Removal Of United Passenger Shines Light On Airport Police

"We are deeply sorry this happened to Dr. Dao, and we apologize to him and to the customers who witnessed this appalling scene", said one of United's executives.

The passenger dragged from a United Airlines plane in Chicago in an incident that sparked worldwide outrage and turned into a public relations nightmare for the carrier, will likely sue the company, his attorney said on Thursday. Dao was removed from the plane after he refused to give up his seat on the full flight from Chicago to Louisville to make room for four crew members.

The man dragged off a United Airlines flight, sparking an worldwide uproar, suffered a broken nose and concussion, his lawyer said Thursday, adding that he is planning to sue. "Are we going to continue to be treated like cattle?" Dao was not there.

David Dao, 69, is still in the hospital for a concussion, broken nose and other injuries suffered as police officers pulled him from his seat after Dao refused to give it away to accommodate United employees.

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 also said he doesn't believe Dao's race - Dao came to the US from Vietnam in 1975 during the fall of Saigon - played a role in what happened. She said her parents were returning home from vacation and making a connection in Chicago out of California.

For Dao, who came to the USA after fleeing Vietnam by boat in 1975 when Saigon fell, being dragged off the plane "was more horrifying and harrowing than what he experienced in leaving Vietnam", Demetrio said. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what's broken so this never happens again.

She said her husband shooed the scorpion off his tray and it landed in the aisle, catching the attention of a nearby passenger who cried, "Oh my god, that's a scorpion".

Meanwhile, one of the 70 passengers onboard the flight offered more details about the incident.

It also exposed a corporate culture in which airlines - and United in particular - have long "bullied" passengers, he said.

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.

United, in a statement, said Munoz and the company "called Dr Dao on numerous occasions to express our heartfelt and deepest apologies".

Demetrio and a second attorney, Stephen Golan, said neither they nor the family had heard from United yet.

Demetrio said his client accepts the apology.

However, even though Janson said the airline acted in accordance with the law - putting aside the violent way in which the situation was handled, which does spark legal questions - he said it shouldn't have been United's first option. But he says he dropped it on his plate and when he went to pick it up, that's when the scorpion stung him.

Though Munoz said he attempted to contact the Dao and his wife, Demetrio said he feels Munoz "misspoke", adding that that didn't happen. After what happened, Dao "has no interest in ever seeing an airplane" and will probably be driven to Kentucky, Demetrio said.

Fuller said he and the other passengers - a military family with a young child, members of a high school lacrosse team and business travelers - were seated and buckled when a United employee came aboard and said that four people would have to leave the plane.

Video of the incident, which has gone viral on social media, shows three security officers from the Chicago Department of Aviation pulling the passenger out of his seat, and in the ensuing struggle, hitting his head on the armrest. Those cities have sworn, armed airport police officers.

  • Zachary Reyes