Cheryl A. Possenti

Cheryl A. Possenti

Partner

Office

Practice Groups

Cheryl Possenti is a founding partner of the firm and has more than 30 years’ experience in the defense of complex personal injury actions. With a practice that focuses on product liability matters and related litigation, plus extensive experience that includes defending high-profile, high-exposure class actions and professional and medical malpractice claims, Cheryl helps clients navigate the regulatory terrain set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and other agencies.

A respected counselor to the makers of toys and other children’s products, small appliance manufacturers, and many others, Cheryl assists clients in maintaining CPSC compliance, manages product safety litigation, helps coordinate effective product recalls — both limited and widespread — and advises on mandatory government reporting and the assessment of civil penalties. Over the course of the past 20 years, she has handled more than 150 issues involving the CPSC, and serves as counsel to two of the world’s foremost toy and children’s products manufacturers.

Cheryl has handled various types of professional malpractice actions — including pharmacy malpractice, dentist malpractice, physical therapy malpractice, veterinary malpractice, and nursing malpractice — as well as licensing and disciplinary actions for health care providers. She has also represented a number of major hospitals in medical malpractice cases as self-insured entities.

Cheryl is a sought-after speaker and writer on product safety issues and is the past Chair and Panel Counsel Liaison of the Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group of the Defense Research Institute's (DRI) Product Liability Committee. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE). Amongst her many other accolades and commendations, in 2014, Cheryl was named a Client Choice Awards winner by the International Law Office and Lexology. She holds the distinction of being the only lawyer in New York State — and one of just five in the United States and nine in the world — to be recognized in the product liability category. These unique awards are based solely on nominations and feedback by clients and in-house counsel.

