Breast Cancer Survivor Denied Benefits to Treat Disease Resulting From Chemotherapy

October 15, 2010

Kantor & Kantor, LLP
, announced today that the law firm filed a complaint in Los Angeles District Court against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. on behalf of Desiree Kohan, 46 years of age and a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in May with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease for which the only treatment is a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. Kaiser denied Ms. Kohan’s request for the procedure on the grounds that since breast cancer would likely limit her life span, it was not worthwhile to administer the transplant. Ms. Kohan’s breast cancer is in remission, however, and the only threat to her right now is MDS, a disease she likely developed from the drugs prescribed to cure her breast cancer.

“The basis for Kaiser’s denial of Desiree’s request is so outrageous that it shocks the conscience and calls out for immediate response by the Court,” said Ms. Kohan’s lawyer Lisa S. Kantor, who represents plaintiffs denied health benefits. “Kaiser has ignored the overwhelming medical evidence Desiree submitted and the support of four renowned transplant specialists who stand ready, willing and able to perform the procedure. In addition, Kaiser has committed multiple violations of federal laws of ERISA that govern Desiree’s right to benefits.”

In the complaint, Ms. Kohan petitioned the Court to issue a temporary restraining order compelling Kaiser to approve her request for the bone marrow transplant so that she may be put on the transplant list and begin the process of testing her family members to determine if they are donors. Ms. Kantor is also requesting an expedited bench trial along with a hearing on a preliminary and permanent injunction within three court days.

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