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United Airlines reaches settlement with doctor who was dragged off plane

NEW YORK – United Airlines just reached a settlement with Dr. David Dao, the passenger who was violently dragged off a flight earlier this month in an incident that created a firestorm for the company.

Dao’s lawyers announced the deal Thursday, but did not disclose the financial terms of the settlement.

The announcement includes praise for United CEO Oscar Munoz from Thomas Demetrio, one of his lawyers.

“Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has,” he said. “In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened…without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago.”

It was a police officer who worked for the city who actually removed Dao from the aircraft. The officer has since been suspended.

Several passengers on United flight 3411 from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky, captured video as a man was dragged off the plane by authorities after he apparently refused to leave from an overbooked flight.

United wanted to remove Dao from the flight in order to make room for commuting crew members. United has since promised it will no longer use officers to forcibly remove paying customers from its flights.

The incident occurred on April 9, and United has been reeling from the backlash ever since.

Dao’s lawyers previously said Dao suffered a concussion and lost teeth during the ordeal. Dao can be seen with blood streaming down his face in footage of the incident.

The settlement announcement comes the same day that United outlined a plan to make its passengers more comfortable and ensure that what happened to Dao won’t happen again.

Several other airlines, including Southwest and Delta, have announced policy changes aimed at preventing a similar incident from occurring.

“Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers,” Dao’s lawyer said in a statement.