United passenger sues after getting ejected from flight

Michelle Massey Aug. 10, 2010, 8:26am

A Louisiana mother is suing United Airlines after she and her son were allegedly removed from a flight due to her son's yelling after he was told to turn off his DVD player.

Candice Dincola, individually and on behalf of her minor son, filed suit against United Airlines Inc. and Republic Airways July 26 in federal court in New Orleans.

Dincola and her son were on a flight to New Orleans from Chicago when the plane was forced to return to Chicago for an unrelated medical emergency. When the plane was forced to return and her son was ordered to shut down his electronic device, he "loudly yelled out," the complaint states.

Dincola's son suffers from severe autism and is prone to loud outbursts, the complaint states. Dincola claims she and several other passengers were able to calm him down by singing to him.

Once the unrelated medical emergency was resolved, several Chicago police officers boarded the airplane and ordered Dincola, her son and sister off the plane. Dincola claims she was told her son was a safety risk to other passengers.

Dincola claims that her son did not pose a safety risk as he was voluntarily restrained in his seat through the use of ankle and wrist restraints.

According to the complaint, passengers seated next to Dincola and her son told police that they did not feel threatened by Gavin but that a flight attendant told the officers she feared for her safety.

The defendants are accused of violating the Air Carrier Access Act and discriminating against the plaintiffs by using "her son's autism as a pretext for removing plaintiffs from the plane."

Dincola is seeking damages for mental pain and suffering, emotional distress, out-of-pocket expenses related to the wrongdoing, interest, court costs, attorney's fees and punitive

Dincola is represented by New Orleans attorney Clifton M. Davis III
of Trahan and Davis. A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 2:10cv02080

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