Class Certified in Cigna Autism Treatment Suit

On August 12, 2011 a Federal Judge in Pennsylvania entered an Order certifying a class of individuals who claim that Cigna Corporation improperly denied coverage for Autism treatment. The Order represents a major victory for parents with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The representative Plaintiff, Kristopher Churchill, is a parent of an Autistic child.  Mr. Churchill sought reimbursement from his insurance company, Cigna for medical costs associated with a type of autism treatment known as Applied Behavioral Analysis (“ABA”). BCBS denied coverage for ABA treatment on the basis that it was “investigative” and “experimental.” ABA therapy, however, is a well-recognized and scientifically valid form of autism treatment and significantly improves the functions of children with autism.  Judge Sanchez, who drafted the Order, noted that ABA therapy was developed approximately 40 years ago and is a discipline concerned with the application of behavioral science in real-world settings such as clinics or schools with the aim of addressing socially important issues such as behavior problems and learning.  Judge Sanchez further explained that it is Cigna’s longstanding and unwavering policy to deny coverage for all ABA treatment on the basis that it is experimental without taking into consideration each of the claimant’s individual medical needs.  The Order was issued in the case of Churchill v. Cigna Corporation et al, No. 2:10-cv-06911 (E.D. Penn). Judge Sanchez’s ruling provides further precedent to the many federal courts across the nation addressing the issue of insurers denying coverage for ABA treatment.  The attorneys at Balkan & Patterson, LLP are experienced in representing individuals diagnosed with Autism and will act to protect their legal rights against corporate wrongdoers. If you believe you have potential for a class action, please contact us immediately and we will review your case at no charge.
The law firm of Balkan & Patterson, LLP was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, at 601 S. Federal Highway, Suite 302, with offices in Broward County. Mr. Balkan and Mr. Patterson can be contacted at (561) 750-9191. Additional information about Balkan & Patterson, LLP may be obtained from the firm’s website at

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