Dr. David Dao, the man who was physically dragged from a United Airlines flight after being requested to leave his seat when the airline had accidentally overbooked, has compared his ordeal to his experiences fleeing Vietnam in 1975. Dao’s attorney, Thomas Demetrio, made the remark during a Thursday press conference, where he explained how Dr. Dao suffered multiple injuries as a result of the incident.
During a press conference, attorney Thomas Demetrio launched a verbal tirade against United Airlines as he defended his client. During the Chicago event, he explained:
“Here’s the law – pure and simple. If you are going to eject a passenger, under no circumstances, can it be done with unreasonable force or violence.” He went on to explain “If unreasonable force or violence is used the common carrier – United Airlines in this case – is responsible. For each of us in this room, we owe each other a reasonable care standard. I’m not to be careless and hurt you, but in the world of common carriers, they have the highest duty of care to provide protection and safety to its fare-paying passengers.”
Dr. Dao was famously forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight, resulting in a busted lip and broken nose. During the press conference, his attorney also explained that his client, who fled Vietnam towards the end of the war, was more scared for his safety during the Sunday night event than he was in 1975 during the fall of Saigon.
Demetrio claimed that “He said that being dragged down the aisle was more horrifying and harrowing than what he experienced leaving Vietnam.”
The attorney also listed the exact extent of the injuries that Dr. Dao suffered that night–two broken or lost teeth, damage to his sinuses, a broken nose, and a major concussion. Dao was only discharged from hospital the following Wednesday, and he is soon expected to receive reconstructive surgery to mend his nose.
It was also noted that the concussion Dr. Dao experienced was so bad that he did not remember what happened during the flight. The attorney concluded that, based upon “hundreds of tales of woe,” society wants fairness in how people are treated, along with respect and dignity.
Going forward, he stated, he will be working to “just get the facts” and “to get them out.”
A lawsuit is expected to be filed against United Airlines, and it was revealed how the airline is still yet to reach out to Dr. Dao in response to the incident.
On Wednesday, the Chicago Aviation Department confirmed that two more officers have been placed on leave, after one office was put on leave as of Tuesday–all connected to this incident. These officers are not members of the Police Force, which is the case in a lot of large cities in America. These officers receive less training that their counterparts in other States and are unable to carry firearms.
Ahead of a meeting at City Council where the incident will be discussed, Alderman Chris Taliaferro expressed his concern that the incident has put aviation officers at risk. The City Council meeting will discuss whether the officers at the airport were acting within the law when the physically dragged Dr. Dao out of the aircraft.
Alderman Michael Zalewski said: “They are allowed in the terminal and baggage area, but my understanding is they may not be allowed on the plane.”
The Aviation Department will be asked at the meeting about the training processes and the potentiality of a suit will be discussed. Legal experts have predicted that Dr. Dao is in a strong position to begin a suit.