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Sat, Nov 17, 2012

Former Marine In A Wheelchair Sues United Airlines, Air Serv

Says He Was Mistreated By Airline And Airport Workers, Left Soaked In His Own Urine

A former Marine Sergeant who was wounded and paralyzed in combat in Afghanistan has filed a lawsuit against United Airlines and Air Serv Corporation at O'Hare International Airport, claiming he was "dumped" out of his wheelchair by an Air Serve employee and later left soaked by the contents of his catheter bag.

Chicago radio station WBBM reports that Sgt. Joseph Smith was traveling on United as part of the Paralympic shooting team, and trying to make a connection at O'Hare. He says that the Air Serv employee carelessly tipped him out of his chair when it became stuck while boarding the United flight, causing a concussion. He also says he was denied an aisle seat on the plane, and had to drag himself unassisted to his assigned seat. The contents of his catheter bag spilled in that process, leaving the former Marine soaked in his own urine.

Smith's attorney Alex Hattimer said that the suit is more about dignity than money. "I want to make sure this never happens to someone else," he told the station.

Neither Air Serve or United commented on the allegations.

FMI: www.marines.mil

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