Cheryl A. Possenti

Cheryl A. Possenti

Partner

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
  • Client Choice Award: Product Liability in New York State (2014)
  • Best Lawyers in America 2015-2017 (Product Liability Litigation: Defendants)
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Litigation, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell, 2014
  • Selected by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell for inclusion in  Women Leaders in the Law, 2013, 2015
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent
  • Business First's Who's Who in Law (Civil Litigation)
  • Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2007-2009, 2011-2016
  • Buffalo Business First Women of Influence
Professional Affiliations
  • DRI, Product Liability Committee and Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group, past chair and current panel counsel liaison
  • American Bar Association 
  • Bar Association of Erie County; Negligence Committee and Health Law Committee
  • Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence, served on the Board of Directors
  • International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western and Northern Districts of New York
Civic Activities
  • Spaulding Lake Homeowners Association, Past President
Education
  • State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., 1982 (Buffalo Law Review, Senior Editor)
  • State University of New York at Albany, B.A., 1978
Publications/Presentations
  • Presenter, "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
  • Presenter, "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What’s New?"  SPLiCE Membership Webinar, January 11, 2017
  • Presenter, "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What’s New?"  SPLiCE Membership Webinar, November 2, 2016
  • Presenter, “Product Liability Law in the United States,” Cunningham Lindsay Hong Kong (Taiwan Branch), Taipei, Taiwan, October 21, 2016
  • Co-presenter, "Cyber Security Issues and Product Liability in the United States," Cunningham Lindsay Annual Forum, Taipei, Taiwan, October 2016
  • Presenter,  “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
  • Presenter, "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
  • Presenter, "Trends and New Developments in Multimillion Dollar Civil Penalties Announced by the CPSC and Strategies to Avoid Them," Defense Research Institute Product Liability Seminar, Consumer Goods and Office Equipment Specialized Litigation Group, New Orleans, LA, February 3, 2016
  • Presenter, "CPSC Regulatory Updates: What's New?," SPLiCE Membership Webinar, January 7, 2016
  • Presenter, "When Do You Stop Protecting Your Brand? Legal Implications," Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence Licensor’s Workshop, October 1, 2015
  • Presenter, "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
  • Co-Author, “Local Regulation of Consumer Products,” Buffalo Law Journal, June 18, 2015
  • Quoted in, "4 Things You Should Know About Product Recalls," IndustryWeek, June 8, 2015
  • Presenter, "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
  • Presenter, “CPSC developments,” SPLiCE, November 14, 2014
  • Presenter, “Product Liability Law in the United States,” Cunningham Lindsay Hong Kong (Taiwan Branch), Taipei, Taiwan, October 23, 2014
  • Presenter, “Product Liability Law in the United States,” Shenzhen Institute of Insurance, Shenzhen, China, October 21, 2014
  • Presenter, “Product Liability Law in the United States,” Ping An Insurance Company, Shenzhen, China, October 20, 2014
  • Presenter, “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 
  • Presenter, “Establishing a Safety Culture in Your Company,” ICPHSO Midwest Regional Product Safety Training Workshop, Richfield, MN, September 11, 2014
  • Presenter, “CPSC Regulatory Updates: What Your Company Needs To Know,” SPLiCE Membership Webinar, July 11, 2014
  • Quoted in “Local Law Firms Take International Approach,”Buffalo Law Journal, May 27, 2014 (and Buffalo Business First, May 16, 2014)
  • Presenter, “What’s in Store for Children’s Product Industry, Given the Growing Aggressiveness of the CPSC and Health Canada,” Defense Research Institute Product Liability Seminar, Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group, Phoenix, AZ, April 9, 2014
  • Presenter, “Product Liability Law in the U.S.,” Peoples Insurance Company of China, Shanghai, China, May 2013
  • Author, “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
  • Presenter, "Product Liability Law in the U.S.," Cunningham Lindsey Hong Kong (Taiwan Branch) and Cunningham Lindsey China Co., Ltd. (Shanghai), October 2012
  • Presenter, "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
  • Presenter, “Doing Business in the U.S. vs. Europe Series: Product & Toy Safety Regulation Update,” European American Chamber of Commerce New York,  May 24, 2012
  • Presenter, "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," Defense Research Institute Children's Products Joint Panel Counsel Conference, Defense Research Institute's Annual Product Liability Seminar, April 2012
  • Quoted in “Surviving a Product Recall,” Bed Times, February 2012
  • Moderator, “Consumer Product Safety Commission Database,” Defense Research Institute Product Liability Seminar, Children’s Products Panel Counsel Meeting, April 5, 2011
  • Presenter, "Minimizing Potential Product Liability Risks from Drug and Device Recalls," American Conference Institute, Summit on Drug and Device Product Recalls, March 2011
  • Presenter, "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
  • Presenter, "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
  • Presenter, "CPSC Searchable Consumer Incident Database," Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE) Licensors Workshop, September 2009
  • Co-Author, "CPSC Power Expands: Legislation Brings Change to Consumer Products Industry," USLAW Magazine, Spring/Summer 2009
  • Presenter, "Life Cycle of a Lead Paint Recall," Defense Research Institute Product Liability Seminar, Children's Products Specialized Litigation Group, April 2009
  • Co-Author, "Through Regulations and in Court: The 2008 CPSIA Starts to Take Shape,"For The Defense, Defense Research Institute, April 2009
  • Co-Author, "Negotiating the Landscape of Increased Penalties under CPSIA," For The Defense, Defense Research Institute, February 2009