Airlines Have Been ‘Bullying’ Passengers for a Long Time, United Passenger’s Lawyer Says
“What happened to my Dad should have never happened to any human being, regardless of the circumstance.”
The lawyers and daughter of David Dao, the doctor dragged off a United Airlines flight, spoke out for the first time since the incident on Thursday, saying there will likely be a lawsuit.
“In the world of common carriers, they have the highest duty of care to provide protection and safety to its fair paying passengers. As we all saw in the video, that was not done,” Thomas Demetrio, an aviation lawyer and the legal representation for Dao, told reporters.
“Will there be a lawsuit? Yeah, probably,” he said. “Maybe airlines need to start expecting the unexpected.”
A video of Dao went viral after police forced him off an overbooked flight when he refused to voluntarily leave the cabin. His head hit an armrest as he was being dragged, leaving his face bloodied. Dao suffered a broken nose and a concussion, and he lost two teeth, according to his lawyer.
Air travelers around the world reacted in shock and anger online, threatening to boycott United over the incident.
United struggled to respond in the wake of the accident, issuing a series of statements that many in the media and online slammed as dismissive. In CEO Oscar Munoz's latest statement, however, he said the airline takes “full responsibility.”
"This will never happen again,” Munoz then promised in an interview with ABC's “Good Morning America” Wednesday.
Dao's lawyers filed a request for information regarding the incident with a local Illinois court Wednesday — the first sign that he might look to sue the airline.
His daughter, Crystal Pepper, expressed her thanks for support from people all over the world, and insisted that steps must be taken to prevent similar situations from occurring.
“What happened to my Dad should have never happened to any human being, regardless of the circumstance,” she said.