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APPELLATE COURT UPHOLDS $1.25 MILLION VERDICT AGAINST BLUE SHIELD OF CALIFORNIA

 APPELLATE COURT UPHOLDS $1.25 MILLION VERDICT
 AGAINST BLUE SHIELD OF CALIFORNIA
 SAN FRANCISCO, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer, attorneys for the plaintiff:
 On June 22, 1992, the California Court of Appeal upheld a January 18, 1989, San Francisco Superior Court Jury verdict awarding Nancy Goodman $1.25 million against Blue Shield of California for breach of her health care insurance contract and bad faith. The jury determined that Blue Shield wrongly refused to cover Nancy's medical expenses for treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis.
 The Appellate Court reasoned that "Blue Shield's unreasonable denial of coverage is found in its unyielding adherence to strict interpretation of coverage provisions, to the detriment of the reasonable expectations of its insured ..." despite substantial medical opinion that the therapy was widely accepted for treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis.
 As a result of Blue Shield's denial of coverage, Nancy Goodman was not able to obtain the Cytoxan/ACTH therapy prescribed in August 1987 by her neurologist, Steven Holtz, M.D. of Walnut Creek, Calif. The therapy, pioneered at Harvard University, was the only effective treatment for progressive multiple sclerosis, halting the disease for a period of 1 to 5 years in 80 percent of patients treated.
 Nancy Goodman's lawyer, Eric H. Ivary, of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer, indicated that had Nancy received the treatment when first prescribed, she would not have been in a wheelchair at the time of trial. Nancy Goodman did receive her treatment in March 1989, after the verdict, which halted her physical decline. Had she, however, received the treatment when first prescribed, the progression of Goodman's multiple sclerosis could have been stabilized, allowing her to function independently for a longer period of time.
 -0- 6/24/92
 /CONTACT: Eric H. Ivary, Steven J. Brewer, or Linda Y. Lim, of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer, 510-832-5411 or 510-820-0335/ CO: Blue Shield ST: California IN: HEA SU:


MC-RM -- SF005 -- 3383 06/24/92 15:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 24, 1992
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