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Partner - William J. Ronalter

William J. Ronalter


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Bill Ronalter’s practice is devoted to representing individuals who have sustained substantial personal injuries and to wrongful death cases. In the legal world, everyone wants results, and Bill’s results speak for themselves, but what sets Bill apart is that, at Shipman, the focus is on the quality of the catastrophic injury cases, and not the quantity, therefore he is able to be extremely responsive, listening mindfully to each and every client and communicating regularly and proactively as developments warrant.

Bill has approximately 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases in various roles, including plaintiff’s attorney, defense attorney, and as a consultant for an insurance company. Bill managed cases throughout the country involving catastrophic injuries including death, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, Legionnaires' disease, and burns. Bill has experience in the following types of cases: aviation disasters, accidents involving motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians (including DUI cases), uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, products liability (including defective lithium ion batteries in laptops, I-Phones, and E-cigarettes that caused burn injuries), premises liability, construction accidents, drowning, dental and medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, sexual abuse, and wrongful imprisonment cases. He was involved in cases arising out of the 9/11 attacks and the Rhode Island Nightclub fire.  He currently represents 8 of the 10 passengers that were killed or injured in the crash of a B-17 airplane at Bradley International Airport in October 2019.  He has experience with insurance coverage analysis having been trained by a national insurance carrier. This training and experience assists him in triggering additional insurance coverage for his clients. He has served as an expert witness and testified regarding proper claim handling practices. Bill has also served as a guest lecturer (2009-2012) and an adjunct professor (2013-present) at the University of Connecticut School of Law, Trial Practice Class.  Bill Ronalter and Jim Bergenn often use videos to assist with case resolutions. Click here to learn more.


  • Firm is ranked Tier 1 by U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers as a Best Law Firm in both Personal Injury Litigation and Products Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy, Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate, of which less than 4% of attorneys are board certified (2016-present)
  • #2 verdict in State of Connecticut in 2015, as listed in the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Top Verdicts & Settlements Supplement
  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer®: Personal Injury General: Plaintiff (2011-2020)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®: Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs (2018-2021)
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star: Personal Injury and Product Liability (Plaintiff) (2012-2015) 
  • Chosen as a member of The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a voluntary membership organization that admits only attorneys who have won multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements, and of which fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members
  • Chosen as a member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a voluntary membership organization that admits only attorneys who have won million dollar verdicts or settlements, and of which fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members
  • Member, The National Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only membership organization of civil plaintiff and criminal defense attorneys, limited to no more than 100 lawyers in each state

Teaching Positions

  • University of Connecticut School of Law, Trial Practice Class: Guest Lecturer (2009-2012); Adjunct Professor (2013-present)
  • Quinnipiac University School of Law: Guest Lecturer in January term (2016-present)

Professional Affiliations

  • Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association: Board of Governors for over a decade
  • American Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice

Community Involvement

  • Former volunteer licensed EMT for the Town of Burlington
  • Town of Farmington - Former Youth Football Coach
  • Former semi-professional adventure racer (biking, running and paddling) sponsored by Timex

$36,500,000 ARBITRATION AWARD - Defective Product - Catastrophic Burns to 3 Year Old Boy and 33 Year Old Father

Our clients, a 3 year old boy and his 33 year old father, suffered third degree burns to over 70% and 50% of their bodies respectively and we argued that a lithium ion battery exploded from an electronic device. We brought claims against the product assembler, distributor, and seller. After three unsuccessful mediations and more than 50 depositions, the claims were presented to an arbitration panel. The result of the arbitration was a gross recovery of $36,500,000 for our clients.

$4,500,000 VERDICT - Dental Malpractice - Overfill of Sealer During Root Canal

Through a referral from an in-house attorney from one of our corporate clients, we represented an executive in a dental malpractice case.  Our client was injured during a root canal where the dentist over instrumented leading to a large over fill of sealer some of which went into our client’s mandibular canal.  The defendants disputed liability, causation, and damages.  The defendants’ insurance company offered only $200,000 two weeks before trial.  After three weeks of evidence, including the use of technology at trial, Bill Ronalter obtained a verdict of $4,500,000, which consisted of $165,000 for past and future medical bills and $4,335,000 for additional harms, including constant pain, fatigue from prescription medications, and the reduction of enjoyment in many aspects of her life.  In addition, we filed an Offer of Compromise agreeing to settle for $750,000 the year before the trial.  Since the verdict was in excess of $750,000, interest runs from when the litigation started in February 2013 bringing the total amount to up over $5,300,000.  This verdict is the largest dental malpractice verdict in Connecticut history and is believed to be the largest dental malpractice verdict ever nationally.


Catastrophic Injury
$36,500,000 ARBITRATION AWARD - Defective Product - Catastrophic Burns to 3 Year Old Boy and 33 Year Old Father
$5,025,850 SETTLEMENT & ARBITRATION - Defective Product - Catastrophic Burns
$5,000,000 SETTLEMENT - Truck Strikes Cyclist - Leg Amputation
$4,875,000 SETTLEMENT - Motor Vehicle Crash - Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
$3,500,000 SETTLEMENT - Bicycling Crash - Catastrophic Traumatic Brain Injury
$2,500,000 SETTLEMENT - Construction Accident Resulting in Traumatic Brain Injury
$1,545,000 VERDICT - Motor Vehicle Accident - Fibromyalgia
$949,468 ARBITRATION AWARD - Mild-TBI Resulting From Rear End Crash With No Visible Property Damage
$850,000 ARBITRATION AWARD - Bicyclist Struck by Motorist - Multiple Orthopedic Injuries
$750,000 SETTLEMENT - Motor Vehicle Accident - Fractured Calcaneous (Heel)
$575,000 SETTLEMENT - Motor Vehicle Accident - Fractured Knee Cap with Surgery
$400,000 SETTLEMENT - Rear End Crash - Hearing Loss With Tinnitus
$315,000 SETTLEMENT - Defective Product - 2nd Degree Burn to Leg
$275,000 SETTLEMENT - Motor Vehicle Accident - TMJ Injury
$150,000 VERDICT - Fall from Horse - Fractured Pelvis
$105,000 VERDICT - Motor Vehicle Accident - Spondylolisthesis
Civil Rights
$3,500,000 Settlement for Wrongful Death Caused by Regional SWAT Team
Dental Malpractice
$4,500,000 VERDICT - Dental Malpractice - Overfill of Sealer During Root Canal
$1,000,000 SETTLEMENT - Dental Malpractice - Nerve Injury Caused by Failure to Inform Patient of Broken Instrument From Root Canal
$685,000 SETTLEMENT - Dental Malpractice - Nerve Injury Caused By Bleach During Root Canal
Wrongful Death
$4,300,000 SETTLEMENT - Drunk Driver Causes Head-On Crash Killing 73-Year-Old Man
$3,125,000 SETTLEMENT - Bicyclist Hit by Truck - Death of a 72-Year-Old Man
$1,465,000 SETTLEMENT - 91-Year-Old Wheel Chair Passenger Dies in Motor Vehicle Crash
$1,300,000 SETTLEMENT- Drowning Death
$1,250,000 SETTLEMENT - Distracted Driver Kills Pedestrian - Death of 21-Year-Old Man
$1,000,000 SETTLEMENT - Medical Malpractice - Death of a 27-Year-Old Woman

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Practice Areas


  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 1991, cum laude
  • Skidmore College, B.A., 1988,
    phi beta kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of CT
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