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How long are we going to put up with this kind of treatment? It is bad enough they treat able-bodied customers like scum, but this is beyond the pale.

Veteran fights airline: Paralyzed sergeant says he was injured, then forced to drag himself on plane High Point Enterprise, NC

[Oct 19, 2010] When Smith’s United flight arrived in Chicago, Smith – who was paralyzed from the waist down eight years ago while deployed in Afghanistan – allowed an Air Serv employee to push his wheelchair out the door of the plane. Smith contends he warned the employee of a slight gap between the plane and the jetway ramp, but when a front wheel of the wheelchair got stuck in the gap, the employee kept pushing, causing Smith to topple out of his wheelchair and strike the side of his head on the floor.

“Because of my TBI (traumatic brain injury, also suffered when he was paralyzed), I have slow reflexes and couldn’t catch myself,” Smith said, adding that the impact caused a headache and dizziness.

According to Smith, he was helped back into his wheelchair, but no one offered medical assistance or even asked if he was OK.

A few minutes later, Smith said, as he was boarding his connecting flight, he told Air Serv employees and United flight attendants he would need an aisle chair – a specially designed chair for transporting disabled passengers down the narrow aisle of a plane – because his wheelchair was too wide. No aisle chair was provided, however, and Smith ended up having to get out of his wheelchair and scoot down the aisle on his rear end, he said. Doing so caused his catheter bag to rupture, spilling urine on him, he said.

Smith wound up in the hospital with a concussion and possible nerve damage. On his return trip through Chicago, he was met by UA and O'Hare execs who wanted him sign some type of document, which he refused to sign.

He was offered a $20,000 settlement at one point, which he refused as it didn't cover his $30,000 in hospital bills. So, now he is suing, and UA is whining that they are being treated unfairly.

When is this going to stop?

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