United Airlines will pay $30 million to a family who accuses the carrier of improperly disembarking their disabled child.
A family who claims that the disembarkation of their disabled child resulted in a reduction in their life expectancy will receive compensation from United Airlines.
Reuters reports that the settlement agreement came after the first day of the trial in Federal Court.
$30m settlement comes after flight attendants allegedly botched disembarkation
The complaint follows an incident in February 2019, when Nathanel Foster, Jr. was traveling with his family to a funeral in Louisiana. Foster requires the use of a wheelchair, a ventilator and a tracheal tube.
According to the Foster family, a runway supervisor who was helping to remove Nathanel from the flight allegedly pushed him “aggressively” and “forcefully” which could have resulted in injury. Foster’s mother says she heard him say, “I can’t breathe,” as a flight attendant dismissed a surgeon who offered to help.
The family says Foster went into cardiac arrest, requiring emergency treatment. Their doctors say Foster now suffers from “significant” brain damage and lost almost eight years of life expectancy after the incident. In addition, he can no longer speak or eat solid food.
In a statement, United said its top priority “is to ensure a safe journey for all of our customers, especially those who require additional assistance or the use of a wheelchair.”
The Foster family, who will pay half of the settlement to cover attorneys’ fees and other costs, told the court that the settlement is “fair and reasonable”, but that the agreement will still require the judge’s approval.
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