Officer Who Dragged UA Pax Sues Airline

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

An aviation security official who was fired after dragging Dr. David Dao off a United Airlines flight in Chicago last year is suing the airline and his former employer, the Chicago Department of Aviation, charging that he was not adequately trained for such a situation.

James Long was called to the plane in APR 2017 after Dao refused to give up his seat to a UA employee on the Chicago-Louisville, Ky., flight.

Video shows that Dao – who had a paid-for and assigned seat – was violently wrenched from his seat and physically dragged down the aisle.

The incident turned into a public relations debacle for the airline. Long was fired in August, as was another officer involved in the incident. A third officer was reassigned, according to The Associated Press.

Dao said he sustained a broken nose and lost teeth in the incident. United apologized and later reached an undisclosed settlement with him.

Long's suit names United Airlines, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and its commissioner, Ginger Evans.

"But for the CDA's negligence and failure to train (Long) how to respond to an escalating situation with an airline passenger, (he) would not have acted in the manner he did, which resulted in his termination," according to the lawsuit.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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