October 3, 2023

On September 29, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Márquez issued a ruling approving a final class settlement in the case Toomey v. State of Arizona. Ending five years of litigation, the consent decree permanently prohibits the state of Arizona from excluding gender-affirming care from its employee health plan.

Initially filed in 2019, Willkie and the ACLU pursued a pro bono class action lawsuit against the State of Arizona and the Arizona Board of Regents for denying medically necessary, gender-confirming healthcare to transgender people employed by the state. In June 2023,  Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs issued an executive order removing the ban on gender-affirming surgery for transgender state employees. The executive order followed years of litigation in which Willkie and the ACLU prevailed against State Defendants and the prior Arizona administration, including on motions to dismiss and to certify the classes, as well as in their vigorous pursuit of discovery, even up to the Ninth Circuit.  

In its recent decree, the Court also further denied a request from Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen and Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Ben Toma to weigh in on the case via a brief amicus curiae, which Willkie and the ACLU had opposed. 

More information about Toomey v. State of Arizona can be found here.

The Willkie team included partners Wesley R. Powell, Jordan C. Wall, Matthew Freimuth and Nicholas Reddick, and associates Justin Garbacz, Ciara Sisco, Natalia Benitez, Brandon Villa, Jacob Pargament, and Kim Aquino.