United Airlines

Man Forcibly Removed from United Airlines Flight Likely Pursuing Litigation for Injuries

United AirlinesAs millions have already seen from videos posted on traditional news and social media outlets, Dr. David Dao was injured on the evening of April 9, 2017, on United Airlines Flight 3411 when Chicago Department of Aviation officers forcibly removed him at the airline’s request. Now, according to Dr. Dao’s attorney, he may be pursuing civil litigation against the airline for his injuries.

Dr. Dao’s attorney informed reporters that a suit would be filed in Illinois’ Cook County Circuit Court at some future point, though he declined to specify a date. He also stated that the lawsuit would target both United Airlines and the City of Chicago for the Department of Aviation’s alleged actions. In the meantime, a chancery motion has been filed to preserve evidence in the matter.


Dr. Dao and his wife were passengers on the sold-out Sunday evening flight, which was bound for Louisville from O’Hare Airport. Though United Airlines had first reported erroneously that the flight had been oversold, an airline spokesperson confirmed by Thursday that four seats were needed to make room for crew members to meet another flight in Louisville.

The airline initially offered financial compensation to any passengers willing to give up their seats, but when no passenger agreed, four were chosen at random, including Dr. Dao and his wife, also a physician.

According to passengers who witnessed the event, Dr. Dao refused to give up his seat upon learning that the next flight would not leave until Monday morning, insisting that he and his wife could not wait because they had to see patients the next morning.


While passengers Joya and Forest Cummings, who were sitting behind Dr. Dao, stated that he was not acting belligerently, Dr. Dao started screaming when Department of Aviation officers began physically removing him from his seat. At that time, Dr. Dao purportedly struck his head on an armrest.

As viewers may have already seen from video footage shot by passengers, Dr. Dao’s face and mouth were visibly bloodied. The officers then dragged Dr. Dao out of the airplane on his back.

Dr. Dao was taken to Park Ridge’s Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, where he was reportedly admitted for several days for a concussion, a broken nose, sinus injuries, and two broken teeth.

Following the incident, three Chicago Department of Aviation officers were placed on paid leave.