Attorney Lisa S. Kantor
Lisa Kantor is a founding partner of Kantor & Kantor LLP. Lisa has focused her law practice on representing individuals whose health benefits have been denied for treatment of physical or mental illnesses.
Since 2007, Lisa has been a nationwide advocate for patients suffering eating disorders and litigating denials of medically necessary treatment for eating disorders. Through Lisa’s dedication to her clients, Kantor & Kantor has become the only law firm in the country with a distinct health law practice staffed with attorneys experienced in the specific needs of clients who have been denied benefits for eating disorder treatment.
Attorney Lisa Kantor can help with:
Unmatched Experience & Skill
Lisa’s work includes federal lawsuits and administrative appeals to health plans that refuse coverage or discontinue benefits for treatment thereby forcing patients to be prematurely discharged. She handles multiple class actions regarding the systematic denials of mental health claims by insurance companies.
Lisa is an experienced appellate attorney and regularly argues appeals to the circuit court of appeals. In 2007, Lisa achieved the first published decision in California in which the court applied the state's mental health parity law to beneficiaries who sought treatment outside California. In 2012, Lisa obtained the first federal appellate court ruling that health plans in California must pay for all medically necessary treatment for severe mental illnesses, including residential treatment. In 2014, Lisa obtained a parallel state court appellate court ruling, extending coverage for all medically necessary treatment for severe mental illnesses to all residents of California.
Lisa’s advocacy extends to the legislature where she challenges inappropriate guidelines used to deny treatment and advocates for laws ensuring that health plans provide benefits for the medically necessary treatment of all individuals suffering from severe mental illnesses.
- Juris Doctor, University of Virginia School of Law, 1983
- Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Economics, 1980 Union College, Schenectady, New York, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- Alexandra H. v. Oxford Health Insurance Inc. Freedom Access Plan, 11-cv-23948-MORENO (S.D. Fla. Mar. 24, 2015)
- Rea v. Blue Shield of California, 226 Cal. App. 4th 1209 (2014) A class action against Blue Shield of California finding the insurer must pay for medically necessary treatment, even though their plans specifically excluded it. Blue Shield was the only California insurance company that specifically excluded residential treatment in its plans, and the panel's decision on this case is recognition of the importance of such treatment for mental health care.
- Burton v. Blue Shield of California Life & Health Ins. Co., 2012 WL 242841 (C.D. Cal.) Thefirst decision interpreting Harlick and deciding that California's Mental Health Parity Act mandates that insurers provide benefits for residential treatment for major depressive disorder and panic disorder.
- Harlick v. Blue Shield of California, 686 F. 3d 699 (9th Cir. 2012) A landmark appellate court decision that ruled health plans must pay for all medically necessary treatment of severe mental illnesses under the same financial terms and conditions as they provide for physical illnesses. In particular, this ruling will help thousands of people suffering from eating disorders receive residential treatment crucial for recovery.
- Shepard v. United Healthcare Ins. Co., 2011 WL 720063 (E.D.Cal. 2011) Ms. Kantor successfully petitioned the California Department of Managed Health Care on behalf of a client with anorexia being discharged from a residential care facility, forcing her insurer to agree to pay for her treatment.
- Martinez v. The Beverly Hills Hotel, 695 F.Supp.2d 1085 (C.D. Cal. 2010)
- Jacobs v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc., 265 Fed.Appx. 652, 2008 (9th Cir. 2008) Ms. Kantor recovered benefits for a client suffering from bulimia when her medical plan declined to refer her to an out-of-plan treatment facility and refused to pay for the cost of treatment. The California Court of Appeal ruled that the decision to place the plaintiff in residential treatment, rather than follow the health insurers flawed treatment decisions, may have saved her life.
- Keller v. Albertsons, Inc. Employees’ Disability Benefits Plan, 589 F.Supp.2d 1025 (C.D. Cal. 2008)
- Shane v. Albertson’s Inc., 504 F.3d 116 (9th Cir. 2007)
- Welch v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 480 F.3d 942 (9th Cir. 2007)
- Bowen v. Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. Employee Welfare Benefit Plan, 461 F.Supp.2d 1179 (C.D. Cal. 2006)
- Thompkins v. BC Life and Health Ins. Co., 414 F.Supp.2d 953 (C.D. Cal. 2006)The first published appellate decision in California for an eating disorder case where her client was denied benefits for in-patient treatment of bulimia. The Court of Appeal interpreted California's mental health parity law to include beneficiaries from California policies who did not live in California and sought medical care outside of California.
- Vu v. Prudential Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 33P.3d 487 (2001)
- State Bar of California, 1983
- California Supreme Court
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- Herberg v. California Institute of the Arts (2002) 101 Cal.App.4th 142
- Migliore v. Mid-Century Ins. Co. (2002) 97 Cal.App.4th 592
- Vu v. Prudential Property & Casualty Co. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 1142
- Lorenz v. Commercial Acceptance Ins. Co. (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 981
- Howard v. Babcock (1993) 6 Cal.4th 409
- University of Southern California v. Superior Court (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 1028
- U.S. ex rel. Stillwell v. Hughes Helicopters, Inc. (C.D. 1989) 714 F. Supp. 1084
- Southern Nights Music Co. v. Moses (C.D. 1987) 669 F. Supp. 305
In The News
- Profiled, “Into the Snake Pit” Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine 2019
- Ms. Kantor explains the impact of insurer denials of benefits for residential care | Watch YouTube Video
- The Eating Disorders Coalition applauds Lisa Kantor for her outstanding leadership in holding insurance companies accountable
- Ms. Kantor's speech to a Congressional Committee considering passage of the FREED Act
- Ms. Kantor's argument before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Harlick v. Blue Shield
- Ms. Kantor's CBS 2 News Chicago interview about eating disorders and insurance | Read Article
- CBS News Anchor Pat Harvey interviewed Lisa Kantor and her client Valerie McCann in a segment airing May 13, 2011, about how health plan denials of residential treatment for eating disorders can lead to more serious health problems.
- Interviewed in Daryl Robert's 2011 documentary, "America the Beautiful: Health for Sale," film about body image and the media's role in advancing unrealistic expectations.
- Interviewed by Allison Kreiger in her eating disorder awareness DVD "Get REAL," distributed to colleges and universities nationwide.
- Member, Board of Directors, Eating Disorder Coalition for Research, Policy and Action
- Member, Board of Directors, International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals
- Since 2018, she has been selected by her peers to be included in the Best Lawyers in America® for Insurance Law
- Project Heal and Reasons Eating Disorder Center "Eating Disorder Advocate of the Year" 2016
- Recognized in Super Lawyers since 2009
- Los Angeles Daily Journal "Top Women Lawyers" 2009 and 2012
- California Women Lawyers 2010-11 "Women of Distinction" award
- San Francisco Recorder "Lawyer of the Year" award 2012
- International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation 2012 "Special Recognition" award
- Super Lawyers "Top Women Attorneys in Southern California" 2012 and 2013