David Dao & United Airlines Reached An "Amicable Settlement"
The passenger who was dragged off a United Airlines plane earlier this month has reportedly reached a settlement agreement with the airline. David Dao's lawyers announced Thursday that he has reached an "amicable settlement" with United Airlines. In a statement announcing the settlement, Dao's attorney, Thomas Demetrio, applauded United CEO Oscar Munoz's willingness "to do the right thing" and take responsibility.
"Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has," Demetrio said in the statement released Thursday, per CBS News. "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."
According to Dao's attorneys, the exact amount of the settlement is to remain confidential per a condition set forth by United Airlines, and agreed to by Dao.
According to The Chicago Tribune, Dao had suffered a concussion, a broken nose, and a sinus injury when he was forcibly dragged off a United Airlines plane by local law enforcement at Chicago O'Hare International Airport on April 9. The flight's crew had reportedly ordered Dao to give up his seat for commuting United Airlines crew members. When Dao refused, they asked local police to physically remove him from the plane.
Video showing Chicago police dragging a limp and bloodied Dao down the aisle of Flight 3411 went viral earlier this month, sparking outrage worldwide as many consumers vowed to boycott the airline. In an effort to stem some of the backlash, the airline recently rolled out a series of 10 policy changes. These include not forcibly bumping already-seated passengers, requiring commuting crew members to book seats at least an hour before departure, limiting the use of law enforcement on planes to safety and security reasons, and offering passengers up to $10,000 to voluntarily give up their seats.
"Actions speak louder than words," Munoz said Wednesday in a statement announcing the policy changes, according to The Los Angeles Times. "Today, we are taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right." Munoz had previously faced severe criticism for defending his employees' actions and characterizing Dao as "disruptive and belligerent." He later walked back on those comments, saying the airline took "full responsibility" for the incident and would "work to make it right."
Dao's attorneys have also applauded United for taking steps to change the policies that led to their client being forcibly dragged from a flight in the first place. "Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers," Demetrio said in a statement.