Cozen O’Connor: Fama, Richard

Richard Fama

Vice Chair, General Litigation

New York

(212) 908-1229

(866) 263-1334

Richard focuses his practice on class action and complex litigation in the areas of toxic tort, products liability, food and liquor liability, construction defect, and mass tort actions, and has decades of experience litigating in New York's state and federal courts.

Richard possesses a particular knowledge of handling cases involving catastrophic injuries and damages. He defended life sciences corporations in the PPA and pedicle screw litigations. He is currently lead defense counsel on several well-publicized and high-exposure cases involving the release of toxic substances into the environment, including mold, lead, asbestos, methanol, benzene, and other chemicals and contaminates. He also represents product manufacturers in class action matters involving alleged product defects and mislabeling, including alleged Federal Trade Commission violations regarding "Made in the U.S.A." claims.  Richard also serves as consulting counsel to various entities for claims arising out of alleged exposure to diacetyl at microwave popcorn manufacturing facilities.

Richard has a construction background, having worked in several large architectural and engineering consulting firms prior to attending law school. That background, combined with his pursuit of coursework in both architecture and engineering, has proven invaluable to his handling of construction defect and related matters.

Richard earned his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law in 1993 and his undergraduate degree from New York Institute of Technology in 1987.

Experience

Blogs

Food Recall Monitor

A recipe of food, law and insurance.

http://www.foodrecallmonitor.com

 

News

Food Allergy Lawsuits Can Be a Tough Nut to Crack

July 11, 2016

Richard Fama, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's General Litigation practice, discusses how food allergy lawsuits can be tough to litigate in the Legal Intelligencer.

Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Speak On Food & Product Recall Strategies For Mealey’s

April 30, 2008

Four Cozen O’Connor members recently participated in the Mealey’s Food and Product Recall Business Strategies Conference, held in Las Vegas. John J. McDonough served as co-chair of the conference, and delivered the opening address. Richard Fama spoke on managing a recall and handling consumer claims in his presentation, entitled ''Product Recalls and Class Action Litigation from A-Z,'' and Joseph F. Bermudez lectured on ''Insurance Coverage Issues – A Comprehensive Overview.'' Vincent Pozzuto delivered a lecture on ''The FTC and ‘Made in the USA’ Claims,'' covering the history of regulation and the current qualified claims standard.

Publications

Power Lunch: Are Your Products Really 'Made in the USA'? [Food Processing]

June 25, 2018

Richard Fama and Brenden Coller, members in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, published, "Power Lunch: Are Your Products Really 'Made in the USA'?" for Food Processing.

'Made In USA' Ruling Reflects New, Looser Calif. Standard

May 08, 2018

Rich Fama and Brenden Coller, members of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, "'Made In USA' Ruling Reflects New, Looser Calif. Standard," for Law360.

Defending Made-In-The-USA Claims

October 09, 2017

Brenden Coller and Richard Fama, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, "Defending Made-In-The-USA Claims," for Assembly Magazine.

Are We Becoming More Social? [Food Recall Monitor Blog]

May 06, 2015

It goes without saying that there’s been much attention given to the use of social media in litigation.  As litigators, we regularly monitor Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram  and other social media networks to surveille  those who have sued our clients and those that our clients are suing.  In the...

State GMO Labeling Laws: Friend or Foe? [Food Recall Monitor Blog]

May 29, 2014

Despite Vermont’s passage of its GMO labeling law and other states’ consideration of similar statutes, food manufacturers continue to support uniform federal legislation over the hodgepodge state-by-state approach that is developing. Pessimists among us might say that the FDA has been too slow...

New York State Takes Another Step Toward GMO Food Labeling Requirement [Food Recall Monitor Blog]

May 08, 2014

New York State has come one step closer to joining other states seeking to require manufacturers to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A-3525, a bill sponsored by New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D), was first introduced in January 2013 and was approved by the...

Defending Food Labeling Claims at the Class Certification Stage: A Recipe for Success [Carrier Management]

May 05, 2014

In an article published in Carrier Management, Richard Fama and Brenden Coller, members of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discuss several significant court decisions relating to class certification that give rise to optimism that the tide of the food and beverage labeling lawsuits may be turning in favor of food manufacturers and their insurers.

Cozen O’Connor to Attend Snack Food Association's Legislative Summit [Food Recall Monitor Blog]

March 25, 2014

Cozen O’Connor has been at the forefront of defending consumer class action lawsuits involving food and beverage labeling for years.  On April 9th and 10th we will be taking the fight from the courtroom to Capitol Hill http://www.laviagraes.com/viagra-natural-en-pastillas at the Snack Food...

Supreme Court Rejects Class Action Plaintiff's Stipulation of Damages to Avoid Federal Court [Food Recall Monitor Blog]

March 19, 2013

The United States Supreme Court handed class action defendants a major victory today in the case of Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles (Supreme Court opinion available here). The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) gives federal district courts original jurisdiction over class action...

NY Court’s Rejection of City’s Soda Restrictions May Chill Similar Health Mandates Says Rich Fama and Other Experts [Food Recall Monitor Blog]

March 14, 2013

In wake of the New York state court’s ruling striking down the New York City Department of Health’s controversial large soda ban, Law360 has this article describing the possible regulatory implications. The full opinion may be found here....

The Not So Surprising PCA Indictment [Food Recall Monitor Blog]

February 22, 2013

Federal authorities have brought felony charges against former Peanut Corporation of America officials for their role with the fatal 2009 Salmonella outbreak that sickened over 700 and killed 9.  Although this prosecution may be the most significant of its kind to date, it is not the first  and it...

FDA Announces 100k Genome Project [Food Recall Monitor Blog]

September 03, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are collaborating with the University of California Davis and Agilent Technologies, a chemical analysis/engineering company from Santa Clara, California, to sequence the genetic codes of 100,000 types of lethal...

New Food Safety Modernization Act Expands Regulatory Authority Over Food Industry [General Litigation Alert!]

January 11, 2011

On January 4, 2011, in response to concerns regarding food-borne illnesses and related product recalls, President Obama signed into law the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act, H.R. 2751 (''FSMA'' or ''the Act''), which is being heralded as the most significant expansion of food safety requirements since the 1938 enactment of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The Act focuses on preventive controls and expands the Food and Drug Administration’s (''FDA'') regulatory authority.

Anticipating Changes in Food Packaging [Food Safety Magazine - eDigest]

October 01, 2010

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur each year in the United States, resulting in approximately 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. These staggering statistics, along with a seemingly endless list of food recalls and associated public outrage, have prompted the government to react.

PCA: Product Recall Dos And Don’ts [Law360]

February 27, 2009

On Jan. 30, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that its criminal division and the U.S. Department of Justice were pursuing a criminal investigation of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). This investigation comes on the heels of one of the largest food poisoning According to U.S. Center for Disease Control statistics, 654 people across 44 states have been infected with Salmonella Typhimurium from ingesting peanut-based products originating from PCA’s Blakely, Ga., facility.

The Increase In Deceptive Trade Practices Claims [Law 360]

October 07, 2008

A group of consumers sued a bottled water manufacturer because its water came from purified municipal sources and not the snow-topped mountains featured on its label. Another seeks damages because a guacamole dip doesn’t contain enough avocados. A third sues a satellite radio network for not providing entirely commercial-free programming.

Irradiation of Iceberg Lettuce and Spinach: Has It Gone Far Enough? [freshcut.com]

October 01, 2008

Lettuce and spinach tainted with E. coli creates panic throughout the country. Raw onions contaminated with hepatitis kill four and sicken nearly 700. Salmonella-laden tomatoes make hundreds ill and raise fears of bioterrorism. While this may sound like something out of a bad horror movie, foodborne illness and the devastation it leaves behind – both in terms of human suffering and costs to our economy – should not be taken lightly.

The ChemNutra Indictment: A Sign of Things to Come? [FoodProductDesign.com]

June 10, 2008

The ChemNutra Indictment: A Sign of Things to Come? - FoodProductDesign.com - In regulating our conduct, in everything from our daily lives to business activities, we assume that, unless accompanied by a culpable mental state, be it intentional, reckless or knowing, our actions should not be considered criminal. Based on this assumption, the shopper who leaves a store without paying for an item
that was mistakenly left in the cart is not guilty of a crime. Likewise, the innocent

Product Liability Defense: At The Center of The Storm [The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel]

December 01, 2007

Product Liability Defense: At The Center of The Storm - The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel -

Consumer-Driven Diacetyl Litigation: Boom or Bust [Mealey's Litigation Report]

November 01, 2007

With asbestos litigation entering its twilight years, personal injury lawyers have been searching long and hard for a new toxin to form the foundation of lawsuits for decades to come. And while personal injury lawyers have enjoyed some success in prosecuting cases involving occupational exposure to diacetyl, the limited number of individuals exposed to the substance in the occupational setting has been a major stumbling block to crowning diacetyl as the toxin of the new millennium. Years of research into the health effects of diacetyl, together with recent medical findings and increased public scrutiny over food safety issues, however, may serve to broaden diacetyl litigation into the consumer arena and provide personal injury lawyers with the opportunity they have been so anxiously seeking.

Beware Diacetyl: The Next Legal Quagmire? [Food Safety Magazine]

October 01, 2007

Beware Diacetyl: The Next Legal Quagmire? - Food Safety Magazine - Move over asbestos, you may have met your match. For years, personal injury lawyers have been searching for “the next asbestos,” and although they achieved significant successes against big tobacco, a new toxin with the staying power of asbestos has remained elusive. Recent court rulings and years of civil lawsuit defeats have dulled the once shining star of so-called toxic mold. Personal injury lawyers may now be on the verge of striking gold—that is, the golden hue

Summer 2007 [Commercial Disputes Observer]

August 01, 2007

Summer 2007 - Commercial Disputes Observer -

Events & Seminars

Upcoming Events

Practical Guidance for the Food Industry for Avoiding False and Misleading Advertising

April 11, 2019 - Chicago, Illinois

Rich Fama will present at the American Conference Institute's Food Law - Regulation, Compliance, and Litigation on how the food industry can avoid false and misleading advertising.

Past Events

DRI: Product Liability Conference

February 08, 2017 - Las Vegas, NV

Critical Issues in Litigation – 2016

November 03, 2016 - New York, NY

DRI Product Liability Conference 2016

February 03, 2016 - New Orleans, LA

Critical Issues in Litigation – 2015

May 20, 2015 - New York, NY

Cozen O'Connor's 2013 New York Litigation Seminar

February 12, 2013 - New York, NY

Education

  • Hofstra University School of Law, J.D., 1993
  • New York Inst. of Technology, B.S., 1987
  • New York
  • Defense Association of New York
  • New York State Bar Association
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York