Passenger who was dragged off jetliner settles with United
CHICAGO — The passenger who was dragged off a flight after refusing to give up his seat settled with United for an undisclosed sum Thursday in an apparent attempt by the airline to put the fiasco behind it as quickly as possible.
David Dao’s legal team said the agreement includes a provision that the amount will remain confidential. One his lawyers praised United CEO Oscar Munoz.
Munoz “said he was going to do the right thing, and he has,” attorney Thomas Demetrio said in a brief statement. “In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened … without attempting to blame others, including the city of Chicago.”
The settlement came less than three weeks after the episode and before Dao had even sued. The deal means United will not face a lawsuit, which could have been costly, both in legal bills and in further damage to the airline’s reputation.
United issued a brief statement, saying it was pleased to report “an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard Flight 3411.”
The dragging was one of several recent embarrassments for United.
The airline was criticized in March after a gate agent stopped two teenage girls from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings — an apparent violation of a dress code for passengers traveling in a program for employees and their dependents. Then a giant showcase rabbit died this week after it was shipped across the Atlantic on a United flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to O’Hare.
Cellphone video of the April 9 confrontation aboard a jetliner at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport sparked widespread public outrage over the way Dao was treated.
The footage showed airport police officers pulling the 69-year-old Kentucky physician from his seat and dragging him down the aisle. His lawyer said he lost teeth and suffered a broken nose and a concussion.
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