Ehrlich Law Firm wins landmark ruling against Blue Cross of California

Sacramento Appeals Attorney

Ehrlich Law Firm wins landmark ruling establishing that health-plan administrators are subject to suit for negligent administration of the health plan

California Courts of Appeal SealJudge David Mintz had been fighting lung cancer for years. When it recurred, his doctors said his only chance was a treatment called radio-frequency ablation (“RFA”). Blue Cross was the third-party administrator of Mintz’s CalPERS health plan. Blue Cross denied the claim for RFA on the grounds that it was excluded as experimental. But it failed to notify Mintz that under state law, the plan was required to pay for experimental treatment if an independent medical review determined it would be more beneficial for the patient than conventional treatment. Mintz was unable to obtain RFA, and died while his lawsuit was pending.

The trial court dismissed his case on demurrer, and the Court of Appeal reversed, finding that third-party administrators can be held liable for their negligent administration of the plan. Mintz v. Blue Cross of California, 172 Cal.App.4th 1594 (2d Dist. 2009).

Benefits of hiring The Ehrlich Law Firm to handle your appeal

When large corporate defendants win or lose a jury verdict, or any type of major case at the trial level, they often bring in appellate specialists to handle the post-trial briefing. Why?

Sophisticated clients understand that the skills that win trials are not necessarily the skills that win appeals, and that appellate specialists are often best prepared to defend or attack a verdict on appeal.

Effective lawyering requires a wealth of skills, and most lawyers gravitate to what they enjoy and what they are good at. While most lawyers are called on to write in the course of their practice, few devote themselves to becoming accomplished legal writers.

Only those with a keen interest in writing are likely to take seminars on writing, read books on effective written advocacy, seek out expert editors and subject their writing to blunt criticism, and then practice the lessons learned on countless motions, oppositions, and briefs.

A look at our bookshelf reveals where our interests lie. It is filled with books on writing, usage dictionaries, and written advocacy. We care about writing well, and have devoted considerable effort to develop and maintain our writing skills. [Sample briefs]

As a result of this hard work, and more than 20 years of practice, we are recognized as being among the best plaintiffs’ appellate firms in California. This is why the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles – the third largest trial lawyer association in the nation – recognized Jeffrey I. Ehrlich its 2004 appellate lawyer of the year.

This is also why Michael Bidart of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP, one of the most successful plaintiff’s attorneys in the nation (and our former law partner) uses us as his appellate counsel.

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Southern California appeals attorney, Jeffrey I. Ehrlich, is an appellate specialist certified by the State Bar of California’s Committee on Legal Specialization. He is the principal of the Ehrlich Law Firm, in Encino, Los Angeles County, California.