Lawyers for David Dao, the Kentucky man who was violently removed from a flight for refusing to give up his seat earlier this month, said Thursday that they have reached a confidential settlement with United Airlines.
The agreement comes on the same day that United released the results of an internal investigation that found several mistakes were made before, during and after Dao was dragged off the April 9 flight, including calling in law enforcement to resolve an incident that was neither a safety nor security issue. The horrifying scene was caught on video and viewed by millions of people worldwide.
“We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411. We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do,” United said in a statement.
“Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adopting of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers,” said Thomas Demetrio, one of Dao’s two lawyers. “I sincerely hope that all other airlines make similar changes and follow United’s lead in helping to improve the passenger flying experience with an emphasis on empathy, patience, respect and dignity.”
Demetrio also described the settlement, the terms of which will remain confidential, as “amicable.”
In its report, United says it had allowed internal policies to distract from the need to treat passengers with dignity and respect and it outlines what the company intends to do to prevent a repeat of the incident.
“This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline,” chief executive Oscar Munoz said in a statement that accompanied the release of the report on the April 9 incident at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. “Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust.”