New York (USA): A 69-year-old Vietnamese-American who was forcibly removed from a flight of United Airlines in Chicago will “probably” file a lawsuit for “unreasonable force and violence” that led to a ‘significant’ concussion, broken nose and loss of two front teeth, his lawyer said.
David Dao, the doctor who was videotaped being dragged by police officers, has filed an emergency court request for the airline to preserve evidence, signalling that he would fight back the case in court.
At a news conference in Chicago, Dao’s attorney Thomas Demetrio said “unreasonable force and violence” was used to remove Dao from the plane before it left O’Hare International Airport.
Demetrio said Dao suffered ‘significant’ concussion, broken nose and lost two front teeth because of violence against him. The victim may also undergo surgery later.
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“Maybe airlines need to start expecting the unexpected, but not at the expense, certainly not at the physical expense, of its paying passengers,” he said, adding the lawsuit could focus on how passengers can be treated on flights.
Earlier, Dao filed the emergency “bill of discovery” against the Chicago-based carrier in Illinois State Court demanding that evidence documenting Sunday’s “re- accommodation” aboard a Kentucky-bound plane be “preserved and protected”, CNBC reported.
That includes all surveillance videos, cockpit voice recordings, passenger and crew lists, incident reports and other items.
As the flight waited to depart from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Louisville, Kentucky, officers grabbed the doctor from a window seat, pulling him across the armrest and dragging him down the aisle by his arms. He was later shown with blood on his face.
Dao “currently has no access to them and believes that serious prejudice” will befall his case if the items are not safeguarded, the court papers stated.
United Airlines chief executive Oscar Munoz has said on Twitter that the incident was “upsetting”. He said they had to “re-accommodate” Dao. Three of the officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.
US President Donald Trump has said what happened to Dao was “horrible”.In an Oval Office interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump suggested that this kind of incident could be avoided in the future if carriers remove the upper limits on vouchers they offer passengers in return for giving up their seats, the report said.
Before they began picking names, United offered passengers USD 400 and a hotel room to give up their seats, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. When no one volunteered, the offer was increased to USD 800.