Legal Staff Writer
In a release on Thursday, April 27, 2017, David Dao’s attorneys announced that the doctor had reached a settlement with United Airlines for an undisclosed amount. The confidential settlement was reached a mere two weeks following the now infamous incident that culminated in the doctor losing two teeth, suffering a broken nose and being diagnosed with a concussion at the hands of overtly aggressive law enforcement on a United flight.
On April 9, 2017, Dao, a physician from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was dragged off a plane after refusing to voluntarily give up his seat for one of four United crew members that needed to be transported to make a connecting flight. To make room for the crew members on an already overbooked flight, United offered passengers on Flight 3411 $400 and then $800 to give up their seats that they booked and paid for. However, not enough passengers took the offer and the airline subsequently turned to a random draw; Dao was selected, but then refused. His unwavering stance resulted in the events that would shock the public after a video of the incident went viral.
In response to the massive backlash United has faced from the incident, the company has assumed full responsibility for the events. Because of this, Dao has decided not to pursue a separate lawsuit against the city of Chicago. Along with assuming complete culpability, CEO Oscar Munoz has implemented major policy changes for the airline. Munoz announced that United will no longer be forcing passengers to give up their seats “unless safety of security is an issue,” and if such a situation should arise, the incentive to free up seats has now increased to $10,000. In addition, the company stated that they will also be limiting the use of law enforcement to solve related disputes.
According to Dr. Dao’s attorney, “Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers.” Both parties are working to ensure that passenger safety, respect and dignity is at the utmost concern of not just United, but all other airlines as well.
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