United Airlines has agreed to pay $30 million to a quadriplegic man who was left brain-damaged after he was violently removed from a plane.
The incident reportedly happened on February 8, 2019, when Nathaniel ‘NJ’ Foster Jr. was traveling with his family from San Francisco to Monroe, Louisiana to attend a funeral.
According to court documents, the ‘aggressively’ mishandled deplaning process resulted in serious injuries for NJ.
Reuters reported that only one attendant assisted him even though four to six staff should provide aid to avoid injuries.
A horrific account also revealed that when a ‘supervisor’ arrived at the scene, the family requested for more help but the supervisor insensitively responded: “Fine. Do it yourself, then. I’m out.”
What happened next led to serious injuries. A baggage handler for United put NJ to his chair with a belt before aggressively pushing him, causing the man to slump.
The heartbreaking words, ‘I can’t breathe,’ were NJ’s last.
In June, the family confirmed in a statement that NJ remains in a vegetative state.
Before the incident, his life expectancy was projected at 39 years but it has now been reduced to only 31.5 years, the complaint stated.
After a trial in a San Francisco federal court, United Airlines agreed to pay the family $30 million.
In a statement to Reuters, United Airlines said: “Our top priority is to provide a safe journey for all our customers, especially those who require additional assistance or the use of a wheelchair. We are pleased to share that this matter has settled.”
Before the trial, NJ’s mother, Pamela Foster, said that the family had received ‘repeated assurances’ from United about her son’s care.
“What happened to our son, to our family, cannot be undone,” she expressed. “We hope that through our loss, lessons present themselves so that no other family has to suffer.”
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