United Airlines To Pay $30M In Settlement After Disabled Black Man Falls Into Coma
United Airlines has settled its lawsuit on behalf of a disabled Black man who was put into a coma from a deplaning incident. The settlement reached the figure of $30 million for the airline’s fault in not providing standard care for disabled passengers.
Nathaniel Foster Jr. was receiving aid in getting off his flight to Monroe, LA in February 2019 when a United Airlines employee roughly handled his wheelchair. The reckless movement prompted Foster be “jerked” back and forth, putting his wellbeing, being sustained by a ventilator and tracheal tube, at risk. The extensive physicality of the action resulted in the quadriplegic man suffering from permanent brain damage.
The legal filing obtained by CBS News also stated that Foster feared for his health during the ordeal. However, a gate agent assisting him reassured passengers, including a doctor who was willing to help, that they’ve “got” the situation handled. Shortly after this declaration that everything was fine, Foster suffered a heart attack.
The incident not only left Foster in a vegetative state, but also shortened his life expectancy by over seven years. The negligence regarding his care while being transported was also mentioned in the complaint, as his mother was falsely assured that proper care was being established for her son. However, the lawsuit claimed that this was far from the truth, as multiple airport professionals were supposed to aid in his journey, but only one was allegedly there at the beginning of his deplaning.
With such evidence, the case was immediately settled for the substantial price after one day in federal court. United Airlines released a statement following the completion of the settlement,
“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.”
The Foster family’s attorney, however, did not comment to the press.