United passenger suffers concussion, nose teeth injures

Lawyer says airlines apology ‘staged’ after David Dao violently removed from flight

United passenger suffers concussion, nose teeth injures

World Bulletin / News Desk

 A United Airlines passenger suffered a concussion, broken nose and lost teeth when he was wrenched from his seat and dragged down the aisle of a plane, the man’s lawyer said Thursday.

Dr. David Dao underwent reconstructive surgery before being released from the hospital, Tom Demetrio told reporters at a news conference in Chicago.

“He has no interest in ever seeing an airplane,” Demetrio said of his client. “I guess he will be driving to Kentucky,” he added, from where Dao and his wife were scheduled to fly home before the violent incident. The drive between the two cities takes about 4.5 hours.

Demetrio said the family plans to file a lawsuit once the lawyer's investigators are completed and hinted that United Airlines may not be the only defendant in the case.

The doctor’s legal team asked a court to force United Airlines and the city to retain all video and flight records pertaining to the flight, including the personnel records of the Chicago Department of Aviation officers who dragged Dao off the plane. Three officers have already been suspended as the city investigates the incident.  

"Just because United is responsible doesn't mean the city of Chicago isn't responsible,” he said. 

Online videos captured on mobile phones by passengers on the flight show Dao manhandled by airport law enforcement on a United Airlines flight from Chicago, Illinois, to Louisville, Kentucky. The videos have gone viral and stirred international outrage and charges of racism against the Vietnamese passenger.

The disturbing episode began when the airline offered as much as $800 to passengers who gave up their seats to allow crew members to fly. But not enough customers volunteered, prompting a random selection, according to United Airlines.

After three passengers agreed to relinquish their seats, Dao said he was a doctor and could not give up his seat because he had appointments the following day.

Airport law enforcement were summoned and forcibly removed Dao, whose protests and screams were ignored and he suffered a bloodied face apparently after he hit his head on an armrest.

In the videos, one passenger is heard anxiously screaming: “No! This is wrong. Oh my God! Look at what you did to him.”

Another video that surfaced Tuesday shows a rattled Dao back on the plane, standing in the aisle as repeatedly muttered: “Kill me, just kill me”.

Demetrio said the concussion has caused Dao to have had "zero memory of going back on that plane".

In its response to the controversy, United Airlines has stumbled in its attempt to handle what has turned into a public relations nightmare for the airline.

Demetrio said the family accepts “with gratitude” the airline’s “staged” apology.

In a hurried reaction Monday after backlash mushroomed on social media, United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized “for having to re-accommodate these customers” — further exasperating the denizens of the online community.

The response by law enforcement was “standard procedure” but Dao’s refusal to leave was “disruptive and belligerent”, Munoz said.

A day later he changed course in a new statement. 

“Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard,” Munoz said. “No one should ever be mistreated this way.” 

United Airlines has since issued a refund to all passengers on the flight.

Details emerged Tuesday that the flight, earlier described by the airline as overbooked, had only been fully booked, meaning there was room for all passengers.

But the airline needed to transport four of its employees to work in Louisville the next day, resulting in the need for re-accommodations.

 

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Nisan 2017, 06:49
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