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Autism Class Action Filed Against Blue Cross
Date:7/1/2008

DETROIT, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The father of an autistic child has filed a class action lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and it was set for hearing by Judge Sean Cox in Federal Court. Mr. Chris Johns alleges that the insurer has wrongfully refused coverage for his child's therapy and care. The suit alleges that Blue Cross is required to provide coverage for the care under the terms of its policy, but that it has not done so in bad faith and in violation of the federal ERISA statute.

The suit seeks certification of a class of people who have been refused coverage by Blue Cross for their autistic children, as well as damages and an injunction requiring Blue Cross to provide coverage for the care in the future. The plaintiff is represented by the law firms of John J. Conway, P.C. and Mantese and Rossman, P.C. Blue Cross apparently takes the position that such care is experimental even though it is provided by such prestigious facilities as Beaumont Hospital. The case was assigned to the Honorable Sean Cox, in the Eastern District of Michigan, and Judge Cox issued an order yesterday, setting the matter for a hearing on August 21.

Attorney, John J. Conway said, "The law is clear that this treatment is not experimental, but is mainstream, scientifically validated, and being provided by prestigious institutions such as Beaumont Hospital, and we look forward to establishing this in a judicial forum through testimony and affidavits of professionals in this arena." Conway referenced an expert's affidavit already submitted to the court, which states, "Intensive behavioral intervention for children with autism is the standard of care and is appropriate for the therapeutic management of autism."

A motion to certify the class is pending and will be heard by the court on August 21, 2008, at 3 p.m.

Issued by Legal Media, LLC


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