir. 2012).  The plaintiff was an appointed Commissioner who was removed from the Windsor Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission for disruptive behavior.  Plaintiff claimed he had a First Amendment right to speak out on matters of public concern and his disruptive actions during IWWC meetings, thus, were protected.  U. S. District Judge Janet Hall disagreed and granted summary judgment as to all claims against the Town and its public officials.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit heard Fromer’s appeal and rejected all claims, thereby affirming the judgment in favor of the Town and its officials.

Wisniewski v. Town of Darien, 135 Conn. App. 364 (2012).  The plaintiff was struck by a falling tree while operating his motor vehicle.  Plaintiff sued the Town and its tree warden .  The tree warden testified at trial he had a mandatory, albeit unwritten, policy to always respond to complaints about trees and make an inspection.  The tree had been the subject of numerous complaints over the years.  At trial the jury found no inspections had been made and awarded damages to the plaintiff.  On appeal the Connecticut Appellate Court found that the unwritten mandatory policy of always making an inspection in response to complaints was sufficient to defeat the Tree Warden’s discretionary act immunity, and affirmed the judgment in favor of the Plaintiff.  The Town of Darien has asked the Connecticut Supreme Court to hear its appeal and reverse the decision of the trial court.

Rettig v. Town of Woodbridge et al, 304 Conn. 462 (2012).  Plaintiff Rettig was the Animal Control officer for the District  Animal Control  formed by the Towns of Woodbridge, Bethany, Orange and Prospect.    Rettig suffered a serious injury while on duty and filed for Worker’s Compensation against her employer, the District Animal Control.  She also sought to file  separate personal injury claims against the towns of Woodbridge, Bethany, Prospect and Orange.  The Towns asserted that, in addition to the District Animal Control, they were also Rettig’s employer --- which barred her tort claim, as an employee’s exclusive remedy for an injury occurring on the job is that provided by the Worker’s Compensation Act.  The trial court agreed, and entered summary judgment.  Attorney Gerarde defended the appeal for the towns of Woodbridge and Bethany before the Connecticut Supreme Court, which affirmed in a unanimous opinion.

Himmelstein v. Town of Windsor, 304 Conn 298 (2012).  In Himmelstein, the Town of Windsor put a radar trailer in the travel path of State Rte 159, and a boy on a bicycle struck it, causing serious head injuries.  The Trial Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Town, finding that it was the State of Connecticut’s duty to keep Rte 159 safe, even though the Town of Windsor created the allegedly hazardous condition.  Plaintiff appealed, and the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the granting of summary judgment in favor of the Town.  The decision in Himmelstein v. Town of Windsor establishes the legal framework for cases involving injuries on state routes that run through our cities and towns.

Doninger v. Niehoff, 642 F.3d. 334 (2d Cir 2011).  This decision marked the end of the litigation described below in Doninger v. Niehoff, 527 F.3d 41 (2d Cir. 2008).  In the current decision the Court of Appeals held that the individual defendants, Karissa Niehoff and Paula Schwartz were entitled to qualified immunity as to both of Avery Doninger’s First Amendment claims: 1) that she was retaliated against for her blog posting criticizing the school administration; and 2) that the defendants conduct stopped her from wearing a t-shirt that read “R.I.P. Democracy”  into the student election assembly at Lewis Mills High School.

Goldberg v. Town of Glastonbury, 2011 WL 6157016, (2d Cir. 2011).  Plaintiff was arrested for Breach of the Peace, when he entered Chili’s Restaurant with a fully exposed handgun.  Plaintiff had a valid permit to carry the handgun, but the restaurant manager was alarmed and called the Glastonbury Police Department.  The manager also moved customers and staff away from the Plaintiff’s location in the restaurant.  The Glastonbury Police  arrested the Plaintiff for Breach of Peace, based on his recklessly creating annoyance and alarm in the restaurant.  Plaintiff sued claiming the Police lacked probable cause for his arrest.  The defendant police officers won summary judgment  in the  United States District Court; and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the summary judgment in favor of the Glastonbury officers.

VIP v.Town of Berlin, 593 F.3d 179 (2d Cir. 2010).  Plaintiff adult book/video store won a preliminary  injunction against the Town of Berlin based on claim that town’s definition of an adult store was unconstitutionally vague.  Court of Appeals reversed and dissolved the injunction.

Neighborhood Builders v. Town of Madison, 294 Conn. 651 (2010).  Trial court certified a class action against the Town in response to the Town’s changing its building permit fee structure.  The Town appealed the granting of class certification to the Connecticut Supreme Court, which affirmed the granting of class certification.

