United Airlines issued an apology Tuesday after a video surfaced showing a Houston-based employee pushing a 71-year-old passenger to the floor during an altercation.
The video displayed passenger Ronald Tigner motionless on the floor of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport after a altercation escalated over a plane ticket. The confrontation occurred two years ago, but was brought up again in a lawsuit filed last week in Harris County, Texas.
Tigner, a Houston lawyer, sued the airline company and two of its employees for more than $1 million for alleged negligence in the incident. The plaintiff claims that he received a illegible boarding pass and when he tried to get a new one, the United employees refused to issue one.
Tigner's attorney, William Hoke, told KPRC that when Tigner asked one of the employees for a new ticket, he replied with a smile, saying, "Can't you see I'm busy?" Tigner responded by saying "wipe that smile off your face."
That is when Tigner's lawyer claims the incident began to escalate, the employee allegedly became violent and physically pushed the plaintiff.
In response to the video, United released a statement to KPRC saying it is "disturbed by the completely unacceptable behavior shown in a video of a customer and a former United employee." The employee is no longer with the company, according to the statement.
"The actions shown here do not reflect our core values or our commitment to treat all of our customers with respect and dignity," United's statement read. "We are reviewing all circumstances surrounding this incident and reaching out to our customer through his attorney to profusely apologize for what occurred and to make this right."
This is one of the latest fall outs the airline has faced since the incident that involved David Dao, a passenger who was violently dragged off a flight in Chicago.