City of Los Angeles v. AECOM Services, No. 15-56606 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Two disabled individuals filed suit against the City, alleging that the City's FlyAway bus facility and service failed to meet the accessibility standards set forth in Title II of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12131 et seq.; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.; and various California statutes. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the FlyAway bus facility in Van Nuys had been constructed in such a manner that it was inaccessible by disabled individuals. The City then filed a third-party complaint against AECOM and Tutor, alleging that pursuant to the contract entered into by the City and the company hired to design and construct the Van Nuys FlyAway facility (which was AECOM's predecessor-in-interest), AECOM was obligated to defend, indemnify, and hold the City harmless to all suits. The City also alleged a similar claim against Tutor. The court held that Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act do not preempt a city's state-law claims for breach of contract and de facto contribution against contractors who breach their contractual duty to perform services in compliance with federal disability regulations. In this case, the court applied the presumption against preemption and concluded that Congress did not indicate a clear and manifest purpose to preempt claims for state-law indemnification or contribution filed by a public entity against a contractor. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.