Ninth Circuit Affirms Right of Disabled American To Sue United Airlines For Negligence

English: The Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of...
English: The Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals Building, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Pasadena, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





For Immediate Release




March 12, 2013




Ninth Circuit Affirms Right of Disabled American to Sue United Airlines for Negligence




San Francisco, CA — In an important, published opinion, the Ninth Circuit reinstated Michelle Gilstrap’s case against United Airlines for failing to accommodate her disabilities as required by the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). In a case of first impression, the Court agreed with Ms. Gilstrap that disabled Americans can bring state law based negligence claims against airlines, so long as the standard of care with which the carriers must comply is the federal ACAA. The ACAA includes a set of rules establishing how the airlines must accommodate disabled passengers. Michelle Gilstrap is a disabled American who traveled on United Airlines in August 2008. During this trip Michelle Gilstrap alleges that United Air Lines failed to comply with the standards set forth in the ACAA, by failing to provide a wheel chair and other assistance required by the ACAA — by requiring proper assistance in transporting disabled passengers around the airport and between flights.




The Court rejected United Air Lines’ argument that the ACAA prevented Ms. Gilstrap from suing it. Ms. Gilstrap successfully argued that Congress did not intend to preclude disabled Americans from suing airlines when those airlines act in such a way that they injure, or cause further injuries, to disabled passengers.




“This decision,” according to Mr. Mark Meuser, who represented Ms. Gilstrap during the appeal, “is a great victory for disabled airline passengers. It sends a message to the airlines that, throughout the Ninth Circuit, they can be held accountable for their failure to treat such passengers in a manner consistent with the law.”




To see a copy of the Court’s order, please visit:




For more information, please contact:


The Meuser Law Group


Mark P. Meuser, Esq.


(415) 577-2850


(925) 262-4656 – Facsimile





11 Comments Add yours

  1. Sorry you have to go through this, Michelle. Good to know that this phase of the case worked out for you. Hopefully, things will go well as you continue to fight this good fight.


    1. Rich,
      Thank you for your comment, as you know we are setting new ground here, and it has been a long fight. I have an excellent team. I appreciate you re-blogging this because the wider we circulate this the harder it is going to be for them.

  2. Reblogged this on Bradford & Bradford, Attorneys at Law – The Blog.

  3. Kudos to YOU… You are doing a great service in helping others with Your Voice…

    1. Carly,
      Thanks for your reply and for stopping by. Getting this decision out is going to be essential for many others to know since there are so many disabled people who have been mistreated by the airlines.

  4. I am happy to see that the court ruled in your favor. It is unacceptable how difficult travel has become for those with disabilities.

    1. Thanks Lynn, Sharing this post and getting this information out is so vital right now because many people have encountered the same issues but with greater problems.

  5. cookiecuckoo says:

    So glad to see this, Michelle! 🙂

  6. babfari says:

    It´s great to see this. Great work!

    1. Barb,
      It has been a long fight, but I hope it bring about change.

  7. lindabarlow says:

    Wow, good for you, Michelle….this is awesome! You’re doing a great service to many others….thank you!

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