Steven P. Benenson

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For nearly 35 years, Steven Benenson has represented public and private companies in high stakes class actions, business, commercial and product liability litigations in trial and appellate courts across the country.

Steve is a "top notch litigator," whose "ability to quickly understand complex factual situations or unfamiliar technical issues is unmatched [and]... translates into his ability to effectively convey his client's position to any tribunal." "The forcefulness of his advocacy comes from expertise and experience rather than bully tactics," wrote BestLawyers.com. Steve’s methodical investigation, strategic analysis and innovative approach is unparalleled in resolving complex, risky and disruptive cases.

Steve has substantial experience in the chemical, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medical device, information technology, social media, and real estate industries defending consumer protection, fraud, conspiracy, contract and anti-trust claims. He has successfully briefed and argued appeals in the United States Courts of Appeal and state appellate courts regarding the recognition of novel causes of action, jurisdiction, consolidation and venue, preemption, class certification, and expert witness disqualification. Steve also counsels companies on crisis response, risk management and liability prevention relating to data privacy, defective products, warnings and recall campaigns.

 

Relevant Experience
  • Lead Third Circuit Court of Appeals counsel to the largest public social media company in an anti-trust, RICO, fraud and privacy case. 
  • Lead counsel to a public manufacturer of performance apparel; lead counsel to the largest manufacturer of eyewear; co-counsel to the largest public social media company; and co-counsel to a public self-storage REIT in the defense of consumer protection class actions alleging agreements contained unlawful terms and conditions.
  • Lead appellate counsel to a multi-national chemical manufacturer contesting a $205 million verdict arising out of the interpretation of a “most favored nations” clause in a complex tolling agreement. Obtained a reversal of the judgment and a new trial on damages. The client subsequently settled at a savings of nearly $100 million.
  • Lead counsel to Brownsfield private equity funds in defense of corporate veil piercing claims arising out of the bankruptcy of the largest public private financed redevelopment project in New Jersey's history.
  • National counsel to a title insurance company in the defense of a consumer fraud class action alleging overcharges for title insurance and closing costs. Obtained a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversal of a federal district court's certification of a filed rate title insurance class action that ended such litigation in Texas.
  • Co-counsel in a nation-wide consumer fraud class action brought against a public distributor of medical products claiming price gouging in the sale of flu vaccine. Defeated plaintiffs’ motion to disclose confidential customer lists, limited class-related discovery, and obtained a dismissal of the putative class.
  • Co-counsel to a leader in consumer electronics in the defense of consumer fraud class action alleging defects in high definition televisions.
  • Lead counsel in a year-long complex commercial and environmental arbitration arising out of the world-wide divestiture of a hydraulics business. The dispute involved the parties’ respective indemnity obligations and whether contamination claims were subject to insurance coverage. After the arbitration concluded, successfully negotiated a global resolution of the Superfund site claims, and claims involving several international sites.
  • National coordinating counsel to a public information service provider in product and enterprise liability, and industry-wide conspiracy claims. Developed the company’s strategy for insurance coverage, discovery, experts, motions, trials and appeals. Never lost a case or paid any settlement, and recovered substantially all costs of defense from insurers.
  • Co-counsel to a former manufacturer of lead paint in public nuisance, fraud and civil conspiracy claims brought by governmental entities seeking billions in costs for remediation of contaminated buildings and medical monitoring. Member of Supreme Court briefing team that obtained a reversal of the intermediate court’s recognition of a public nuisance cause of action.
  • Co-counsel and trial team member for public pharmaceutical company in bellwether product liability cases. Devised legal issues strategy, and coordinated discovery, experts, motion practice, trial preparation and court-ordered mediations.
  • Lead counsel representing a newspaper, media and commercial printing company in a consumer fraud and breach of contract claim against a multi-national manufacturer of electronic press control equipment. Mediated case to a successful settlement in which client recovered all damages.
  • Lead counsel representing a pharmaceutical manufacturer in the defense of a breach of fiduciary duty and fraud case brought by a joint venturer.  Devised the overall litigation strategy, and favorably resolved the case at a court-ordered mediation.
  • Lead counsel for a chemical manufacturer in contaminated community well water case.  Obtained dismissal of all claims. Our client’s Superfund site—one of the most heavily solvent contaminated industrial facilities in the country—was adjacent to the affected well. Other defendants paid millions of dollars in settlement to avoid trial.
  • Lead counsel to a computer manufacturer in consolidated lawsuits brought by former employees claiming that the corporation intentionally exposed them to carcinogenic substances and conspired to fraudulently conceal occupationally-caused cancers. Devised strategy and obtained summary judgment.
  • Counsel to a supplier of train brake accessories in conducting a nation-wide recall and retrofit campaign after a catastrophic derailment. Created and served on a corporate safety committee, supervised independent analytic testing lab, coordinated public relations, managed federal litigation and secured insurance coverage.
Opinions
  • Friest v. Luxottica Group, S.p.A., 2016 WL 7668453 (D.N.J. 2016)
  • Chassen v. Fidelity Nat'l Financial, Inc. et. als., 2016 WL 4698256 (3rd Cir. 2016)
  • Castro v. Sovran Self Storage, Inc., 114 F. Supp. 3d 204 (D.N.J. 2015)

