CHICAGO — The man dragged off a United Airlines flight, sparking an international uproar, suffered a broken nose and concussion, his lawyer said Thursday, adding that he is planning to sue.
David Dao was released from the hospital overnight and was at a “secure location,” attorney Thomas Demetrio said at a news conference during which a member of Dao’s family spoke out for the first time.
Dao’s lawyers filed a petition with a Chicago court requesting that the city, which operates O’Hare International Airport, and United Airlines preserve evidence related to the incident on Sunday. They also said a lawsuit was forthcoming.
“This lawsuit, among other things, hopefully, will create a not just national discussion, but international discussion, on how we’re going to be treated going forward,” Demetrio said.
“For a long time, airlines, United in particular, have bullied us.”
Online video of airport security officers on Sunday dragging Dao off a packed flight sparked worldwide outrage. He could be seen screaming as officers pulled him from his seat, and was bloodied by the altercation.
The 69-year-old doctor’s lawyers said he also suffered injury to his sinuses and lost two front teeth.
“My dad is healing right now,” said Crystal Dao Pepper, 33, one of Dao’s five children.
“We were completely horrified and shocked at what had happened to my father,” she said.
The incident has put intense pressure on United Airlines. After several missteps, United chief executive Oscar Munoz apologized for the incident Tuesday, and reiterated the apology on Wednesday while saying he would not resign.
“I was hired to make United better and we’ve been doing that and that’s what I’ll continue to do,” Munoz said, when asked about calls for his resignation on the ABC television show “Good Morning America.”
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois said Wednesday she plans to introduce legislation to end the practice of involuntarily bumping passengers off planes.
A group of 21 senators also sent a letter to Munoz announcing plans to examine the incident, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called for the US Department of Transportation to require airlines to stop overbooking flights pending a review.
Munoz said his team had tried to reach out to Dao, but Dao’s lawyers said that neither they nor the family had received any calls or messages from United.