After Dr. David Dao, 69, was asked by United Airlines to give up his seat on an overbooked flight from Chicago to Louisville on April 9, HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY spoke with multiple lawyers about Dao’s legal options after the incident. And, there could be a massive payday in his future.
“He [Dao] will always be messed up from this. There’s going to be enough money from this settlement that will enable generations of his family to be well off,” New York attorney, Randy Zelin of Randy Scott Zelin P.C., told HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “I would say a fair starting number would be the millions. He’s going to be very wealthy.” Wow.
New York lawyer, Ylber Albert Dauti from The Dauti Law Firm, which specializes in litigation cases, agrees that, “It is safe to say that he will be a millionaire after all is said and done.” While he cannot speculate about what the exact number Dao would be awarded, he explains that the size of his settlement will be dependent on the work of his lawyer.
All of the attorneys we consulted, were in agreement that the airline had “no right” to remove Dao. “I don’t think they had the right to manhandle and physically remove someone,” former Federal Prosecutor and Managing Partner of Wildes & Weinberg P.C., Michael Wildes [New York] explained. “Despite legal waivers on tickets, there is still a respect of the law that needs to be upheld.”
Attorney Ylber Albert Dauti felt the same way. “Yes, technically, the airline has the right to remove a passenger from the plane, but only for the right reasons, such as the passenger’s violent behavior or other conduct that endangers the well being of other passengers,” he adds. “In this case, the airline was clearly wrong to do what it did.”
As for what Dao can actually sue for at this point, based on the information released: “Dao can also sue [the airline and the police] for physical battery and assault, which is beyond the protocol of police conduct,” Wildes says.
Additionally, “There could even be class action suits from other people who were similarly disrespected,” according to Wildes. “If this is the case, this company [United Airlines] should shut its doors. The airline’s reputation is beyond repair.”
Wildes believes that Dao could have suffered the following: “intentional infliction of emotional distress; damaged reputation; potential consequences to his patients; consequential damages for any work loss; emotional and psychological damage to Dao and his family.”
If this case makes it to a court, NYC lawyer, Randy Zelin believes that a jury would be “mortified,” after seeing, as well as, hearing testimony about the outrageous incident. In fact, Zelin believes that the case will be settled out of court. “In my opinion, this case will not go to trial; that would be a suicide run for the airlines.” Yikes.
Wildes also added that the airline is simply unable to be trusted at this point. “This company has placed their employees over customers and that is unacceptable even if it meant taking out a new plane, they should be respecting their customers,” he believes. “That public trust is now breached from that evening.”
HollywoodLifers, do you think that Dr. Dao will get a multi-million dollar reward after the United Airlines incident?