An attorney for the man forcibly dragged from a United flight earlier this week said passenger Dr. David Dao suffered serious injuries and that both the airline and city of Chicago are responsible.
Dao’s attorney, Thomas Demetrio, said at a press conference Thursday morning that Dao suffered a significant concussion and a broken nose, lost two front teeth and would need reconstructive surgery after three aviation officers dragged him off a Louisville-bound flight at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
Demetrio also also said that Dao, who is from Vietnam, said the experience of being dragged from the flight was more horrifying than fleeing his home country.
Dao was discharged from the hospital late Wednesday night and had no memory of going back on the plane due to the concussion, Demetrio added. Demetrio said Dao will eventually speak publicly about the matter and that Dao wants no part of an airport at this time and will likely be driven to his home in Kentucky. Demetrio dismissed the idea that the incident was racially motivated, a theory that led to discussions on Chinese social media of a United boycott.
“We’ll file the suit when our investigative work is done,” said Demetrio when asked when he expected the lawsuit to be filed. “I don’t have a clue when that will be.”
Demetrio said United CEO Oscar Munoz had not reached out to the family and that his eventual apology seemed “staged,” but that the family accepted it with gratitude. In an email to United employees, Munoz had said that Dao was “disruptive and belligerent.”
We continue to express our sincerest apology to Dr. Dao,” said a United media relations in a statement to Yahoo News. ” We cannot stress enough that we remain steadfast in our commitment to make this right. This horrible situation has provided a harsh learning experience from which we will take immediate, concrete action. We have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again.”
Crystal Pepper, Dao’s daughter, delivered a statement during the press conference expressing gratitude for the outpouring of support for her father and the medical staff that helped in his recovery.
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