Heather L. Richardson is a litigation partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on health care, insurance, and class action matters. She has extensive experience in state and federal court at both the trial and appellate level, as well as in both domestic and international arbitrations.
Ms. Richardson has represented health plans and plan sponsors in a variety of lawsuits, arbitrations, and government inquiries on a wide range of issues including reimbursement policy, coverage determinations, quality of care, pharmacy benefits, and provider contracting.
- Securing a $37.4 million jury verdict against a group of surgery centers found liable for fraud, interference with contract, and unjust enrichment.
- Defeating certification of a putative class of members who were denied coverage for behavioral health care they received at residential treatment centers and who challenged the health plan's medical necessity determinations.
- Obtaining the complete dismissal with prejudice of a mass action brought by a group of surgery centers challenging facility reimbursement rates against a health plan and hundreds of its plan sponsors.
- Representing a managed care organization in a class action challenging the termination of network contracts with physicians, in which plaintiffs alleged causes of action for violation of the Lanham Act and California's Unfair Competition Law (Cal Bus. & Profs. Code § 17200 et seq).
- Securing complete dismissal of plaintiffs' claims against a managed care organization for wrongful death and denial of benefits, and ultimately the dismissal of the case in its entirety at summary judgment, in a highly-publicized lawsuit in which Plaintiffs alleged that a managed care organization caused the death of their daughter by denying coverage for a liver transplant.
- Serving as national coordinating counsel for contract disputes between health plans and providers arising out of the 2013 Executive Order sequestering Medicare payments.
- Securing complete victory for client in a confidential legal malpractice international arbitration.
- Representing a hospital system in multiple putative class actions in which plaintiffs assert claims for breach of privacy and a novel class theory for claims arising under California's Confidentiality of Medical Information Act.
- In an antitrust suit brought by a putative class of purchasers of pulse oximetry products, defeating class certification and winning summary judgment.
Professional Activities and Publications
Ms. Richardson was recently named one of the Top 40 Attorneys under 40 in California by the Daily Journal and one of the "Top Attorneys under 40" by Law360. Benchmark Litigation also named her to its "Under 40 List" which honors the achievements of the nation's most accomplished legal partners of the age 40 or younger and named her a California "Future Litigation Star" in 2018. Ms. Richardson was named a "Rising Star" and one of Southern California's top women attorneys for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 by Super Lawyers. Ms. Richardson speaks on panels and at conferences on issues related to managed care litigation, class actions, electronic discovery, women in the law, and legal ethics, and has co-authored the firm's biannual Electronic Discovery Review multiple times.
Ms. Richardson graduated from UCLA School of Law in 2006. Ms. Richardson also earned a degree of Master of Public Health from UCLA in 2006, with a specialization in Health Services. Ms. Richardson graduated cum laude from Yale University in 2002, with a double-major in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and History. Ms. Richardson currently serves on the Board of Directors of the UCLA School of Law Alumni Association, the Board of Directors for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, the Board of Directors for Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the Board of Directors for the Good Shepherd Shelter, and the Board of Directors for the Salastina Society for Chamber Music. Ms. Richardson also serves as a Lecturer in Law at UCLA School of Law.