A passenger who was forcefully dragged out of a United Airlines flight earlier this week suffered a concussion, a broken nose and teeth as a result of the high-profile incident. A video of the incident involving 69-year-old physician David Dao showing the man bloodied and physically dragged out of the aircraft as fellow passengers screamed in horror, has gone viral.
According to a CNN news report, Dao’s attorneys have filed a chancery motion, asking all evidence in the case be preserved. Attorney Thomas Demetrio, who is representing Dao, said even though his client has two years to file the lawsuit, it won’t be that long and it will likely be filed in Cook County, Illinois, against United and the city of Chicago whose Department of Aviation officers were involved in removing Dao from the plane.
In the video, Dao can be seen bleeding and knocked out unconscious as he is dragged from his seat along the plane’s aisle and out. His attorney said Dao has suffered a “significant concussion” as a result of the incident. He also lost two front teeth, has a broken nose and injuries to his sinuses. The injuries are so severe that he will need reconstructive surgery, his attorney said.
He also said that Dao, one of the “boat people” who fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975, told him that the United Airlines experience was more traumatic than what he experienced during his escape from Vietnam. Dao’s daughter, Crystal, also spoke at the news conference saying the incident occurred when her parents were coming back home from vacation.
Dao was one of the passengers asked to deplane to make room for crew members who needed to get to Louisville. When the airline did not get any volunteers, it randomly picked passengers, including Dao and wide to get off the plane. He refused to do so saying he and his wife, both doctors, needed to get back home to see patients the next day. Other passengers said Dao was not acting belligerent and didn’t even raise his voice. He only began to scream when security officers pried him from his seat. Passengers said Dao hit his head on an armrest and went limp as the officers pulled him out.
Mistreatment of Passengers
This incident is not about overbooking, which airlines routinely do. It’s about how this particular airline company chose to treat a human being, let alone a paying customer. Instead of trying to find solutions or offering him a more appealing incentive to disembark, United officials chose to summon the officers to forcefully get Dao off the plane – resorting to violence in the process. We hope Dao gets the justice he rightfully deserves and that the United Airlines officials responsible for making the call on his removal are held accountable.