Guerra v. West LA College
On April 30, 2020, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of students with disabilities seeking access to West Los Angeles College (WLAC).
The Ninth Circuit found that requiring students with disabilities to access their education in ways that remained after the shuttle was stopped was an unfair burden on them because of their disabilities. As a result, the District Court will need to evaluate what reasonable steps WLAC can take to provide equal access, such as the shuttle service that the college used previously to provide access to all students, staff, and visitors with disabilities.
The original lawsuit was filed on September 20, 2016 in federal district court, alleging violations of state and federal anti-discrimination laws that require public entities to provide people with disabilities meaningful access to their programs and services, against West Los Angeles College (WLAC) on behalf of plaintiff students with mobility disabilities, Charles Guerra, Chrystal, and Karlton Bontrager. WLAC is a community college in Culver City located on a hill with steep, uneven terrain that people with mobility disabilities experience difficulty traversing. WLAC previously operated a campus shuttle that prioritized service to students with disabilities, allowing plaintiffs to safely reach all areas of the campus. WLAC terminated the campus last year. Without the shuttle service, plaintiffs have experienced extreme hardship, humiliation and injury, and are at risk of being unable to complete their education.