A man who served as an aviation officer and who dragged a United Airlines passenger off a plane last year is suing. He claims that he was never trained to handle this type of incident.
James Long, who was fired, claimed that his former employer, the Chicago Department of Aviation "knew or should have known" that requiring officers to "remove a passenger who was refusing to leave their plane would require the use of physical force."
The lawsuit also alleged that Long was subject to ridicule and slander after the videos depicting him and other officers removing the passenger from an oversold flight hit the web, Business Insider reported. Then, after he was fired precisely because of the now-infamous incident, he reportedly suffered “mental anguish,” the lawsuit adds.
After the incident, the lawsuit alleged, Ginger Evans, the Chicago Department of Aviation commissioner, tweeted saying that officers were not armed “for good reasons,” perhaps implying that officers had been more aggressive than needed and that the department was glad that at least they did not have guns on them.
These comments may have been seen as detrimental to officers like Long, who, at the time, were trying to get permission to carry weapons. Still, Long was fired and told that the reason he had been let go was how he reacted while removing Dao.
But whether United claims that he and other officers deserved to be let go for using extreme force, it wasn’t these security officials who wanted to forcibly remove the passenger. It was United, after all, who wanted Dao gone simply because it oversold that flight
Evans is named as a defendant in Long’s lawsuit along with United Airlines and Evans’ employer. Yet United told Business Insider that it had yet to be served with the lawsuit.
While nobody should be handled with excessive force if he or she does not pose a threat to others, United Airlines overreacted for forcing the passenger out. The fact that it had officers carry out the orders does not change that fact.
More recently, United has been under scrutiny for its treatment of pets after an animal died after being sent to the wrong destination. And then again after three dog-related incidents were reported in the same week.
Will it get in trouble for having potentially treated its officers unfairly as well?