Was United Legally Wrong In Dragging Off A Passenger?

This week United Airlines made headlines by dragging off a passenger who refused to leave the plane after being told to do so because the airlines had overbooked.  The situation is a public relations nightmare for the airlines, but was United legally wrong? United has defended their actions by claiming that they had a right to remove the passenger because of overbooking and that they didn't remove him themselves, they simply called airport security.  So United claims they were within their rights to call security and if security went overboard then that was their mistake not United's.  There is an excellent article at http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/united-cites-wrong-rule-for-illegally-de-boarding-passenger/ which details why United did not have the right to remove a passenger from the plane due to overbooking.  They do have a right to PREVENT passengers from boarding when there is an overbooking issue, but this right does not extend to removal once United allowed him to board.  The test for a removal is different and overbooking is not a valid reason for that according to the author of the ariticle.  So it appears that United has some legal liability to the passenger here since he was damaged as a result of an action that the airlines had no right to take.

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