Gilstrap v. United Air Lines, Inc., No. 11-55271 (9th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, who has difficulty walking because of certain health problems, alleged that United did not provide her with adequate assistance moving through the airport on two airplane trips and that she suffered physical and emotional injuries as a result. The court held that the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), 49 U.S.C. 40101 et seq., and its implementing regulations preempted state and territorial standards of care with respect to the circumstances which airlines must provide assistance to passengers with disabilities in moving through the airport. The ACAA did not, however, preempt any state remedies that could be available when airlines violated those standards. The court also held that the ACAA and its implementing regulations did not preempt state-law personal injury claims involving how airline agents interact with passengers with disabilities who requested assistance in moving through the airport. Finally, the court held that a terminal used for transportation by aircraft was excluded from definition as a Title III-covered place of public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12181 et seq. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded in part.