Jonathan Katz is widely recognized as one of Connecticut's most effective civil litigators. He has been selected by his peers for membership in The Best Lawyers in America® in three categories: personal injury, professional malpractice and business litigation from 2013 to 2015. He was named a Connecticut Super Lawyer® by Connecticut Magazine in Personal Injury-Medical Malpractice from 2006 to 2015. Jonathan focuses his practice in two areas: representing clients seriously injured by medical malpractice or in accidents; and business litigation, including the break-up of closely held corporations. He co-authored, with Charles Douthat, "Injury Claims in Connecticut," a consumer guide to personal injury cases.
Jonathan graduated from University of Connecticut (B.A. 1975) and received his legal education at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts (J.D., 1979). Northeastern requires students to perform four quarters of full time cooperative legal work experience. Jonathan joined the predecessor firm, Jacobs, Jacobs & Grudberg, P.C. as a co-op student in March 1979. He became a member of that firm in 1987, its President in 2004 and is presently the managing partner of Jacobs & Dow, LLC.
Jonathan has tried civil cases in the state courts and United States Tax Court, has tried many arbitrations and has argued appeals before the Connecticut Appellate Court and the Connecticut Supreme Court. He has also represented parties before local and state administrative agencies. He is an Attorney State Trial Referee and a Fact finder/Arbitrator for the Judicial District of New Haven. He was a member of the Connecticut Judicial Branch Civil Division Task Force from 1993 to 2004. Jonathan is a member of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, where he serves on its medical malpractice committee and its strategic budget committee. He is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, and the American Association for Justice. Jonathan is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of Connecticut, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, the United States Tax Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.Outside the office Jonathan serves as Chair of the Branford Clean Energy Task Force, and is a member of the Branford Conservation Commission. He also volunteers for the Branford Land Trust.
Some examples of Jonathan's cases include the following:
He represented an elderly woman hospitalized over New Year's with pneumonia. She accidentally pulled out her PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter), and hemorrhaged unobserved for almost an hour. Found unresponsive and in cardiac arrest, she was revived but remains in a coma.
An older woman who required a heart valve replacement because her blood culture results were not properly communicated to, and followed up by, her primary care physician. She had undiagnosed sepsis for weeks, developed bacterial endocarditis and eventually needed open heart surgery.
A woman who sustained an undiagnosed bowel perforation during a hysterectomy. She developed peritonitis, required multiple bowel resections and lived with an open abdomen for a long time before eventually recovering.
A man who sustained a perforated rectum during a laparoscopic prostatectomy. The injury was not diagnosed immediately and the patient suffered a catastrophic infection. He required a temporary colostomy and surgery to repair a ventral hernia.
A woman whose Roux-en-Y gastrojejunostomy was disrupted when she was inappropriately intubated in the Emergency Department following a diabetic complication after bariatric surgery.
A man who underwent cardiac catheterization and suffered an internal hemorrhage when a branch vessel of the femoral artery was torn. Surgery was delayed for several hours. The patient went into shock and eventually died. The case against the hospital and the cardiologist was settled for a confidential amount.
The estate of a young boy, electrocuted while playing on a utility transformer that was not securely fenced in. A gap in the fence permitted area children to climb on the attractive nuisance.
A man received a serious electric shock in the bathroom of his rented Fairfield County home. The home's attic air conditioner drain was defectively installed, and its drip pan overflowed, flooding wiring buried in the walls in violation of applicable electrical codes. The plaintiff required multiple back operations; his case was resolved in Federal Court.
A young mother was a murder victim, shot dead by her neighbor. The neighbor was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Her estate recovered the neighbor's homeowner's policy, his house, and his cash assets.
A migrant worker sustained third degree burns in a propane explosion in a house trailer. The propane cylinder had been jury-rigged to the trailer to provide winter heat. The claim was resolved against the gas company, the owner of the trailer, and the handyman who made the faulty installation.
An adult with mental retardation attempted to cross a city street on a rainy night. He stepped in front of an oncoming commercial van. He sustained a fracture of the skull, a traumatic brain injury and a fractured vertebra in his spine, and was killed instantly. The van driver never saw the plaintiff. There were no witnesses. There was no evidence that speed was a factor. Plaintiff alleged the driver failed to keep a proper lookout. The case was settled before the start of jury selection.
