United Airlines has struck a $30 million settlement with the family of a paraplegic man who was placed in a coma following a deplaning accident. According to Reuters, the settlement struck with Nathaniel Foster Jr’s family was made public on Tuesday following a one-day trial.
Foster, 26, and his family were deplaning from a United Express trip to Monroe, Louisiana, when the incident occurred in February 2019. They had come to town for a funeral. Foster was using a wheelchair, ventilator, and tracheal tube at the time.
Foster’s family claimed that a ramp supervisor “aggressively” and “forcefully” pushed him, causing him to suffer from the medical condition. According to the complaint, Foster’s mother later sought to obtain aid after hearing him say he couldn’t breathe. A gate attendant, on the other hand, “giggled” and told a surgeon who wanted to assist that “we got this.” Foster later died of a heart attack.
According to court documents, the resulting brain damage to Foster was “significant.” He is also unable to speak or eat solid foods and will most certainly die before the age of 31-1/2. Foster was projected to live to the age of 39 before the tragedy.
“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,” United said in a statement after the settlement was reached. “We are pleased to share that this matter has settled.”