The man who was forcefully removed from a United Airlines flight is taking the initial steps to file a lawsuit against the airline. Attorneys for Dr. David Dao have filed a motion in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois and have requested that United keep surveillance videos, incident reports, and passenger and crew lists.
The incident began when United Airlines asked passengers that had boarded the plane to give up their seat for crew members. United had initially offered passengers $400 and a hotel to rebook their flight the following afternoon if they would be willing to give up their seat for a crew member. When no one offered to take the deal, United increased the offer to $800. Again, no passengers offered to give up their seat.
United claims that a computer then randomly selected which passengers had to depart the flight they had already boarded. Dr. David Dao was selected, but he refused to get up when he was asked to leave. Dr. Dao said that he would not give up his seat because he is a doctor and needed to see patients the next morning.
Videos spread across the Internet of Dr. Dao being approached by security, pulled from his seat and dragged down the aisle screaming. The Chicago Aviation Department employee who dragged Dao off the plane has been suspended and two other officers have been placed on administrative leave.
The United CEO Oscar Munoz has stated that Dao was not at fault for the situation. As a result of this incident, Munoz stated that United will no longer ask law enforcement to remove passengers who have boarded an oversold flight.
The New York Times reported that Dr. Dao’s nose was broken, he lost two front teeth, has sinus problems and suffered a concussion due to being dragged off the plane by police. Dr. Dao’s lawyer stated that his client would need reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Dao fled Vietnam in 1970 and currently works in Kentucky. He and his wife have five children, four of whom are doctors.
Dr. Dao’s lawyer said that Dr. Dao is quietly recovering and that the lawsuit would likely be filed in Illinois.