Federal aviation investigators have declined to punish United Airlines for dragging a passenger off a flight — video of which went viral in April. The Department of Transportation found that the gruesome incident didn’t warrant a fine, according to The Los Angeles Times.
David Dao, the 69-year-old physician who was violently pulled from a flight from Chicago, IL, to Louisville, KY, settled with the airline at the end of April. He lost two teeth, suffered a broken nose, and incurred a concussion.
While the Department of Transportation found that United failed to properly inform Dao of overbooking rules, investigators declined to fine the airline since it apparently didn’t use “race, national origin, gender or religion criteria to discriminate against any of the passengers removed from the plane.”
“We generally pursue enforcement action when a carrier exhibits a pattern or practice of noncompliance with the department’s consumer protection regulations and federal anti-discrimination statutes that we enforce,” the agency’s two-page letter summarizing the incident said. “Therefore, we conclude that enforcement action is not warranted in this matter.”
The letter was released after Flyers Rights, a passenger advocacy group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request. Speaking to The Times, Paul Hudson, president of Flyers Rights, said he was shocked by the Department’s decision given the “egregious” nature of Dao’s removal. Hudson described the Department’s conclusion as “a dereliction of duty.”