Honors
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent
  • Best Lawyers in America, Product Liability Litigation — Defendants, 2015–19
  • Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition
  • Buffalo Business First: Women of Influence, 2011–18
  • Buffalo Business First: Who's Who in Law, Civil Litigation
  • American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell: Women Leaders in the Law, 2013 and 2015
  • Client Choice Award: Product Liability in New York State, 2014
  • American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell: Top Rated Lawyer in Litigation, 2014
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2007–09
Professional Affiliations
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  •       Product Liability Committee and Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group: Panel Counsel Liaison, Past Chair
  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  •       Negligence Committee and Health Law Committee Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence
  •             International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization: Board Member
  • The Toy Association
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western and Northern Districts of New York
Community Involvement
  • Spaulding Lake Homeowners Association, Past President
Education
  • State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., 1982
  •       Senior Editor, Buffalo Law Review
  • State University of New York at Albany, B.A., 1978
Publications/Presentations
  • "United States Update on Product Liability Issues" (Co-Presenter), Cunningham Lindsey Seminar, Taipei, Taiwan, October 19, 2018
  • "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What’s New?" SPLiCE Membership Webinar, March 7, 2018
  • "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: How Burgeoning Access to Information Has and Will Impact Consumer Expectations for Product Safety,” International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) 2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium, Orlando, FL , February 22, 2018
  • "From the Outside Looking Back in" DRI Product Liability Conference, Children’s Products Panel Counsel Meeting, San Diego CA, February 7, 2018
  • "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What’s New?" SPLiCE Membership Webinar, October 4, 2017
  • "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What’s New?" SPLiCE Membership Webinar, July 19, 2017
  • Panelist, "Jurisdictional Reporting Requirements," International Consumer Product Health & Safety Organization, 2017 North America Regional Product Safety Training Workshop, Toronto, ON, June 28, 2017
  • "CPSC Update: Current CPSC Issues, Concerns, and Changes," 2017 IEEE Symposium on Product Compliance Engineering, San Jose, CA, May 9, 2017
  • "How Much are Non-Manufacturers Responsible for Trying to Reduce the Risk of Products They Sell,” International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) 2017 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium, Orlando, FL , February 22, 2017
  • "No Good Recall Goes Unpunished: Dealing with the Press, Litigation, and Investigations in the Aftermath of a Recall," DRI Product Liability Conference, Las Vegas, NV, February 10, 2017
  • "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What’s New?"  SPLiCE Membership Webinar, January 11, 2017
  • "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What’s New?"  SPLiCE Membership Webinar, November 2, 2016
  • "Product Liability Law in the United States," Cunningham Lindsay Hong Kong (Taiwan Branch), Taipei, Taiwan, October 21, 2016
  • "Cyber Security Issues and Product Liability in the United States" (Co-Presenter), Cunningham Lindsay Annual Forum, Taipei, Taiwan, October 2016
  • "A Day in the Life of Compliance Within a Sea of Marketing: Quality and Compliance Management Processes that Impact Brand Licensing Programs," Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence Licensor’s Workshop, September 14, 2016
  • "Product Safety, Second Hand Marketing and Licensing: Stakeholders’ Perspectives," International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) 2016 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium, Washington, D.C., March 1, 2016
  • "Trends and New Developments in Multimillion Dollar Civil Penalties Announced by the CPSC and Strategies to Avoid Them," DRI Product Liability Seminar, Consumer Goods and Office Equipment Specialized Litigation Group, New Orleans, LA, February 3, 2016
  • "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What's New?," SPLiCE Membership Webinar, January 7, 2016
  • "When Do You Stop Protecting Your Brand? Legal Implications," Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence Licensor’s Workshop, October 1, 2015
  • "Diligently Partnering with the CPSC to Avoid Problems and Penalties and to Enhance Product Safety," USLAW Fall 2015 Client Conference, Boston, MA, September 19, 2015
  • "Where and When In The World Do We Report This? Exploring Mandatory Safety Reporting in the U.S., Canada, Australia and E.U.," International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) 2015 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium, Orlando, FL, February 26, 2015
  • CPSC Regulatory Updates: "What’s New?" SPLiCE Membership Webinar, January 9, 2015
  • "CPSC developments," SPLiCE, November 14, 2014
  • "Product Liability Law in the United States," Cunningham Lindsay Hong Kong (Taiwan Branch), Taipei, Taiwan, October 23, 2014
  • "Product Liability Law in the United States," Shenzhen Institute of Insurance, Shenzhen, China, October 21, 2014
  • "Product Liability Law in the United States," Ping An Insurance Company, Shenzhen, China, October 20, 2014
  • "The ‘Negligent Recall’: A Perspective from Outside Counsel," Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) 2014 Product Safety & Liability Seminar Conference, Washington, D.C., September 30, 2014 
  • "Establishing a Safety Culture in Your Company," ICPHSO Midwest Regional Product Safety Training Workshop, Richfield, MN, September 11, 2014
  • "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What Your Company Needs To Know," SPLiCE Membership Webinar, July 11, 2014
  • "What’s in Store for Children’s Product Industry, Given the Growing Aggressiveness of the CPSC and Health Canada," DRI Product Liability Seminar, Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group, Phoenix, AZ, April 9, 2014
  • "Product Liability Law in the U.S.," Peoples Insurance Company of China, Shanghai, China, May 2013
  • "Product Liability Law in the U.S.," Cunningham Lindsey Hong Kong (Taiwan Branch) and Cunningham Lindsey China Co., Ltd. (Shanghai), October 2012
