United Airlines reaches settlement of 'undisclosed amount' with doctor dragged off plane

Chloe Chaplain

The doctor who was dragged off a United Airlines flight after refusing to give up his seat has received a settlement in his lawsuit with the company.

David Dao, a 69-year-old Kentucky physician, made headlines after he was caught on film being forcibly removed from his seat and removed from the, apparently, overbooked plane.

His lawyers claimed he was left needing surgery and lost two teeth after he was dragged, screaming, off the plane.

On Thursday he settled his legal claim with the airline and was given an undisclosed sum of money.

David Dao: Shocking images showed the passenger bleeding from his mouth

The clip of security officers pulling Dr Dao down the aisle of the Chicago flight by his arms has been viewed millions of times.

Further footage appeared to show him standing in the aisle, shocked and bloodied saying: "I want to go home, I want to go home."

Mr Dao described the ordeal as “more horrifying than leaving Vietnam”, his lawyer told a press conference after his legal action was launched.

The three Chicago Airport officers, who removed him after being summoned by United employees when he would not give up his seat, have all been suspended.

Removal: shocking footage of the incident was shared thousands of times (Facebook/Audra D. Bridges)

United CEO Oscar Munoz said in an interview with the Good Morning America breakfast TV show that he felt "shame" when watching the footage.

"This will never happen again on a United Airlines flight," he said, offering his apologies to the doctor, his family, passengers on that flight and United's customers and employees.

He said he took full responsibility for the situation but has no plans to resign.

Mr Munoz's early statements on the incident were widely criticised after initially supported employees and blaming Dao, calling him "disruptive and belligerent."

Misfiring apology: United Airlines chief executive officer Oscar Munoz (REUTERS)

"I'm sure there was lots of conjecture about me personally," said Mr Munoz, adding that he had the support of United's board.

"It was a system failure across various areas," Mr Munoz continued. "There was never a consideration for firing an employee."

Since the incident United have announced two rule changes, including saying that it will no longer call police to remove passengers from overbooked planes.

United has taken "full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago," Thomas Demetrio, an attorney for Dao, said in a statement announcing the settlement.

"We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411," United said in a separate statement.

"We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the centre of everything we do."

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