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    Paulus, Sokolowski & Sartor, LLC v. Darden et. als., 2015 WL 6456124 (N.J. App. Div. 2015)
  • Ahmad v. Old Republic Nat'l Title Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16901 (5th Cir. 2012)
  • BASF Corp. v. Lyondell Chemical Co., 2010 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3106 (N.J. App. Div. 2010)
  • McCalley v. Samsung Elecs. Am., Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 28076 (D.N.J. 2008)
  • In re Lead Paint Litigation, 191 N.J. 405 (N.J. Sup. Ct. 2007)
  • West Morris Pediatrics v. Henry Schein, Inc., 385 N.J. Super. 581 (Law Div. 2004)
  • McDonald v. Lederle Laboratories, 341 N.J. Super 369 (N.J. App. Div. 2001)
  • Reiff v. Convergent Technologies, 957 F. Supp. 573 (D.N.J. 1997)
  • Dennis v. Pertec Computer Corp., 927 F. Supp. 156 (D.N.J. 1996), aff’d, 135 F.3d 764 (3rd Cir. 1997)
  • Houghtaling v. Unisys Corp., 955 F. Supp. 309 (D.N.J. 1996)
  • Hartman v. AT&T Corp., 971 F. Supp. 952 (D.Md. 1996)
Honors and Awards
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions. 
  • Recognized by New Jersey Super LawyersClass Actions/Mass Torts and Products Liability.
  • “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell (highest rating).
  • Master Advocate, National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
  • Knight of the Lyondell Enterprise (client recognition for outstanding results).
Organizations/Memberships
  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Business Litigation Committee, Vice Chair; Litigation and Trial Practice Committee, Vice Chair; Appellate Advocacy and Products Liability Committees; Litigation Section, Commercial and Business Litigation, Business Torts & Unfair Competition, Class Actions and Derivatives Suits, and Mass Torts Committees.
  • Defense Research Institute, Commercial Litigation Committee, Class Action and Complex Commercial SLGs.
  • Cornell Law School Curia Society.
Publications
  • "Illinois Supreme Court Rules Biometric Information Act Does Not Require Actual Injury Inviting Wave of New Class Actions," Porzio Class Action Update, February 28, 2019.
  • "Emerging Issues in Data Breach and Privacy Regulation Class Actions," NYSBA Annual Meeting, January 17, 2019. 
  • "New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Mere Technical Violations of Consumer Protection Regulations Do Not Satisfy TCCWNA's 'Aggrieved Consumer' Requirement, Porzio Class Action Update, April 18, 2018.
  • "Defeating Certification of 'No-Injury' Consumer Protection Class Actions," LJN, Product Liability Law & Strategy, January 2018.
  • Co-Editor, "A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions," Second Edition, American Bar Association, New Jersey Law Section, Fall 2017.
  • "Anti-Injunction Decision Hamstrings Ability to Settle Federal Class Actions," Porzio Class Action Newsletter, March 2015.
  • "A Second Bite at the Apple? CAFA Jurisdiction After Class Certification Denial," Defense Research Institute, The Business Suit, Vol 17, Issue 2, February 2014.
  • "Circumventing Class Action Predominance Through Improper Merits Discovery," Defense Research Institute, In-House Defense Quarterly, September 2012.
  • "Analysis of the New Jersey Supreme Court Decision in 'In Re Lead Paint Litigation,'" nuisancelaw.com, November 17, 2008.
  • "Caught in the Rx Drug Web: Recent Proposals to Restrict Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Restricted Devices," FDLI Update, Issue 2, March/April 2006.
  • "Fraud Allegations Prompt Call for Mandatory Publication of Clinical Trial Results," FDLI Update, Issue 2, March/April 2005.
  • Reparations: "Suits Are Too Little, Too Late," National Law Journal, May 13, 2002.
  • "How to Conduct a Product Safety Investigation and Campaign," For the Defense, Defense Research Institute Committee Perspectives, Vol. 43, No. 4, April 2001.
  • "The Timely Filing of a Petition Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act is a Jurisdictional Prerequisite for Maintaining a Civil Action," Porzio, Bromberg & Newman Litigation Update, May 25, 2000.
  • "Strategies for Successfully Defending Industry-Wide Product Liability Litigation," Product Safety & Liability Reporter, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Vol. 27, No. 37, September 17, 1999.
  • "Avoiding Complex Arbitration Pitfalls," New Jersey Lawyer, November 23, 1998.
  • "Second Circuit Rules Damaging Statements Contained in Unpublished Documents of Other Manufacturers and Trade Associations Do Not Constitute Industry-Wide 'Notice'," Porzio, Bromberg & Newman Litigation Update, September 14, 1998.
  • "Federal District Court Invokes Daubert Opinion to Disqualify Liability and Causation Experts in Repetitive Stress Injury Case," Porzio Litigation Update, August 31, 1995.
