United Airlines (UAL) Passenger Takes Legal Action Over Aggressive Removal

The United Airlines (UAL) passenger who was forcefully removed from a flight launched legal action on Wednesday. Dr. David Dao’s lawyer filed an emergency request with an Illinois court that would require United to preserve video recordings and other related evidence, Reuters reports.

United Airlines (UAL)

United Stock Lower


United Airlines (UAL) stock is down 0.1%  to 69.92 during mid-morning trade in the U.S.

The lawyers cited a risk of “serious prejudice” against their client. The lawyers are asking both United and the City of Chicago, operator of the O’Hare International Airport, to preserve cockpit voice recordings, surveillance videos, and passenger and crew lists related to United Flight 3411.

On Wednesday, Chicago’s Aviation Department reported that two more officers had been placed on leave who were connected to the April 9 incident. Another officer had been placed on leave on Tuesday.

Dr. David Dao, passenger on United Flight 3411, was forcefully dragged from his seat by officers on April 9. The request to leave came after it was discovered that the flight was overbooked. The incident was caught on video and went viral on social media. Very quickly, the video triggered an onslaught of bad publicity that sent United’s stock plummeting.

The carrier’s stock plunged from 71.53 on April 10 to 68.46 on April 11.

United said Dao was removed to make room for crew members.

This doesn’t look like ending well for United. The bad PR from the incident, lawyers say, may lead to the passenger getting a much larger settlement than such a case would normally warrant.

Oscar Munoz, United CEO,  has since apologized. On Wednesday  he apologized to Dao, his family and United Airlines customers during an interview on ABC. Munoz said the company would no longer use police officers to remove passengers from overbooked flights.

United also announced on Wednesday that all passengers on board the flight are to be compensated for their ticket costs.

Munoz also stated that the company will be reviewing the way it compensates passengers who voluntarily give up their seats on overbooked flights.

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