Himmelstein v. Town of Windsor, 116 Conn App. 28 (2009).  Plaintiff was injured when a bicycle he was riding struck a radar trailer parked on the side of Conn. Rte. 159.  The plaintiff sued the Town under the defective highway act, as the Town’s Police Department placed the trailer on the roadway.  The Town won summary judgment, given the State of Connecticut was the party bound to keep the State Highway (Rte. 159) in repair, even though the Town created the alleged defect.  The summary judgment in favor of the Town was affirmed by the Connecticut Appellate Court. The Connecticut Supreme Court has granted certification.

Tuccio v. Town of Ridgefield, 589 F.3d 538 (2d. Cir 2009).  Following trial in United States District Court, Court entered judgment for the defendant in a First Amendment retaliation claim.  Plaintiff appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, and Attorney Gerarde was retained to defend the appeal. The Court of Appeals for the 2d circuit affirmed the judgment in favor of the defendants.

Aczel v. Labonia  (Danbury Police Dept.), 584 F.3d 52 (2d Cir. 2009).  Plaintiff sued Danbury police officer in U.S. District Court for wrongful arrest, excessive force, and several state law claims.  Jury rendered defendants verdict on all claims except excessive force, and deadlocked on excessive force claim.  Court thereafter granted judgment in favor of the defendant on  the excessive force claim, and plaintiff appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2d circuit—which affirmed the judgment in favor of the defendant.

Doninger v. Niehoff (Regional School District 10), 527 F.3d 41, 233 Ed. Law Rep. 30, 35 A.L.R.6th 703, (2d Cir. 2008)  Seminal student speech case in 2d Circuit.  Plaintiff brought First Amendment claim against School District after being disciplined in response to off-campus derogatory remarks about the School Superintendent.  Plaintiff sought preliminary injunction against enforcement of the discipline, which was denied by the U.S. District Court after evidentiary hearing.  On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the denial of the preliminary injunction, holding that students can be disciplined for off campus speech that is likely to reach campus and cause disruption of the educational environment.

Grignano v. City of Milford, 106 Conn.App. 648, 653-54, 943 A.2d 507 (2008)  Plaintiff sued City of Milford after falling down on outdoor boat landing.  Court granted City’s motion for summary judgment based on governmental immunity, and plaintiff appealed, claiming City had mandatory obligation to keep boat landing safe.  Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the summary judgment in favor of the City based on governmental immunity.

Walczyk v. Rio, 496 F.3d 139, 157 (2d Cir.2007) Plaintiff Thomas Walczyk sued Farmington Police Department for false arrest and illegal search.  The District Court denied summary judgment motion based on qualified immunity.  The defendants took an interlocutory appeal, and the U. S. Court of Appeals reversed, entering judgment in favor of the Farmington Police on all claims by Thomas Walczyk.  An ancillary claim brought by a relative was thereafter settled.

Alexander v. Town of Vernon, 101 Conn. App. 477, 923 A.2d 748 (2007) This suit resulted from a murder-suicide perpetrated by an estranged husband.  The former wife’s estate sued the Vernon Police Department claiming failure to protect the wife, and to prevent her murder.  Trial court granted summary judgment based on governmental immunity, and the Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the judgment in favor of the defendants.

Roman v. City of Bristol, 101 Conn.App. 491, 922 A.2d 310, (2007)  City of Bristol sought indemnification from a contractee pursuant to a hold harmless agreement.  Trial court entered summary judgment against the City and City appealed.  Connecticut Appellate Court reversed trial court and reinstated City’s claim for indemnification.

Hoyer v. DiCocco (Wallingford PD), 224 Fed.Appx. 103 (2d Cir. 2007).  Plaintiff was seized by Wallingford Police Officer and committed for psychiatric evaluation.  Plaintiff sued after hospital determined she would not be held overnight.  Trial court denied defendant’s summary judgment motion seeking qualified immunity and defendant took  an interlocutory appeal.  U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and entered judgment for the defendant based on qualified immunity.

Estate of Aselton v. Town of East Hartford, 277 Conn. 120, 131, 890 A.2d 1250 (2006).  Aselton was an East Hartford Police officer killed in the line of duty.  His estate sued the Town and police dispatchers, claiming Aselton was not provided with sufficient information that would have enabled him to avoid an ambush.  Trial court granted summary judgment on all federal and state claims, and the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed judgment for the defendants.

HARTFORD, CT | WELLESLEY, MA
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