Michael T. Ryan

Partner
P: 
203-541-5050
F: 
203-357-7915

Michael T. Ryan has been an attorney with the firm since 1982.  He has successfully defended clients in a wide range of civil cases, including professional liability, legal malpractice, construction claims, civil rights, wrongful death, governmental liability, products liability, and railroad liability. Mike has defended a number of class action lawsuits, has tried over twenty cases to verdict in state and federal court and has participated in various forms of alternative dispute resolution, including mock jury trials, mediation and arbitration. He has also handled numerous appeals to the Connecticut Supreme Court, the Connecticut Appellate Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Mike was an officer and director of the Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association for many years and served as its President for the 2007-2008 term. He was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court to the Public Service and Trust Commission, which developed the Connecticut Judicial Branch's first long term Strategic Plan. He served on the Committee on Delivery of Services for the Commission. Mike is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of DRI and the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel. He has frequently lectured at seminars on topics pertaining to civil practice and procedure.

Mike served as a member of the Board of Directors and Secretary of the Stamford Yacht Club from 2007-2014.

Professional Affiliations: 
  • Fellow of the American Bar Association
  • Member, Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association (President, 2007-2008)
  • Member, Public Service and Trust Commission, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (2007)
  • Member, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society
  • American, Connecticut and Fairfield County Bar Associations
  • Selected for inclusion in Connecticut Super Lawyers® (2007 - 2017)
  • Selected to appear in The Best Lawyers in America® (2012 - 2018)
  • Professional Liability Defense Federation
Representative Experience: 
  • Obtained summary judgment for municipality and local zoning officials in an action brought in the United States District Court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging selective enforcement and a “class of one” Equal Protection violation. The claims arose out of a zoning enforcement officer’s alleged lack of enforcement of zoning regulations related to the production and sale of farm loan. The district court’s decision was recently affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Obtained summary judgment for municipality and local zoning officials in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a “class of one” Equal Protection violation relating to the alleged lack of enforcement of zoning regulations related to horse operations. The district court’s decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a lawsuit filed in federal court against a Connecticut municipality, its first selectman, building official and other municipal officials. The suit, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleged an unreasonable search of the plaintiff's premises. The decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a local Board of Education in an action brought under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 46a-60 et seq. The plaintiff, a tenured teacher, alleged that the defendant discriminated against her on the basis of a disability, refused to offer her a reasonable accommodation and retaliated against her for opposing unlawful and discriminatory employment practices. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata, as the Connecticut Appellate Court had previously affirmed the Superior Court’s decision upholding the plaintiff’s termination.
  • Obtained a judgment of dismissal in favor of his clients, a local municipality, its police department and Chief of Police in a section 1983 action brought in federal court alleging due process violations. The dismissal was based on a lack of ripeness and also based upon the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, which precludes attacks on state court judgments. The plaintiff appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which affirmed the District Court's dismissal.
  • Obtained a defendant’s verdict after a two week jury trial in a traumatic brain injury case in Derby Superior Court. The plaintiff, a 21 year old male, claimed that he suffered a traumatic brain injury while attending a camp operated by the defendant. He alleged injuries including transient global amnesia, cognitive impairments, memory deficits, impairments in reasoning, memory and processing, as well as impairments in higher level executive function as a result of a head injury. Plaintiff’s claims of negligence included allegations that the defendant maintained a tripping hazard on its property, failed to warn and instruct the then 14 year old plaintiff, failed to properly monitor and supervise the plaintiff and failed to provide timely and proper medical treatment. After two weeks of evidence the jury found that the defendant was not negligent and returned a defendant’s verdict. In closing argument, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to return a plaintiff’s verdict in the amount of $6.5 million. On the day the case was given to the jury, an article appeared in a local newspaper concerning a $10 million verdict awarded the previous day in a traumatic brain injury case in nearby Bridgeport Superior Court. Mike successfully defended the plaintiff's appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court, which affirmed the jury's verdict.
  • Represented a local private high school and baseball coach in a lawsuit alleging traumatic brain injury sustained during a baseball practice. Plaintiff also sued a local hospital for medical malpractice and the manufacturer of a baseball helmet, alleging product liability. Mike obtained a defense verdict after a jury trial in Stamford Superior Court.
  • Represented the owner of a local shopping center in a jury trial seeking contractual indemnification for the amount of a judgment and attorney’s fees awarded in a prior jury trial against the tenant, a national retailer. Mike obtained a defense verdict after a jury trial in Bridgeport Superior Court.
  • Represented a commuter railroad company in a suit in federal court seeking damages under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. Mike obtained a defense verdict after a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in New Haven.
  • Successfully defended the owner of an office building in Bridgeport sued by an architectural firm claiming damage to its architectural drawings and models, business interruption and losses resulting from a lockout. The case was tried twice due to a mistrial during the first jury trial. At the second trial, the jury returned a verdict for the defendant on one count and a verdict for the plaintiff on another count, but awarded no damages.
  • Successfully defended a food distributor in a product liability action alleging brain injuries, kidney damage and other serious injuries resulting from e-coli poisoning caused by the ingestion of vegetables purchased at a local grocery store.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an attorney in a lawsuit alleging defamation and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Mike successfully defended the appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a local public high school in a suit alleging damages and injuries sustained when the plaintiff fell from bleachers at a track meet. The Court held that the claim was barred by the doctrine of municipal immunity.
  • Obtained dismissal of a civil RICO action filed against an attorney in federal court.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a Connecticut municipality and its first selectman on 8 out of 9 counts of a complaint alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. Section 1983; state and federal due process violations; state and federal equal protection violations; the takings clause of the state and federal constitutions; as well as a writ of mandamus and declaratory relief. All counts against the first selectman were summarily decided in his favor.
  • Successfully defended an appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court of the trial court's decision granting summary judgment in favor of his clients, a local Connecticut municipality and its first selectman.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a Connecticut chief of police in a federal lawsuit alleging excessive use of force by an officer during a police stop.
  • Obtained dismissal of a federal lawsuit against a Connecticut municipality and its mayor, alleging that the plaintiff, a former police officer, was constructively discharged in violation of his due procedural due process rights. The suit also alleged negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy.
Reported Decisions: 

Danbury Sports Dome v. Danbury, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162355

Gray v. Town of Easton, 115 F. Supp. 3d 312 (D. Conn. 2015), affirmed 669 Fed. Appx. 4 (2d Cir. 2016)

Beard v. Town of Monroe, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163719, affirmed 666 Fed. Appx. 62 (2d Cir. 2016)

McNeice v. Town of Waterford, 607 F. App'x 103 (2d Cir. 2015)

State of Connecticut v. Lombardo Bros., et al., 307 Conn. 412 (2012)

Boulanger v. Town of Old Lyme, 127 Conn. App. 572 (2011)

Odom v. Maffeo, et al., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6198.

Boulanger v. Town of Old Lyme, 51 Conn. Sup. 636 (Conn. Superior Ct. 2010)

Srinivas v. Picard et al., 648 F. Supp. 2d 277 (D. Conn. 2009)

State v. Lombardo Brothers, et al., 51 Conn. Sup. 265 (Conn. Superior Ct. 2009)

Innis Arden Golf Club v. Pitney Bowes, Inc. et al., 514 F. Supp. 2d 328 (D. Conn. 2007)

Primerica v. Planning & Zoning Commission of the Town of Greenwich, 211 Conn. 85

Clark v. Bridgeport, 212 Conn. 804

Falby v. Zarembski, 221 Conn. 14

Slekis v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation, 56 F. Supp.2d 202

Daddona v.Gaudio, 156 F. Supp.2d 153

McManus v. Sweeney, 78 Conn. App. 327

Czajkowski v. YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford, Inc., 149 Conn. App. 439 (2014)

Russo v. DiLieto, 13-2397 (2d Cir. 2014)