Leigh Ann Benson focuses her practice on commercial disputes, complex litigation, class actions, and cyber security. She has significant experience representing large manufacturers in the food and beverage industry, including snack and pet food manufacturers, in class actions and commercial disputes. These representations have included commercial dispute, product defect and mislabeling matters, as well as regulatory matters.
Leigh Ann serves as a member of the Young Lawyer Editorial Board of The Legal Intelligencer. She also is a member of Villanova Law J. Willard O’Brien American Inn of Court.
Leigh Ann joined Cozen O'Connor's Litigation Department in Philadelphia in 2014. She received her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in English from Virginia Tech. While at Villanova, Leigh Ann served as an associate editor of the Villanova Law Review.
May 02, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to limit the power of administrative agencies. 'Kisor v. Wilkie,' which was argued last month, is a head-on challenge to the deference afforded to an agency when interpreting its own regulations.
November 08, 2018
Stephen Miller, Vice Chair of the firm's White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice, and Leigh Ann Benson, an associate in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, "US Supreme Court Considers Asbestos Actions Under Maritime Law" for The Legal Intelligencer.
January 11, 2018
Stephen Miller, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice, and Leigh Ann Benson, associate in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, in The Legal Intelligencer "Masterpiece Cakeshop v. CCR: A Difficult Balance for Justices."
November 09, 2017
Stephen A. Miller, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations practice, and Leigh Ann Benson, associate in the firm's Commercial Litigation department, co-authored in Yahoo!, "NJ's Supreme Court Gamble: Garden State Takes on PASPA."
April 12, 2017
Coca-Cola won big last month when it secured summary judgment in a privacy class action brought by a former bottling plant employee concerning compromised personal information. Hon. Joseph Leeson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that Coca-Cola was not under any contractual...
March 31, 2017
Computers are involved at some point in almost every business transaction—that is the reality of life in the digital age. The implications of that fact are still being worked out with respect to the interpretation of insurance contract computer fraud provisions. This month, a judge in the...
November 28, 2016
As the Internet of Things continues to grow and expand, the fact that guidance on security measures and protections is a necessity has become increasingly evident. Recently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a lengthy set of IoT guidelines, known as NIST Special...
October 31, 2016
Tom Wilkinson and Leigh Ann Benson, both members of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discuss this case in the Pennsylvania Bar Associations Civil Litigation Update.
September 28, 2016
Insurance companies are susceptible to the same sort of data breaches as suffered by many other businesses, such as the recently reported theft from Yahoo of the personal data in half a billion accounts. In a major decision that may have widespread consequences, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in...
August 18, 2016
Standing remains a high hurdle for individuals whose personal information is compromised as a result of a data breach but who cannot establish that the stolen information was actually used improperly. Class action claims against CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield related to a 2014 breach were...
June 16, 2016
In what is thought to be the first published decision in a cyber insurance coverage case, popular Chinese restaurant chain, P.F. Chang’s, was denied coverage for certain costs incurred as a result of a 2014 data breach. Unfortunate as it may be for P.F. Chang’s, this court ruling offers a...
May 25, 2016
This month, FDA showed a willingness to catch up with the recent trends, advancements, and developments in the food and beverage industry by reconsidering years-old regulations regarding products labeled as “healthy.”
Kind, a snack food company, was publicly condemned last spring for mislabeling...
March 22, 2016
The GMO war rages on after a close vote in the Senate last week addressing proposed voluntary, national standards for GMO labeling. A 48-49 split means the Senate failed to invoke cloture to bring the Biotechnology Labeling Solutions Bill to vote.
The bill, if enacted, would have prevented states...
November 13, 2015
FDA took long-awaited and much-anticipated steps this week to address the requests of both consumers and food manufacturers and producers for guidance and regulation on use of the term “natural.” For years now, consumer litigation alleging false labeling and misrepresentation claims have been piling...
November 12, 2015
Stephen Miller and Leigh Ann Benson discuss Spokeo v. Robins, an appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit raising the question whether Congress may create an “injury-in-fact” simply from the violation of a federal statute.