  • "Ensuring Compliance With Consumer Product Safety Commission Reporting Requirements and Safety Incident Reporting Requirements in Canada and Australia," Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE) Licensing Workshop, September 2012
  • "Doing Business in the U.S. vs. Europe Series: Product & Toy Safety Regulation Update," European American Chamber of Commerce New York,  May 24, 2012
  • "Product Liability Law Overview: Planning and Conducting a Recall or Retrofit," American Bar Association Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section, International Products Liability Committee and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Beijing, China. International Seminar Series: "Doing Business in the United States: What You Need to Know About Investing," Product Liability and Dispute Resolution, April 2012
  • Moderator, "Sharing the Sandbox: Playing Nicely with Retailers, Insurers, Competitors and Co-defendants," DRI Children's Products Joint Panel Counsel Conference, DRI Annual Product Liability Seminar, April 2012
  • Moderator, "Consumer Product Safety Commission Database," DRI Product Liability Seminar, Children’s Products Panel Counsel Meeting, April 5, 2011
  • "Minimizing Potential Product Liability Risks from Drug and Device Recalls," American Conference Institute, Summit on Drug and Device Product Recalls, March 2011
  • "Social Media and Consumer Product Incident Databases: Navigating Your Legal Practice and Your Clients through the Sea of Social Discourse," American Bar Association Conference Institute, Women in Product Liability Regional CLE Workshop, November 2010
  • "CPSIA Updates and Building Sustainable Systems to Manage the 2011 Searchable Consumer Product Incident Database," Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE) Licensors Workshop, October 2010
  • "CPSC Searchable Consumer Incident Database," Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE) Licensors Workshop, September 2009
  • "Life Cycle of a Lead Paint Recall," DRI Product Liability Seminar, Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group, April 2009
  • "Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008," Product Responsibility Panel, Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE) Licensors Workshop, September 2008
  • Co-Chair, DRI Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group Session and Children's Products Panel Counsel Session at DRI's Annual Product Liability Seminar, February 2007
  • "CPSC Investigations-Corporate Handling and Response," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Symposium, "Protecting the Corporation in a Hostile Environment:  New Challenges for In-House Counsel," September 2006
  • Presenter and Co-Chair, DRI Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group Session and the Children's Products Panel Counsel Session at the DRI Annual Product Liability Seminar, February 2006 
  • "Legal Aspects of Crisis Management," Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE) Licensing Workshop, September, 2005
  • "Licensor Liability, the Price to Pay when Selling your Company's Good Name Instead of its Products," DRI Product Liability Seminar, Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group, February 2005  
  • "Age Grading Advice; The Legal Perspective," presented at Toy Industry Association, Inc. 2004 Multi-Discipline Conference, July 2004
  • "Head Injury Criteria Parameters in Defending the Juvenile Product Case," DRI Product Liability Conference, February 2004
  • "Punitive Damages, Economic Loss and Hedonic Damages," DRI Coursebook Materials, Chapter Q. Ms. Possenti presented this paper before a national audience of defense attorneys and self-insurers as part of a three day DRI seminar in New Orleans, February 1991.
  • "Innovative Techniques for Litigation in the '90's, Document Retention Destruction Systems, Videotaped Reenactment Depositions, Novel Use of Trade Secret and Copyright Law Protection and Other High Dividend Approaches," DRI Coursebook materials, Chapter C., DRI Seminar, January 1990
Publications
  • Quoted in "Amazon Shows How Retailer Litigation Strategies Evolving,"Bloomberg Law, May 10, 2017
  • "Local Regulation of Consumer Products" (Co-Author), Buffalo Law Journal, June 18, 2015
  • Quoted in, "4 Things You Should Know About Product Recalls," IndustryWeek, June 8, 2015
  • Quoted in "Local Law Firms Take International Approach," Buffalo Law Journal, May 27, 2014 (andBuffalo Business First, May 16, 2014)
  • "Reporting Consumer Product Safety Issues to Regulatory Agencies Worldwide: The U.S., Canadian, and Australian Experience and Recent Trends in Civil Penalty Payments," USLAW, Fall/Winter 2012
  • Quoted in "Surviving a Product Recall,Bed Times, February 2012
  • "CPSC Power Expands: Legislation Brings Change to Consumer Products Industry" (Co-Author), USLAW Magazine, Spring/Summer 2009
  • "Through Regulations and in Court: The 2008 CPSIA Starts to Take Shape" (Co-Author), DRI For The Defense, April 2009
  • "Negotiating the Landscape of Increased Penalties under CPSIA" (Co-Author), DRI For The Defense, February 2009
  • "The New CPSC Public Database of Incidents" (Co-Author), DRI For The Defense, December 2008
  • "The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008: Preparing for the Unknown and the Unknowable" (Co-Author), DRI For The Defense, October 2008
  • "Product Recalls Stir Public Sentiment" (Co-Author), USLAW Magazine, Spring/Summer 2008
  • U.S. Product Safety Issues; Chapter 3, International Corporate Legal Guide to Product Liability, 2003 Global Legal Group
  • "Limiting Products Liability Damages: Your Role as the Seventh Juror" (Co-Author), The Practical Litigator, Vol. 2, No. 2, American Law Institute - American Bar Association, March 1991. This was presented at the DRI 1989 Seminar and was again presented for the January 1998 ALI-ABA course on the Appellate Process.
  • "Punitive Damages, Economic Loss and Hedonic Damages," DRI Coursebook Materials, Chapter Q. Ms. Possenti presented this paper before a national audience of defense attorneys and self-insurers as part of a three day DRIseminar in New Orleans, February 1991.
  • "Cross-Examination of the Technical, Medical Witness" (Co-Author), Preparing for and Trying the Civil Lawsuit, Chapter 11, Supplement, New York State Bar Association, 1991
  • "Innovative Techniques for Litigation in the '90's, Document Retention Destruction Systems, Videotaped Reenactment Depositions, Novel Use of Trade Secret and Copyright Law Protection and Other High Dividend Approaches," DRI Coursebook materials, Chapter C., DRI Seminar, January 1990
  • "The Seventh Juror Marches On: Mitigating Damages in the Personal Injury Case" (Co-Author), For The Defense, DRI, Vol. 31, No. 12, December 1989