Joyce A. Lagnese



Ms. Lagnese is one of the founding principals of DANAHERLAGNESE, PC. She serves as co-managing principal of the firm and head of the Medical Malpractice Defense Unit. Her practice concentration is complex civil litigation, principally high exposure medical malpractice defense. For over 30 years, she has defended hundreds of medical malpractice cases in all venues in Connecticut on behalf of physicians, hospitals, nurses, PAs, nursing homes and community health organizations. She also regularly represents medical practitioners and institutions in administrative proceedings before the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Ms. Lagnese has extensive trial experience in high exposure medical malpractice cases including wrongful death and permanent injury following surgical complications; hypoxic induced brain injury and Erb’s palsy during labor and delivery; delayed diagnosis of cancer and cardiovascular disease; permanent neurologic injury and death following general anesthesia; patient suicide in the psychiatric and primary care settings; catastrophic outcomes in the Emergency Department; blindness following ophthalmologic treatment; limb amputation in the vascular surgery setting among many others. Her track record at trial is impeccable as she has achieved defense verdicts in all of the dozens of jury cases she has tried to date.

Ms. Lagnese has also been active over the past decade in advocating for tort reform to benefit the medical profession in Connecticut and has assisted in drafting reform legislation for presentation to the State legislature. She also devotes a significant portion of her professional time lecturing to medical professionals and working with hospital risk managers and quality officers on strategies to improve patient safety and mitigate medico-legal risk.

Ms. Lagnese is lead author on a textbook of Connecticut Malpractice Law (originally published in 2007; updated in 2015) and has been an invited lecturer and Keynote Speaker to various local and regional medical societies, physician organizations and hospitals on topics such as: “Standard of Care in the Current Medico-Legal Environment,” “The Doctrine of Informed Consent,” “Failure to Diagnose Cancer,” “Physician Risk Avoidance Practices,” “Mitigating the Legal Consequences of Shoulder Dystocia & Brachial Plexus Injury,” “Documentation lmperatives for Medical Practitioners,” “Understanding the Litigation Process,” and “How to Defeat Malpractice Opportunists at Their Own Game.”


  • J.D., Hofstra University School of Law, Honors, 1980
  • B.S., Economics, The State University of New York, High Honors, 1976

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut


  • Connecticut Medical Malpractice (3rd ed. 2015); co-authored with Calum Anderson and Frank Santoro.
  • The Evolving Law of Informed Consent (CT Law Tribune, May 22, 2006).
  • Apportionment of Liability in Medical Malpractice Cases: Are the Principles of Tort Reform Getting Lost in the Nooks and Crannies of Practical Application (CT Law Tribune, March 18, 2000).
  • National Tort Reform – A Defense Perspective (CT Law Tribune, 1995).
  • The Vulnerability of the Bar Order in the Consolidated Breast Implant Multi-District Litigation Proceedings (Medical Legal Aspects of Breast Implants, November 30, 1994).
  • “Economic Aspects of Mesothelioma” (Chapter in Malignant Mesothelioma, edited by Drs. Pass, Vogelzang and Carbone, 2005).


  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association
  • Hartford County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Association
  • American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety