Appellate Court Issues Significant Decision on Governmental Immunity in Wiggin and Dana Appeal

January 24, 2017

New Haven, CT – On January 23, 2017, The Connecticut Appellate Court reversed a $6 million judgment against the Town of East Haven. The judgment was based on a police officer's failure to tow a vehicle that had invalid registration and misused license plates. That vehicle was subsequently involved in an accident that seriously and permanently injured the plaintiff. The trial court held that the Town was not protected by discretionary act governmental immunity, because the police had a ministerial duty to tow the vehicle. In a significant decision on governmental immunity, the Appellate Court held that there was no "clearly ministerial" duty to tow, reversed, and ordered that judgment enter for the Town. Aaron Bayer and Tadhg Dooley of Wiggin and Dana, LLP, in New Haven, handled the appeal for East Haven.

Aaron Bayer is a litigation partner and the head of the firm's Education Practice Group. Mr. Bayer chaired the firm's Appellate Practice from 2003-2009. He has briefed and argued numerous cases before state and federal appeals courts in Connecticut and other states around the country. He writes on appellate issues, including a regular appellate column in the National Law Journal. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Bayer served as Deputy Attorney General of Connecticut from 1991-2000, overseeing the work of the Office's 200 attorneys and managing the Office's most complex and politically sensitive cases. He has been recognized for his appellate work in Best Lawyers in America and Benchmark Litigation.

Tadhg Dooley is an associate in the firm's Appellate and Complex Legal Issues Practice Group, Tadhg has significant experience handling appeals in state and federal courts throughout the country. Among his recent appellate successes are the representation of a former President of Mexico in the Second Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court, major insurance carriers in the Eleventh Circuit and the New York Appellate Division (Second Department), and several municipalities and a major hospital in the Connecticut Appellate Court. He has been recognized by New England Super Lawyers as one of eight "Rising Stars" in New England in the field of appellate litigation (for more about the standards for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers, please click here).