United Airlines has reached an “amicable settlement” with Dr David Dao, the passenger dragged off a domestic US flight to make room for crew members. Dao’s lawyers say he suffered concussion, a broken nose and teeth.
Less than three weeks after Vietnamese-American doctor David Dao was dragged by his arms from a United Airlines flight at Chicago’s O’ Hare airport, the carrier has reached a settlement with the passenger.
An attorney for the 69-year-old Dao on Thursday said the two parties had agreed an undisclosed sum in compensation.
Lawyer Thomas Demetrio said United took “full responsibility” for what happened on Flight 3411 on April 9, when Dao was pulled out of his seat by airport officers and his face hit the armrest during the struggle.
The law firm, Corboy and Demetrio, tweeted its full statement.
The violent incident began when airline managers offered compensation to passengers to vacate their seats on the overbooked flight to make room for four airline employees who needed to travel for work purposes to the flight destination, Louisville, Kentucky.
When no one volunteered to leave the plane, four passengers were selected. They included Dao, who remained unwilling to leave the jet.
Dao suffered a concussion, a broken nose and teeth in the confrontation, according to his lawyers.
In a separate statement, the airline said: “We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411.”
“We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do,” the airline added in a statement.
Change of attitude
United has been trying to repair its image since the incident, which was filmed by fellow passengers and widely circulated on social media. It has published its own videos detailing its new customer service commitment.
The company also plans to change its overbooking policies, and will now offer passengers up to $10,000 (9,200 euros) in compensation for giving up a seat.
United’s CEO Oscar Munoz has apologized for the incident, and the carrier said it will train its customer service team to find “creative solutions” for passengers whose flights are disrupted or overbooked.
Demetrio’s law firm said the settlement included the release of Republic Airways and the city of Chicago, which employs the airport security officers, from any responsibility.
mm/jm (AFP, Reuters)