Officer Fired After Dragging Passenger Off Plane Sues United, Chicago

James Long was one of the officers called to a plane in April 2017 after Dr. David Dao refused to give up his seat

An aviation security officer fired after forcibly dragging a passenger from a plane last year has filed a lawsuit against United Airlines and the city of Chicago.

James Long was one of the officers called to a plane in April 2017 after Dr. David Dao refused to give up his seat. Video taken by other passengers show Long dragging a bloodied Dao from a crowded United Express plane. Long was fired in August.

Long filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court against the Chicago Department of Aviation and United.

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The suit alleges Long didn't receive proper training to respond to the situation and that United should have known security officers would use physical force. An Aviation Security Sergeant "found to have been involved in the deliberate removal of material facts from an employee report" was also fired in connection to the incident.

Spokesmen for United and the city say they haven't yet received the lawsuit and declined to comment.

Dao, a physician in Kentucky, was one of four people selected at random to reliquinsh their seats aboard a United flight on April 9, 2017 after the airline first asked for volunteers but didn't get any offers.  

Three people got off the flight, but Dao said he was a doctor and needed to get home to treat patients the next day. He refused to leave.

Three Aviation Department police officers got on the plane. Two officers tried to reason with Dao before a third came aboard and demanded he get off the plane.

Cellphone video taken by passengers on the plane show one of the officers grabbing the screaming man from his window seat, across the armrest and dragging him down the aisle by his arms.

Dao suffered a "significant concussion," a broken nose and lost two front teeth in the ordeal.  He settled with the airline for an undisclosed amount.

The incident prompted United to raise the limit on payments to customers who give up seats on oversold flights from $1,350 to $10,000. It also vowed to reduce, but not eliminate, overbooking — the selling of more tickets than there are seats on the plane. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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