Dr. David Dao, who rose to fame earlier this month after being dragged off a United Airlines flight by airport police, has reached a settlement agreement with the airline. The incident, which went viral after passenger-recorded footage was leaked online, has generated virulent consumer criticism and sparked policy changes at United.
Under the terms of the agreement, the amount of the settlement will be kept confidential. Dr. Dao is represented by Chicago personal injury Thomas Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio. According to Dao's lawyers, the 69-year-old lost two front teeth and suffered a broken nose and a concussion as a result of being dragged off the crowded plane. Dao had refused to give up his seat to airline employees trying to catch a connecting flight in Louisville, KY. While United CEO Oscar Munoz initially released a statement supporting the flight crew's actions, he has since issued a series of apologies. United's latest statement called the disastrous situation an "unfortunate incident" and claimed that United has at least 10 policy changes planned in response.
These policy changes include cutting back the use of law enforcement on plans, not forcing passengers who are already seated to give up their seats, and offering up to $10,000 in travel credit to those who volunteer to give up seats when necessary. Southwest Airlines announced this week it will stop overbooking flights entirely in response to the Dao catastrophe.
Dr. Dao and his attorneys are happy with the terms of the settlement agreement as is the airline. Demetrio said in a statement that his client was pleased with United and CEO Munoz for the prompt settlement, and that the airline has taken full responsibility for their actions.
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