Caroline Reynolds Receives Awards from Autism Law Summit and The National Law Journal

Caroline E. Reynolds
Caroline E. Reynolds

Zuckerman Spaeder is pleased to announce that partner Caroline E. Reynolds has been honored with two awards for her success in holding health insurers accountable for systematic denials of medically necessary health treatments. Ms. Reynolds received the Attorney of the Year award from the Autism Law Summit and was named a Litigation Trailblazer by The National Law Journal.

Ms. Reynolds and her team have achieved numerous recent wins and settlements that have given new hope to millions who suffer from mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disorders like autism. In 2019, she led the trial team that delivered a game-changing class action win against United Behavioral Health, which was found to have systematically and illegally denied the mental health and substance use disorder coverage claims of tens of thousands of individuals. She helped achieve another critical win earlier this year when a federal court found that UnitedHealth’s exclusion of a primary autism treatment violated the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity Act) and the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA). 

That case was highlighted by the Autism Law Summit, which cited her “exceptional advocacy on behalf of individuals with autism” in selecting her for the Attorney of the Year Award. Ms. Reynolds commented on the significance of the case for The National Law Journal, saying, “…we secured important legal precedents establishing not only that categorically excluding a key autism treatment violated ERISA’s parity requirements, but also that plan administrators have a fiduciary obligation to comply with ERISA by disregarding illegal plan terms.”

Ms. Reynolds has received a number of other recent awards, including being recognized as a 2021 Law360 MVP of the Year (together with Partner D. Brian Hufford) and being named by The National Law Journal as both a Winning Litigator and a D.C. Trailblazer in 2020.

Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Hufford, and partner Jason S. Cowart lead a national practice on behalf of health care providers and their patients in disputes with health insurance companies. The small team is utilizing novel interpretations of ERISA to produce steady and meaningful change, not only by providing relief to plaintiffs and causing insurers to change coverage policies but also by demonstrably changing health insurance law. 

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Kalie Walrath
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