Steve Zakrzewski serves as co-managing partner of the Hartford office. Steve has a very active and diverse litigation practice in federal and state courts in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. He is a Partner in the firm’s Hartford office and is a member of the Product & General Liability, Professional Liability Defense, Commercial Litigation, Trucking & Transportation, and Employment Law practice groups.
Product liability litigation requires lawyers fluent in both the law and the science of their clients’ products. Steve works closely with his clients to understand their products and processes, and consistently wins dispositive motions and secures favorable settlements. He defends manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of a wide range of products:
- Elevators and escalators;
- Life-saving medical devices;
- Orthopedic implants;
- Automotive products;
- Industrial machines;
- Component parts; and
- Construction products.
He has a deep knowledge of the Connecticut Product Liability Act, as well as Connecticut’s procedural rules. Steve currently defends a substantial portfolio of elevator and escalator cases in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and coordinates the defense of additional cases across New England. He also defends mass tort claims, including cases regarding opioid medications on the multi-district litigation docket, in which he has obtained over 200 dismissals for his clients.
Steve defends insurance agents and brokers, attorneys, and real estate professionals against professional malpractice claims. These cases are extremely important to his clients’ lives, businesses, and professional reputations. Steve focuses on thorough preparation and open communication, both of which are crucial to developing winning strategies. Early expert involvement can also be a huge help in formulating a plan of action and generating maximum leverage.
This approach consistently produces positive results for his clients, both in court and in mediation. Steve’s victories include:
- Complete dismissal of a fraud and unfair trade practice case against a real estate agency after a commercial deal fell through.
- Striking plaintiffs’ claims against their real estate attorney and disposing of their case in its entirety before any significant discovery had to be conducted.
- Dismissal of construction company’s claims against insurance agency for allegedly procuring inadequate coverage limits.
- Winning a special motion to dismiss on behalf of a member and officer of a community organization, including a right to recover fees and costs.
- Defeating multiple motions to disqualify counsel after being retained to work for the attorneys facing disqualification.
- Dismissal of claims for unfair business practices, unfair insurance practices, misrepresentation, and fraud against members of the mortgage industry.
- Summary judgment against unfair trade practice claims, breach of contract claims, and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims.
- Striking claims of breach of contract, fraud, and unfair trade practice claims against a construction professional.
Steve serves as appellate counsel to many of his clients. He has successfully handled multiple appeals across New England, including matters before the Connecticut Appellate Court, Massachusetts Appellate Court, First Circuit, and Second Circuit. His experience includes:
- Defense of appeal of summary judgment win in wrongful death claim to the Connecticut Appellate Court.
- Successful interlocutory appeal of summary judgment decision in a traumatic brain injury case.
- Successful defense of appeal to the Second Circuit following victory in two-day evidentiary hearing in the District of Connecticut.
- Argued appeal of summary judgment win to the First Circuit in case regarding alleged brain injury caused by product malfunction; decision pending.
- Won dismissal of appeal to the Second Circuit following summary judgment win in product liability case.
- Won dismissal of appeal to the Second Circuit following indemnity win in product liability case.
- Won administrative appeal to the Superior Court in multi-party case.
- Co-authored winning brief in Connecticut Supreme Court appeal regarding commercial dispute between product sellers.
Steve co-authored the winning brief leading to the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in RBC Nice Bearings, Inc. v. SKF USA, Inc., which is one among many commercial disputes he has successfully litigated over the course of his career. He has been lead counsel on high-exposure unfair competition and non-compete cases, contract and indemnity disputes, and unfair trade practice and bad faith claims. Steve represents companies ranging from national enterprises to local businesses, drawing on his broad base of civil litigation experience, and working hand-in-hand with his clients to efficiently drive these cases to resolution.
Steve was born and raised in Connecticut, where he was a scholarship student at the University of Connecticut as an undergraduate in the business program, and then in the law school. He worked his way through school in a broad range of jobs — as a mover, a cook, and a tennis coach, among others. He has also been involved in community and athletic organizations since high school.
Before joining GRSM, Steve worked as a civil litigator for a downtown Hartford firm. He defended insurers and policy-holders against actions under commercial general liability, employment practices, homeowners, motor vehicle, liquor liability, and real estate title insurance policies. He also litigated commercial disputes, practicing in both state and federal courts.
- United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- Connecticut Bar Association
- Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association
- American Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Hartford Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs – Executive Committee
- Arts for Learning CT – Board of Directors
- Wethersfield Historical Society – Board of Directors