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United Passenger Had Broken His nose, lost teeth, will ‘probably’ sue, his lawyer says

April 13–The United Airlines passenger dragged from a plane Sunday April 9, will require reconstructive surgery and the incident will “probably” result in a lawsuit, his attorney said Thursday.

David Dao suffered a significant concussion, a broken nose, a sinus injury and lost two front teeth, his attorney, Thomas Demetrio, said at a news conference. Dao was discharged from the hospital Wednesday night, Demetrio said.

“Unreasonable force and violence” were used to remove Dao from the plane before it left O’Hare International Airport, and both United and the city should be held responsible, Demetrio said.

Dao did not attend the news conference.

“What happened to my dad should never happen to any human being regardless of the circumstances,” Dao’s daughter, Crystal Dao Pepper, said at the news conference.

Dao and his wife were flying back from a vacation in California and connecting through Chicago. His wife also was asked to leave after Dao was pulled from the flight, attorneys said.

Demetrio said Dao had not heard from United or the city. In a nationally televised interview Wednesday, United CEO Oscar Munoz said the airline had been attempting to contact the family.

A lawsuit could create a conversation about how passengers should be treated on flights, Demetrio said.

“Maybe airlines need to start expecting the unexpected, but not at the expense, certainly not at the physical expense, of its paying passengers,” he said.

More to come.

lzumbach@chicagotribune.com

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