David Dao, the doctor who was forcefully removed from an overbooked United Airlines flight in the United States last Sunday, suffered a “significant concussion” and other injuries, including a broken nose, CNN reported on Thursday. Addressing reporters in Chicago, Dao’s attorney Thomas Demetrio said the 69-year-old physician, who was bodily dragged out of the flight by aviation security officers, will file a lawsuit against the airline. While he did not specify when Dao would sue, the lawyer said it would not take long.
A video showing Dao being dragged out of his seat by Chicago policemen had sparked social media outrage. The flight was leaving Chicago’s O’Hare Airport for Louiseville, Kentucky. The airline had apologised for the “overbook situation” and because passengers had to be re-accommodated.
“If you’re going to eject a passenger, under no circumstances can it be done with unreasonable force or violence. That’s the law,” Demetrio said. “For a long time, airlines – United, in particular – have bullied us...We want respect, and we want dignity. That’s it. Not a big deal.”
Besides a broken nose and a concussion, the incident left Dao with two broken front teeth and damaged sinuses. He will also have to undergo reconstructive surgery to recover, Demetrio added.
Meanwhile, Canada has decided to introduce a legislation to address the matter of travelers being taken off flights, the country’s transportation minister said on Thursday. Marc Garneau sent a letter to the heads of every airline flying in and out of the country, warning them that an incident like the one that has drawn United Airlines widespread criticism should not happen in Canada.