Three Rouse Frets attorneys have filed suit against United Airlines for violating laws pertaining to the transportation of disabled passengers.
Attorneys Randall Rhodes, Jeffrey Rowe and Rachel Boden have sued United on behalf of Russ and Stacey Schmidt after United Airlines seriously damaged their daughter, Hailey’s, wheelchair. Hailey is paralyzed from injuries suffered in a car wreck.
The Schmidt family scheduled a family cruise out of Houston in December, and booked airfare on United flying out of St. Louis to Houston. Russ Schmidt contacted United weeks before the flight to inform them of Hailey’s $40,000 wheelchair and contents the airline assured him they could safely transport the mobility device. Instead, Hailey’s wheelchair was seriously damaged by United on both flights.
Federal laws—such as the Air Carrier Access Act—require airlines to safely transport disabled passengers. Airlines are also required by law to safely and properly store assistance devices, returning them to disabled passengers in the condition they were received, the petition argues.
United was previously fined $2.75 million by the Department of Transportation in 2016 for violating rules including the assistance of passengers with disabilities. The Schmidt family is hopeful their lawsuit helps raise awareness about the problems faced by the disabled when companies like United ignore their needs.