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David Dao's Lawyer Vowed Legal Action Against United Airlines

Attorney Thomas Demetrio said his client will seek physical and emotional damages after suffering injuries when he was dragged off a United plane last Sunday.

by Drew Schwartz
Apr 13 2017, 5:34pm

Photo via screenshot

During a press conference on Thursday, David Dao's lawyer Thomas Demetrio said his client will file a suit against United Airlines after his legal team has investigated how and why Dao was violently dragged down the aisle of a plane.

Demetrio also brought to light new information about Sunday's incident—notably, that Dao suffered a concussion, a broken nose, lost two front teeth, and has no recollection of running back onto the airplane and repeatedly saying "just kill me."

Dao and his wife, who was also on Sunday's flight, immigrated to the US from Vietnam in 1975, as Saigon was falling, Demetrio said.

"He said that being dragged down the aisle was more horrifying and harrowing that what he experienced in leaving Vietnam," Demetrio said.

Crystal Pepper, Dao's daughter, also spoke at the press conference in Chicago, saying the family was "shocked" and "sickened" to learn—and see—what happened to her father on Sunday.

"What happened to my dad should've never happened to any human being," Pepper said. "We are deeply affected by it, our lives have been interrupted, and our normalcy is not where it was on Sunday morning."

After video of Sunday's incident—which reportedly left doctor David Dao bloodied and disoriented—went viral, United found itself in the thick of a PR nightmare, and the company's stock prices took a nosedive. CEO Oscar Munoz has made a few apologies and promised an investigation into the scandal, after he first called Dao "belligerent" and "disruptive" in a letter to staff members. On Wednesday, United said it would reimburse all the passengers who were on the flight with Dao.

Dao has since taken legal action against the company by filing an emergency "bill of discovery," ensuring all evidence of his removal from the plane remains intact, CNBC reports. He's demanded that any existing surveillance videos, incident reports, crew and passenger lists, and other pieces of evidence aren't tampered with or destroyed.

This post was originally published at 10:50 AM. It was updated with new information at 12:56 PM.