Jerry Flanagan is Consumer Watchdog's Litigation Director. Flanagan leads Consumer Watchdog’s litigation efforts in the areas of health insurance coverage and access to treatments, internet privacy, the California Public Records Act, and First Amendment issues. He has 25 years experience working in public interest and health care policy, legislation and litigation.
Flanagan has spearheaded efforts to address discrimination against those with HIV and other serious illnesses in the era of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare").
Flanagan was counsel of record in a case before the United States Supreme Court where he and other Consumer Watchdog counsel represented plaintiffs living with HIV in a suit against CVS for discrimination, including CVS's failure to provide medically appropriate dispensing of HIV medications and access to necessary counseling. After Consumer Watchdog’s unanimous win in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, CVS petitioned to the high court for review. Review was granted and the case was briefed, but CVS unexpectedly dropped the case, leaving the earlier victory intact. Doe v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (9th Cir. 2020) 982 F.3d 1204, cert. granted in part, (2021) 141 S. Ct. 2882, and cert. dismissed sub nom. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. v. Doe, One (2021) 142 S. Ct. 480.
Flanagan is an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, where he previously taught the class "Health Insurance Regulation: Law, Policy & Politics."
Flanagan exposed the illegal practice of health insurers retroactively canceling coverage and authored a law journal article underscoring the need for reform in health insurance rescission law, Healthy State of Mind: The Role of Intent in Health Plan Rescissions, 43 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 291 (2009). An “intentional misrepresentation” standard for coverage rescissions, advocated by the article, was adopted in the ACA.
Prior to joining Consumer Watchdog, Flanagan drafted and won passage of one of the nation’s strongest HMO accountability measure, which was signed into law in New Jersey in 2001.
Flanagan received a B.A. in Social/Cultural Anthropology and Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley and his law degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. At Loyola Flanagan was a Note and Comment Editor on the Loyola Law Review, and he graduated Magna Cum Laude and is a member of the Order of the Coif, Sayre Macneil Scholars Program, St. Thomas More Law Honor Society, and Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society.
Flanagan was admitted to the California Bar in 2010.