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United Airlines Settles Lawsuit With Dragged Doctor For Undisclosed Amount

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter

United Airlines has settled a lawsuit with David Dao, the doctor filmed being dragged off of a flight earlier this month, his lawyers said.

“Dr. David Dao has reached an amicable settlement with United Airlines for the injuries he received in his April 9th ordeal, which was captured on video and viewed worldwide,” Dao’s lawyer, Thomas Demetrio, said in a statement.

The settlement amount will remain confidential, the lawyer says.

Dao, 69, was left bloodied and bruised after being forcibly removed by Chicago Department of Aviation officers from the Chicago-to-Louisville flight.

United had overbooked the airplane but needed to make room for flight attendants who were needed for a flight departing Louisville the next day. Dao was selected through a random process and offered a travel voucher in exchange for leaving the flight. But when he refused, officers grabbed him and pulled him off of the airplane.

Video showed the officers dragging Dao through the airplane’s aisles. He escaped at one point and was filmed mumbling to himself with blood smeared on his face.

United’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, initially placed some of the blame for the incident on Dao, a response that turned into a PR nightmare for the company.

In Thursday’s statement, Demetrio praised Munoz.

“Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has. 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,” Demetrio said.

“Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers.”

Since the incident, United and other airlines have significantly raised the amount of money they offer passengers when trying to resolve overbooking issues. United now caps its payout at $10,000, up from less than $1,000 before the dragging incident. Southwest Airlines announced on Thursday that it will stop overbooking flights altogether.

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