November 09, 2015
The country’s first products liability class action has hit the marijuana industry with the filing of various tort, strict liability and contract claims against LivWell, Inc. in Colorado state court last month. The complaint purports to define two classes—a medical class and a recreational...
October 21, 2015
Updated to clarify that this post is not about Green Seal, Inc. but the environmental seals or certifications warned against in a recent FTC update.
Manufacturers of consumer products labeled with unspecified environmental certification seals (“green seals”) may find themselves subject to...
July 30, 2015
FDA’s steadfast position against formally addressing “Natural” claims on food products may soon be forced to change if the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which the House of Representatives passed on July 23, 2015, is enacted.
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (“SAFLA”) serves largely to...
July 02, 2015
Leigh Ann Benson discusses the need for food and beverage manufacturers to be aware of FDA action, which typically reflects consumers’ interests, that has a direct relationship to class action litigation.
June 30, 2015
David Walton and Leigh Ann Benson discuss the importance of employers preventing cybersecurity incidents and what the outcome of the Supreme Court case Spokeo v. Robins would mean for class actions brought by their employees.
May 04, 2015
Kind, LLC received a rude awakening from the FDA when it notified the popular snack-maker that it was violating numerous federal regulations by allegedly misbranding four popular products. Kind is known for its widely-popular snack bars which are marketed as “wholesome,” “tasty,” and “convenient.”...
February 12, 2015
In an article titled ''Justices Eye Hierarchy of Protected Speech in Street Sign Case,'' Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Leigh Ann Benson, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss Reed v. Town of Gilbert, in which the U.S. Supreme Court has an opportunity to overhaul its First Amendment jurisprudence. The Town of Gilbert's sign ordinance was challenged by Good News Community Church and its pastor, Clyde Reed. Good News is a relatively small congregation in Gilbert that meets weekly for fellowship and worship. The church views its signs as ideological while the town considers them to be directional – a distinction that has significant practical effects. Although it seems likely Gilbert's ordinance will be struck down, the more interesting question is whether five Justices will unite around a far-reaching opinion that revamps the court's First Amendment jurisprudence.
February 10, 2015
Anthem, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, announced last Wednesday that it had been attacked by cyber hackers and that personal information for as many as 80 million individuals had been compromised.
Cyber attacks and data breaches are now commonplace. Hackers and cyber criminals...
January 23, 2015
“[I]f we don’t put in place the kind of architecture that can prevent these attacks from taking place, this is not just going to be affecting movies, this is going to be affecting our entire economy in ways that are extraordinarily significant.”
– President Obama, December 19, 2014
December 24, 2014
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently denied class certification in a consumer fraud case. In Grandalski v. Quest Diagnostics, No. 13-4329 ((3d. Cir. Sept. 11, 2014), the court affirmed a trial court order denying certification of a nationwide class of consumers allegedly overcharged by the defendant. The opinion is instructional on current class action law and underscores the rigor with which trial courts are expected to analyze motions for class certification.
July 01, 2014
Class action plaintiffs again allege that the labeling on Chobani’s Greek yogurt violates FDA regulations and misleads consumers, even though a federal court in California dismissed a similar labeling class action earlier this year. The New York complaint filed in federal court highlights the...
January 15, 2014
In Netherlands Insurance Company v. Phusion Projects, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the insurer of the makers of Four Loko has no duty to defend it in lawsuits alleging the alcoholic beverage caused serious injury and death. The court affirmed the Northern District Court of...
October 29, 2013
A Michigan appellate court recently ruled that a commercial property insurer properly denied coverage for the cost of cheese seized by the government that could not be returned to market. In this unpublished opinion, the three-judge panel upheld the trial court’s determination that the insurer...
April 29, 2013
A New York appellate court recently upheld a supreme court ruling that an insurer had a duty to defend a manufacturer’s faulty workmanship where it resulted in third party property damage. I.J. White Corp. v. Columbia Cas. Co., 2013 NY Slip Op 2500 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep't Apr. 16, 2013). In...
February 05, 2013
We often associate food recalls with harmful and contaminated products but manufacturers actually issue recalls for a variety of reasons. Companies sometimes issue recalls because of suspected, but not confirmed, contamination or other quality control issues. Other times, they issue recalls...