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United Airlines Settles With Doctor Who Was Bloodied & Dragged Off Flight

By Stephen Gossett in News on Apr 27, 2017 7:40PM


The doctor whose violent dragging from a United airlines flight triggered international outrage has settled with the airline for his injuries.

A provision in the settlement, which was reached on Thursday, specifies that the terms of the amount be kept confidential, according to a press release sent to Chicagoist from Dao's legal counsel.

If we had to guess a figure, we'd guess pretty high—and then go higher.

Thomas Demetrio, who along with attorney Stephen L. Golan represented Dr. David Dao, had all kind words for United and the company's ever-beleaguered CEO, Oscar Munoz, on Thursday afternoon amid the reached agreement.

Demetrio said in the release:

“Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has. In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded."

Dao was dragged down the aisle by Chicago aviation officers, who were called by airline staff. Three officers remain on leave pending an investigation by the Chicago Department of Aviation.

Demetrio noted that the settlement agreement arrives the same day that United unveiled a host of new operating procedures—including the announcement that the airline would pay up to $10,000 to bump a passenger.

"Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers," Demetrio added. "I sincerely hope that all other airlines make similar changes and follow United’s lead in helping to improve the passenger flying experience with an emphasis on empathy, patience, respect and dignity."

Dao, a 69-year-old Kentucky doctor, suffered a broken nose and concussion and lost two front teeth in the infamous dragging incident, according to Demetrio. Dao, who said he had patients to treat the next day, refused to be bumped from his fully booked flight in order to make space for airline staff. The fiasco, you'll surely recall, launched a public-relations nightmare—and subsequent ongoing triage—for United airlines.

This post will be updated as necessary.