Wystan Ackerman focuses his practice on three main areas: class actions, appeals, and insurance coverage litigation.
Wystan chairs the firm's Class Action Team and writes the blog Class Actions Insider. He is one of Connecticut's leading class action defense lawyers, and has a national class action defense practice. Over more than twenty years, Wystan has been involved in defending more than 110 class actions in over 20 jurisdictions. In many of those cases, he prevailed on a dispositive motion. He is currently defending numerous putative class action lawsuits arising from the COVID-19 pandemic involving business interruption insurance claims.
Wystan successfully petitioned the United States Supreme Court to grant certiorari and was co-counsel on the merits in Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles, 133 S. Ct. 1345 (2013), in which the Court rejected a plaintiff's attempt to evade federal jurisdiction by stipulating that the amount sought would not exceed the $5 million threshold under the Class Action Fairness Act. Wystan has defended putative class action cases involving insurance and financial services, products liability, environmental issues, data breaches, healthcare, higher education, consumer contracts, and securities. He has extensive experience defending major insurers in putative class actions involving homeowners' insurance, auto insurance, underwriting and business practices, and also advises insurers regarding the defense of their insureds in class actions. He has handled insurance class actions involving, for example, general contractor overhead and profit, labor depreciation, diminished value and various other issues. He has chaired the Class Action Special Litigation Group of the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), and is currently vice chair of the Class Action and Multidistrict Section of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC).
Wystan also has a national appellate practice, mainly focused on insurance. He has been involved in more than 130 appeals, including appeals in every regional federal circuit, as well as in numerous state appellate and supreme courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He regularly represents national insurance industry associations as amici curiae in appellate and supreme courts. Wystan has been involved, as either counsel for the insurer or for an amicus curiae, in many of the most significant insurance coverage-related appeals over the last twenty years. Wystan has chaired the Appellate Section of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) and has served on the pro bono panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Insurance Coverage Litigation
Wystan also has extensive experience litigating and advising insurers on coverage issues. His coverage practice is national in scope. High-profile coverage cases he has litigated include cases involving flood exclusion and Valued Policy Law issues arising from Hurricane Katrina, Chinese-made drywall, Superstorm Sandy, the cracking foundation litigation in Connecticut, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wystan has been listed as a Second Circuit Litigation Star in Benchmark Appellate (2013) and is listed as a litigation star in Benchmark Litigation (2013-2023). He was selected by his peers for inclusion in Hartford, CT – Best Lawyers® for 2023 in the area of Litigation-Insurance. Wystan also has been selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list from 2015 to 2022, and was selected as a Rising Star in Connecticut Super Lawyers from 2009 to 2014. In addition, he was named a JD Supra Readers' Choice Awards Top Author in the Class Action category for 2023 and 2018.
Wystan serves as the Firm's Professional Development Partner.