  • Quoted in The National Law Journal, "Plaintiffs Rev Up New PPA Drug Lawsuits," Vol. 23, No. 31 (March 26, 2001).
  • Quoted in Computer & Internet Lawcast, Vol. 1, No. 2, February 22, 1999 (addressing federal "Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act").
  • Quoted in Fortune, Letter to Editor on "Fatal Litigation" article, Vol. 132, No. 12, December 11, 1995 (addressing mass tort cases).
Speaking Engagements
  • "Emerging Issues in Data Breach and Privacy Regulation Class Actions," NYSBA Annual Meeting, New York, NY, January 2019. 
  • "Strategies for Successfully Defending 'No Injury' Consumer Protection Class Actions," Network of Trial Law Firms' CLE program, "Litigation Management: New Trends and Techniques," Palm Beach, FL, April 2017.
  • Moderator/Program Chair, "Managing Class Actions from the Perspective of In-House Counsel,"  ABA National Class Action Symposium, New Orleans, LA, March 2016.
  • "Recent Developments in Title Insurance Class Actions," American Land Title Association, Title Counsel Committee Roundtable, West Palm Beach, FL, October 2013; Chicago, IL, May 2014; Seattle, WA, October 2014; Washington, DC, May 2015. 
  • "Defending Corporate Veil Piercing Claims," New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 11th Annual Conference, Whippany, NJ, September 2013.
  • "Class Action Blockbuster: Key Developments Affecting the Future of Class Action Litigation," ABA TIPS Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 2013.
  • "Recent Developments in the Enforceability of Arbitration Provisions in Class Actions," American Land Title Association, Title Counsel Committee Roundtable, Washington, DC, May 2013.
  • Guest lecturer, Rutgers University Law School, Appellate Advocacy Course, September 2012.
  • "Successful Strategies for Managing Class Action Litigation from the Corporate Legal Department Perspective," New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 7th Annual Conference, Hanover, NJ, September 2009.
  • "Managing Tort and Consumer Fraud Liability Risk in an Evolving Litigation Climate," New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 6th Annual Conference, Whippany, NJ, September 2008.
  • "Consumer Fraud in New Jersey," New Jersey General Counsel Group’s Quarterly Meeting, Basking Ridge, NJ, March 2007.
  • "Publication of Research Results: Managing the Complex Issues Facing the Industry," ACI 4th National Conference on Medical Affairs, Chicago, IL, May 2006.
  • "Combating Economic Loss Consumer Fraud Claims in the Promotion and Sale of Pharmaceuticals," ACI Off Label Drug & Medical Device Seminar, New York City, NY, April 2006.
  • "Navigating Legal Issues in Cyberspace," The New Jersey-Pennsylvania Council of AeA and the Ironbound Business Organization, Newark, NJ, July 2001.
  • "Are PPA Claims Suitable For Class Action Treatment?," Mealey’s PPA & Ephedra Litigation Conference, Philadelphia, PA, March 2001.
  • "Repetitive Stress Injury Litigation: Past, Present and Future," DRI Product Liability Seminar, Chicago, IL, September 2000.
  • "The New Federal Y2K Act: What You Need to Know Now!" ABA Sections of Business Law and Litigation and the Center for Continuing Legal Education, Washington, DC, September 1999.
  • "Recent Developments in Alternative Dispute Resolution, As Influenced by Litigation Trends," Dartmouth Lawyers Association, 15th Annual Meeting, Hanover, NH, July 1999.
  • "Pushing the Envelope: Significant Trends in RSI Cases—The Post Sale Duty to Warn and Medical Causation," DRI Products Liability Seminar, Specialized Litigation Group, San Diego, CA, January 1997.
  • "Conducting the Deposition of the Expert Witness," Porzio Associate Training Program (repeated presentations).
  • "The Discoverability of Electronic Information in Civil Litigation and Its Relation to Corporate Records Retention Policies," ABA Committee on Corporate Counsel Northeast Regional Workshop, Newark, NJ, Spring 1994.

Practice

Industries

Related Media

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1984
  • United States District Court, District of New Jersey, 1984
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1992
  • District of Columbia, 1997
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2011
  • New York, 2015
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2016

Education

Cornell University Law School, Ithaca, New York, J.D., 1984

Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, magna cum laude, high departmental distinctions, 1981

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • William Jewett Tucker Fellow

Contact Address

100 Southgate Parkway

Morristown, NJ 07962-1997

Phone: 973.538.4006

Fax: 973.538.5146

  • Benenson, Steven
  • Benenson, Steven
  • Benenson, Steven
  • Benenson, Steven