A tour customer bought a bus ticket on a casino tour to Atlantic City. While he was walking in the aisle the bus driver caused the bus to lurch. Plaintiff fell, striking his head, sustaining a traumatic brain injury and fatal cerebral hemorrhage. Plaintiff was elderly and had prior hydrocephalus, brain surgery and cardiac problems. Plaintiff sued, alleging the bus company was a common carrier of passengers for hire, and owed its passengers a high duty of care to provide safe passage. The case was litigated in Federal Court and settled after fact discovery was complete.
Business Dissolution Litigation: Jonathan's business litigation practice includes clients involved in business dissolution or business divorce litigation, resulting from business owners deciding that they can no longer work together as partners, shareholders or executives. Often such litigation begins with allegations of fraud, breach of contract, violation of an LLC operating agreement or partnership agreement, or violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. Resolution frequently involves division of a going business, or a buyout and sellout by which one party acquires the entire business and the other party or parties receive consideration for the value of the business that they are giving up. Examples of cases Jonathan has handled include:A heating contractor entered an agreement with a real estate developer to renovate and rent a large abandoned industrial complex. Ultimately the premises were rented to a wide mix of about 100 different tenants, each of whom took a small portion of one of the buildings. The parties had significant disputes about allocation of costs and income from the property, and the developer retained Jonathan's firm to dissolve the agreement and liquidate the property. The case resolved when the heating contractor agreed to offer cash and debt forgiveness to the developer to buy out the developer's interest in the property.Two members of the same family formed a series of corporations to purchase and operate commercial buildings. They had a falling out and it became necessary to separate their real estate holdings. An attempt to settle the case through a private auction arrangement failed. Jonathan's client sought dissolution and winding up of the corporations. The court ordered a sale of the properties and the parties hired a broker to list them for sale. During the process of listing the properties it became apparent to Jonathan's client that he should purchase all of the real estate interests. At this point the parties were successful in reaching agreement on prices, and Jonathan's client purchased all the interests utilizing seller financing as partial consideration for the resolution of the underlying fraud cases. The remaining financial issues were resolved by price adjustments at closing.Jonathan has handled numerous other business litigation matters, including intra-family disputes about the ownership and operation of restaurants, office complexes, warehouses and development companies; disputes about the allocation of costs for failed real estate ventures; claims against commercial tenants whose operations pollute the landlords' properties; and numerous other real estate and business disputes.
Law Firm Management: Jonathan has been involved in the management of his law firm for many years, primarily in the role of problem solver, troubleshooter and major case litigation manager. He has lectured on law office economics and law firm management, and is always willing to discuss issues of law firm management and governance with professional colleagues.
Jonathan lives with his wife and children in Branford. His hobbies include bicycling and whitewater kayaking.
Areas of Practice
- Plaintiff's Personal Injury
- Professional Malpractice
- Business Litigation
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Connecticut, 1979
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1979
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1981
- U.S. Tax Court, 1981
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1990
- Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
- J.D. - 1979
- University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
- B.A. magna cum laude - 1975
- Honors: With Honors
- Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
- Major: Political Science
- Coregis Ins. Co. v. Goldstein, 32 F. Supp. 508 (D. Conn. 1998)
- Shirvani v. Capital Investing Corporation, 112 F.R.D. 389 (D. Conn. 1986)
- Samperi v. West Haven Inland Wetlands Agency, 226 Conn. 579, 628 A.2d 1286 (1993)
- Samperi v. Planning & Zoning Comm'n, 40 Conn. App. 840, 674 A.2d 432 (1996)
- Van Dyck Printing Company v. Johnson Graphics, Ltd., 15 Conn. App. 119, 543 A.2d 1349 (1988)
- Zanker Group LLC v. Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, PC and Scott Meza, WL 2756876 (D. Conn. 2008)
- Prims v. Ciccarelli, WL 3088071 (2007)
- Faile v. Zarich, WL 2967045 (2008)
- Faile v. Zarich, WL 2036786 (2009)
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Attorney State Trial Referee, 1991 - Present
- New Haven County Bar Association, Member
- American Association for Justice, Member
- Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Medical Malpractice Committee