For more than 30 years, Joseph Lanni has represented plaintiffs in complex tort cases. Joe is one of the firm’s senior trial lawyers. He handles catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases involving medical malpractice, products liability, construction accidents, vehicle accidents, and premises liability. He has also very successfully brought civil rights, constitutional rights, defamation, commercial fraud, financial malfeasance, business torts, employment contract, and life contest insurance cases, as well as Article 78 proceedings. He has recovered substantial damages exceeding a million dollars in countless cases during his long career.
Joe’s expertise in recognizing crucial evidence and value in complex tort cases that result in substantial success is well known. Other lawyers often send the clients in these cases to Joe since they are assured about the high quality of the representation he will give them. Examples of these cases include the following:
In 2009, Joe’s representation of the family of a patient who became semi-comatose as a result of errors in the aftermath of orthopedic surgery at a Connecticut hospital was featured as the lead case in a nationally published investigation into medical errors in hospitals by Hearst Newspapers. In 2015, Joe obtained a multi-million dollar award for a 59-year-old Westchester man in a medical malpractice case that involved errors during and after knee surgery resulting in an above the knee amputation. Also in 2015, Joe recovered a substantial seven figure award for a doctor who sustained a serious spinal injury requiring fusion surgery in a motor vehicle accident case involving a hit and run by a corporate CEO. Joe’s investigation revealed that the defendant was under-driving under the influence of narcotic pain medication.
In 2016, Joe represented former employees of a financial data services firm in a fraud case against their ex-employer who had fleeced them out of the commissions and bonuses due on their employment contracts. Joe recovered the entire amount due, 17% interest, and legal fees and costs in less than five months.
Joe’s representation in a serious birth injury case in Connecticut that had been previously rejected as too difficult by another plaintiff’s firm resulted in a substantial award for a 4-year-old girl in 2017.
Joe also served as plaintiffs’ counsel in federal cases emanating from the “Dirty Thirty” police corruption scandal during the 1990’s in New York. Joe represented young men from Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Bronx in those cases who had been wrongfully convicted and given lifetime prison sentences based on the perjury and falsified evidence of corrupt NYPD officers. Each case resulted in substantial pre-trial seven-figure settlements to the young men paid by NYC. During the cases, Joe helped prove the innocence of these young men while recovering significant damages to help compensate them for the youth lost in prison. Joe’s intensive investigation revealed numerous corrupt practices by the dishonest cops such as forcible entries into apartments without a warrant, illegal searches and arrests, the planting of drugs and guns as evidence, and agreements between officers about offering perjured testimony before grand juries and at trial. Joe also successfully argued that the corrupt practices by police violated his clients’ constitutional rights under the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments resulting in a federal judge’s landmark ruling holding NYC responsible for these rights violations. In another federal case in 1997, Joe’s trial work on behalf of two African-American bus drivers for constitutional rights violations due to false arrests resulted in the jury returning large damage awards for both men. This case was one of the first “police racial-profiling” cases in the nation. The Dirty Thirty and racial profiling cases were the subjects of newspaper articles referencing Joe’s work as the plaintiff’s attorney.
Aside from trial work, Joe is also an accomplished appellate lawyer. He has obtained numerous landmark decisions against insurance companies and hospitals that broadened the admissibility of expert opinion testimony based on peer-reviewed scientific literature and held attending physicians legally responsible for the negligence of physicians’ assistants under their supervision.
- Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey (J.D., 1985)
- Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey (B.A., 1982)
- New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut