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Passengers in viral airline videos have same lawyer

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Thomas Demetrio speaks at a news conference in Chicago. The woman who sobbed after an American Airlines flight attendant took her stroller now has a lawyer, Demetrio, who also represents the Kentucky doctor who was dragged from a United Express flight earlier in the month. American says the woman on the flight on April 21, was supposed to leave her doublewide stroller to be stored in the cargo bay, not take it into the cabin.

DALLAS >> The woman seen sobbing in a viral video after an American Airlines flight attendant took away her stroller now has a lawyer — the same attorney representing a man dragged off a United Express flight earlier this month.

The Chicago lawyer, Thomas Demetrio, says the flight attendant was “out of control” and nearly hit one of the woman’s two young children with the stroller.

An American Airlines spokesman said Monday that the company has been in contact with the woman and refunded her tickets and upgraded her to first class for the rest of her trip to Argentina.

The airline says the woman’s doublewide stroller was tagged to be checked as cargo at the door to the plane, but instead she took it into the cabin, leading to the confrontation with the flight attendant.

The airline spokesman said American is still investigating the incident and has grounded the flight attendant. American said in a statement Friday that the scene captured on video “does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers.”

The incident before a flight from San Francisco to Dallas came two weeks after airport police in Chicago dragged a passenger off a plane after he refused to give up his seat to make room for an airline employee.

Demetrio said the passenger, a 69-year-old Kentucky physician, plans to file a lawsuit. He said it was too soon to know whether the woman on the American Airlines plane would sue.

Video of both events has put airlines on the defensive in the court of public opinion.

“We live in the age of cellphone video, so corporations have to take heed,” Demetrio told NBC-TV.

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