United Airlines won’t face fines from the Department of Transportation for police officers forcibly dragging a passenger off a plane in April, according to a letter released Wednesday.
David Dao, 69, a doctor from Louisville, Ky., refused to give up his seat for a crew member, and Chicago police officers subsequently dragged him off the plane. The passenger ended up breaking his nose, getting a concussion, and losing two of his teeth in the incident. Dao and United Airlines reached an “amicable settlement” in April, and the Department of Transportation concluded that the airline company won’t face further charges, according to a letter reported by the Los Angeles Times.
“For the Department of Transportation to conclude that United Airlines’ conduct did not warrant an enforcement action is a dereliction of duty,” said Paul Hudson, president of advocacy group Flyer’s Rights, adding that the ruling is “egregious in every sense of the word.”
When Dao originally pressed charges against the airline, the Department of Transportation led an investigation of the matter, according to Fortune.
Following the investigation, the agency said there was no proof that racial, gender, or religious incentive played a part in the forced removal of Dao.
“We generally pursue enforcement action when a carrier exhibits a pattern or practice of noncompliance with the department’s consumer protection regulations and federal anti-discrimination statutes that we enforce,” the agency said. “Therefore, we conclude that enforcement action is not warranted in this matter.”
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