Federal Judge in Detroit Declares Case Against Blue Cross, Over its Denial of ABA Therapy for Children with Autism, Can Proceed

DETROIT, July 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a case brought by families having a child with autism spectrum disorder against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III, today entered an Order granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification. The families filed suit against Blue Cross over its policy of denying applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy to children with autism. The suit alleges that Blue Cross has illegally characterized ABA therapy as "experimental," even though it is validated by overwhelming medical and scientific authorities.

Today's ruling means that the case will proceed on behalf of thousands of families who have Blue Cross insurance and who have a child with autism. The Order was issued in the case of Potter v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 10-cv-14981 (E.D. Mich).

ABA is a well recognized and scientifically valid form of autism treatment for children, as numerous authorities have found, including the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a study commissioned by both the Medicare and Medicaid systems. Moreover, 26 states mandate insurance coverage for ABA therapy. Yet, despite settling a class action last year on this same issue, and paying approximately one million dollars in benefits, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan persists in denying coverage for ABA therapy on the ground that it is "experimental." Studies show that providing ABA therapy to children with autism allows them to achieve their maximum potential and greater independence in their adult lives.

The families are represented by Gerard Mantese and John Conway of Michigan, whose contact information follows:

Gerard Mantese, Esq.
Mantese Honigman Rossman and Williamson, P.C.
1361 E. Big Beaver Road
Troy, Michigan 48083
248-457-9200 Office
248-515-6419 Cell
[email protected]

John J. Conway, Esq.
John J. Conway, P.C.
26622 Woodward Avenue, Suite 225
Royal Oak, MI 48067
313-961-6525 Office
313-574-2148 Cell
[email protected]

SOURCE Mantese Honigman Rossman and Williamson, P.C.