|The mother of all PR disasters unfolds....|
It looks as if the roughed up United Airways passenger Dr David Dao, the 69-year-old Vietnamese born Doctor who fled Vietnam in 1975 when Saigon fell, is keeping the worlds worst aviation PR disaster firmly on the boil. Not one but two leading Chicago law firms are now on the case.
Julian Bray Aviation Expert & Broadcaster will be talking about this, updating Andrew Pierce - who is sitting in for Nick Ferrari - with all the latest developments from Chicago, on LBC Radio at 07:20am on Friday April 14th
At a lengthy press conference the Dao family including Dr David Daos' daughter Crystal, introduced, their attorney the formidable Aviation lawyer Thomas Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio.
Dr. David Dao, the United Airlines passenger who was removed from an airplane seat on United Airlines Sunday, is undergoing treatment in a Chicago hospital for his injuries.
“The family of Dr. Dao wants the world to know that they are very appreciative of the outpouring of prayers, concern and support they have received.
Currently, they are focused only on Dr. Dao’s medical care and treatment,” said Chicago attorney Stephen L. Golan of Golan Christie Taglia, who along with Chicago aviation attorney Thomas A. Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio, represents the Dao family.
Until Dr. Dao is released from the hospital, the family is asking for privacy and will not be making any statements to the media, both attorneys said.
Speaking to the assembled media and pausing from time to time to explain points of law, it emerged that Dr Dao sustained a concussion, lost his two front teeth and is nursing a broken nose, and had only been released from hospital earlier in the day.
Dr. Dao was not present at the lawyer hosted press conference, as he will have to undergo reconstructive surgery and clearly won't be attending to his patients for some time.
The attorney explained that his firm had been contacted by United employees both past and present, also other passengers on the same flight, who Mr Demetrio claimed all passengers had been financially compensated by United. But 'the airline had not reached out to Dr Dao' as the United CEO had suggested a day earlier.
The lawyer then set out the story so far, as they were still at the early due diligence stage, but had already booked a Chicago court hearing for Monday in front of a judge 'in order to preserve substantial amounts of evidence, which we may require at a later date.' He explained they were not in a position to sue at this stage, as the charges had to be set and many additional matters needed to be considered. It was also pointed out the aircraft was NOT OVERBOOKED but fully booked, with every seat taken and all fare paying passengers strapped in ready to fly. It was United wishing to relocate four flight crew members and needing to seize or reclaim four seats that started the problem. It was pointed out that a four hour car journey would have resolved the problem, UBER would have charged just $400 for the journey.
He did not rule out filing an additional lawsuit against the City of Chicago as they employed the 'airport police' however Mr Demetrio pointed out that the United Captain or Commander was ultimately responsible for everything that happened on board his aircraft. "He is in effect the captain of the ship, he is the law" .... Watch this space, this will run and run...
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com