ontario airport

A judge ruled in favor of the city of Ontario, allowing it to continue its battle for control of L.A./Ontario International Airport.

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 09/25/13, 2:58 PM PDT |

RIVERSIDE >> A Superior Court judge has rejected a motion by Los Angeles to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Ontario to wrest control of the airport in its own backyard from L.A.

Attorneys for Los Angeles challenged the lawsuit during a court hearing Wednesday morning, arguing Ontario had no legal grounds to sue and that as part of a joint-powers agreement, or JPA, Ontario had agreed to sell L.A./Ontario International Airport to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles World Airports – which operates Los Angeles International Airport, the Van Nuys airport and the Ontario airport – is a department of the city of Los Angeles.

“With the ruling, everything is now on the table and Ontario has all its arrows in the quiver,” said Roy Goldberg, an attorney for Ontario.

The case is being handled in Riverside County because neither Ontario nor Los Angeles is in that jurisdiction.

In the first major hurdle for local control of ONT, attorneys for Ontario were able to convince the judge to overturn portions of his tentative ruling, which would have sided with L.A., finding that the JPA clearly stated that upon termination of the agreement, L.A. would have retained all the rights and title to the Ontario airport.

But attorneys for Ontario requested the court hold off until more facts come in.

“The judge wisely decided to see what the facts disclose and what the discovery discloses,” said Andre Cronthall, an attorney for Ontario.

Ontario can now proceed with its lawsuit, which will aim to rescind or reform the terms of the agreement.

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