April 27, 2017
United Settles with Passenger Dragged off Flight
As you know by now, United is still trying to regain face after video broke of Dr. Dao being dragged off United flight 3411. Here’s a refresher of what happened. The flight was overbooked, and when no one accepted United’s $800 voucher offer to switch flights, United involuntarily bumped four passengers. Dr. Dao was forcibly removed when he refused to give up his paid seat willingly. He ended up suffering a concussion as well as having several teeth knocked out as he was dragged off the plane. United CEO Oscar Munoz issued a formal apology about a week later.
It looks like United is eager to put this incident behind them. United confirmed this morning that it just settled Dr. Dao’s lawsuit. The airline said “We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411. We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do.”
Thomas Demetrio, the lawyer representing Dr. Dao, had kind words for United CEO Oscar Munoz this morning, saying “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.”
This was a confidential settlement, so we don’t know how much United ended up paying. However, I expect United had to pay a substantial premium to keep this case from going to trial, considering how much negative publicity it would receive from a public trial. I image Dr. Dao was well compensated for his injuries.