David Dao, the passenger who was brutally removed from a United Airlines flight, suffered a “significant” concussion, a “serious” broken nose and lost two front teeth in the ordeal, according to his lawyer.
Dao was dragged from a Louisville-bound flight by three Chicago aviation police officers Sunday after the physician refused to give up his seat to airline crew. United’s reputation has suffered immensely from the fallout of the incident, footage of which was shared widely online.
Dao’s lawyer, Tim Demetrio, spoke at a news conference in Chicago Thursday to comment on his client’s condition and update the media on their legal intentions.
Demetrio, who described the police in the incident as “storm troopers”, said Dao was discharged from hospital Wednesday after spending three days recovering from the incident. He said Dao will need reconstructive surgery to repair what he says is a badly broken nose.
Dao’s lawyer said their case has nothing to do with race, but everything to with the continued mistreatment of passengers by airlines and “United in particular”.
“If you’re going to eject a passenger under no circumstance can it be done under unreasonable force or violence, that’s the law,” Demetrio added.
The family received no apology from any representative of United, said Demetrio, despite the airline’s CEO Robert Munoz claiming to have reached out on multiple occasions. Demetrio went on to call Munoz’ public apology on Wednesday’s ‘Good Morning America’ “staged” and suggested it was an insincere attempt from the airline to save face.
One of Dao’s five children, Crystal Dao Pepper, appeared at the news conference to thank well-wishers for their outpouring of support and said she and her family were “horrified, shocked and saddened to see what had happened to [Dao].”
Dao has two years to file a suit in the circuit court of Cook County against the airline and the city, although Demetrio doesn’t expect it will take that long. The team has already filed a request for United to preserve all evidence pertaining to the incident.
Demetrio declined to comment on the monetary amount he will be seeking on behalf of his client but, following an investigation, said they will come to a “fair and adequate compensation”.