American and United airlines viral abuse passengers hire same lawyer

Distressed woman in stroller row reportedly hires Chicago lawyer Thomas Demetrio to represent her - the same attorney Dr David Dao using in his lawsuit after being dragged from plane

David Koenig
Tuesday 25 April 2017 09:47
Comments
American Airlines employee challenges passenger to a fight after a mother has her stroller taken

The woman seen sobbing in a viral video after an American Airlines flight attendant took away her stroller now has a lawyer — the same attorney representing a man dragged off a United Express flight earlier this month.

The Chicago lawyer, Thomas Demetrio, says the American flight attendant was “out of control” and nearly hit one of the woman's two young children with the stroller.

An American Airlines spokesman said Monday that the company has been in contact with the woman and refunded her tickets and upgraded her to first class for the rest of her trip to Argentina.

The airline says the woman's doublewide stroller was tagged to be checked as cargo at the door to the plane, but instead she took it into the cabin, leading to the confrontation with the flight attendant.

The airline spokesman said American is still investigating the incident and has grounded the flight attendant. American said in a statement Friday that the scene captured on video “does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers.”

The president of the union representing American's flight attendants said the employee deserves credit for staying on the plane after being challenged by a male passenger who sided with the woman. The man threatened the employee that he could “knock you flat.” The flight attendant responded by taunting the passenger to hit him.

“Was it the most perfect response? No,” said Bob Ross, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, who added that some details of the incident are still unclear. But “he flew that flight with that (male) passenger to Dallas. He had every right to get off.”

Had the employee done so, Ross said, the flight would have been cancelled and all the passengers stranded because there were no backup flight attendants in San Francisco.

Ross said he protested the airline's decision to ground the flight attendant, a veteran employee based in Philadelphia. American and the union declined to identify him.

The incident before a flight from San Francisco to Dallas came two weeks after airport police in Chicago dragged a passenger off a plane after he refused to give up his seat to make room for an airline employee.

Demetrio said that passenger, a 69-year-old Kentucky physician, plans to file a lawsuit. He said it was too soon to know whether the woman on the American Airlines plane would sue.

Video of both events has put airlines on the defensive in the court of public opinion.

“We live in the age of cellphone video, so corporations have to take heed,” Demetrio told NBC-TV.

Associated Press

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in