The United Airlines passenger who was dragged off a plane at Chicago O'Hare International Airport scheduled for Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday night is taking steps toward a lawsuit against the airline, his attorney said in a news conference Thursday.
Dr. David Dao was still recovering in a hospital while his attorney Thomas Demetrio and daughter, identified by CNN as Crystal Pepper, appeared at a news conference Thursday.
Demetrio said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, that Dao suffered a concussion and a broken nose, and lost two teeth in the incident. The attorney said his client will need reconstructive surgery.
Demetrio said there "probably" will be a lawsuit filed in Cook County, noted the Sun-Times. On Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Dao's representatives asked the Cook County Circuit Court to order United and city of Chicago to keep all video, cockpit recordings and other reports from the flight.
The Chicago Department of Aviation said earlier Wednesday that it had placed two more officers on administrative leave until further notice as a result of the incident, the Tribune noted. One employee already had been placed on leave, and the city said it continues to examine the incident.
"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," Demetrio and attorney Stephen L. Golan said in a joint statement Tuesday. "Currently, they are focused only on Dr. Dao's medical care and treatment."
United spokesman Charlie Hobart said the airline has compensated the 70 passengers on Dao's flight for the value of their tickets. United's chief executive Oscar Munoz told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he felt "shame" after seeing the video of airport police dragging Dao off the plane.
"This will never happen again," Munoz told "Good Morning America." "We are not going to put a law enforcement official onto a plane to take them off … to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger. We can't do that."
Munoz continued, saying that in the days after the incident, he was gathering the facts and that prevented a stronger apology, ABC News noted.
"I think my reaction to most issues is to get the facts and circumstances," Munoz said on "Good Morning America." "My initial words fell short of truly expressing the shame."
Demetrio said Thursday he did not believe that Munoz's feelings were genuine, noted the Sun-Times.
"I thought it was staged," Demetrio said, according to the Sun-Times. "They've been taking a beating, and he was told, 'Get out there. … Sound like you mean it.'"
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