Healthcare Equity & Public Health

Health care is a human right. We believe that everyone should have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Public health is a public good. We use the law to ensure health care equity and to promote public health for our clients and for our communities.

We advocate for health care equity and public health. This means that your gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability or socioeconomic status shouldn't dictate whether or not you can obtain health care.  It means that everyone should have access to a safe environment, safe products, and safe communities. 

We are former attorneys from offices of the states’ Attorneys General, with vast experience in health care law and government investigations. We have litigated in all areas of the health ecosystem: we’ve sued insurance companies and drug companies; challenged federal and state government action (and inaction); and advocated for individuals who are simply seeking to get treated for their illnesses or be safe from harmful products.

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Public health—whether it is access to services, insurance coverage, the remediation of environmental dangers, safe products, or safer communities—is essential to our society and the common good. If you have a problem, call us. We may not be able to fix it, but we will listen.

  • We represented the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, Action on Smoking on Health, the American Medical Association, and the National Medical Association in an action brought against the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.  Our lawsuit sought to compel the FDA to begin the rulemaking process for removing menthol from cigarettes.
  • We filed a class action lawsuit in federal court on behalf of parents who purchased organic baby foods that were secretly tainted with dangerous levels of heavy metals.  The suit also includes claims on behalf of children who consumed these dangerous metals.
  • We represented 250,000 New York City municipal retirees when the DeBlasio administration tried to cut their health care benefits, and won. 
  • We represent a woman whose insurance company’s “prior authorization” bureaucracy resulted in the denial of a doctor’s recommended MRI, and a delay in her cancer treatment. We are currently appealing her case to the Second Circuit. 
  • We represent a state in an arbitration against certain tobacco companies, involving tens of millions of dollars of disputed payments under the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

Prior cases

Other successful public health investigations and litigation led by our attorneys, prior to their time at the firm, include:

  • Led the federal litigation brought by twelve state Attorneys General against the Department of Labor challenging the Association Health Plan Rule, which sought to exempt a significant portion of the health insurance market from the ACA’s consumer protections.
  • Co-led the federal litigation brought by five state Attorneys General against the Department of Health & Human Services challenging rules vastly expanding religious and moral exemptions to the ACA's requirement that insurance cover contraceptive care.
  • Co-led 40 states’ coordinated investigation into the opioid crisis and role of the “big three” opioid distributors.
  • Co-led investigations of NYC landlords for violations of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention law.
  • Led multiple investigations of Covid-19 vaccine providers that charged fees and created other barriers to access for Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Led investigation of hospital network for their improper medical debt collection practices.
  • Led the New York Attorney General’s case against United Parcel Service, Inc., alleging the carrier’s unlawful delivery of contraband cigarettes. Following a two-week federal trial conducted with the City of New York, obtained a final judgment and combined award of $247 million in damages and penalties—the largest award of its kind and the largest monetary award obtained by the New York Attorney General’s Office at trial.
  • Defended 30 state Attorneys General in a suit alleging that the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement and its implementing state statutes violated the dormant commerce clause and federal antitrust laws. Won all key motions, and on cross-motions for summary judgment, obtained a favorable final judgment and order on all claims. Affirmed on appeal.
  • Led the New York Attorney General’s investigation into Aetna’s data privacy breach concerning the HIV status of nearly 12,000 consumers. Case settlement agreement provided for over $1 million in penalties, enhanced privacy protections, and the appointment of a monitor.
  • Represented environmental groups in challenging a federal agency’s proposed decision to issue a 50-year incidental take permit, for an area spanning more than nine million acres and affecting over 100 endangered, threatened, and candidate species of plants and animals.
  • Represented a local environmental group in challenging a state agency’s issuance of a Clean Water Act permit to an industrial chicken farm emitting over 70 tons of ammonia into a national wildlife refuge and a nearby community.
  • Led litigation on behalf of a national environmental organization against coal-fired power plants in New York and Pennsylvania.
  • Represented persons injured from defective pharmaceutical drugs, including Baycol and Vioxx. Cases settled on favorable terms to each client.

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