The lawyer representing the United Airlines passenger who was dragged off a flight in a viral video has taken up a new client against the airline industry.
Attorney Thomas Demetrio is now representing the woman in another incident caught on video showing an argument that broke out on an American Airlines flight after a male flight attendant allegedly forcibly took the woman's stroller — nearly striking her and her baby.
In an exclusive interview with the TODAY Show Monday morning, Demetrio called the American Airlines incident a "microcosm of the entire problem."
Lawyer for David Dao, passenger dragged off United flight: 'He's hurt' 4:07autoplay autoplay
"We've got a flight attendant out of control, we've got a distressed mother," he said.
"This is a real, real problem and the mother told me point blank her concern was her child, who almost got hit by the stroller," he added.
The video shows a woman sobbing while holding her baby in her arms, pleading to get her stroller back in the incident on Friday aboard Flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.
"You can't use violence with a baby," the woman says in the video. "Just please give me my stroller back."
Witnesses told NBC News that what the video did not show was a male flight attendant aggressively taking away the woman's stroller, nearly hitting her baby.
"I see him wrestling with her, violently yanking the stroller away from her nearly hitting the baby in the head. It was unbelievable," Olivia Morgan, a passenger on the flight, said Saturday.
"He is clearly like enraged and nearly hits the baby in the head, which is the like the shocking part of it," she added.
Two airline employees then attempt to console the woman when suddenly a male passenger stands up and demands the name of the employee who "did that with the stroller."
A tense verbal confrontation then breaks out between the passenger and the attendant.
Flight Attendant Suspended After Confrontation on Video 1:29autoplay autoplay
"You do that to me and I'll knock you flat," the passenger says, and the attendant quickly responds that he needs to "stay out of this."
The passenger then steps into the aisle and the attendant urges him to "hit me, come on."
In a statement released Saturday, American Airlines apologized and said the employee has been removed from duty while an investigation was undertaken.
"What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers. We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident," the company said in the statement.
The woman and her family chose to take another flight and were upgraded to first class for the remainder of their trip, the airline said.
A spokeswoman for the airline said policy allowed each customer to bring one stroller under 20 pounds onto flights, anything larger must be checked at the ticket counter. The woman had twins, according to the spokesperson, and may have brought a double stroller onto the plane.
The incident comes two weeks after 69-year-old David Dao was dragged from his seat and off a United Airlines flight, leaving him bloodied in a video incident that was a public relations nightmare for the airline.
Demetrio has said Dao lost two teeth and suffered a broken nose and "significant concussion" during the ordeal.
The lawyer said on Monday that Dao was still "hurt," both physically and emotionally as a result of the incident on a flight in Chicago on April 9.
Demetrio indicated that United could expect a lawsuit in its future.
He said Dao was of the mindset that his ordeal and the American Airlines incident were examples "of why we need fairness dignity and being treated right."
"We're hoping that Dr. Dao being taken off that plane like a sack of potatoes is going to resonate with people and this latest incident with American Airlines will resonate with people," he said.
Unlike American Airlines, United was widely criticized for waiting too long before apologizing to Dao for the confrontation. The three Chicago Department of Aviation officers in the incident were placed on administrative leave.
Source : http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/lawyer-representing-david-dao-now-working-woman-american-airlines-incident-n750081