U/A and Dr. Dao (2017)

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Let'sgoflying!, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    If all the passengers have already been boarded, doesn’t this only become an issue when UA decided to place their employees essentially at the bottom of the list to be IDBd after everyone else was boarded? Does the regulation even deal with that? I didn’t see that in there.
    [/QUOTE]
     
  2. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Citing a court case before it's been decided is premature.

    Attorneys disagree. In every court case, there's at least one attorney arguing for each side. I'd be interested in knowing what percentage of aviation attorneys agree with those three. Otherwise, it's just anecdotal evidence.
     
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  3. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    I think this is a bit stronger than that. The complaint (have you read the pertinent parts?, points 44 and 45) alleges that an exhibit shows that UA admitted in writing that it should have known this would require the use of physical force and that UA was responsible.

    It would take a very foolish attorney (and there are some) to put that in the complaint and refer to it in an exhibit if it doesn’t pretty much say that.

    I would say reasonably good evidence that UA agreed to those things. Some chance it could be false, but not a lot.

    In terms of attorney opinions, well, are there any reports of attorneys who would opine the opposite? Of the extant sample, 100% say UA was not on the right side of the law, but that is a biased sample
     
  4. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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  5. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    The letter from the DOT indicates a limited scope of investigation over 1 month confined to whether UA violated any existing regulations. Mostly whether people were chosen properly and if there was any discrimination by race (which was one of Dao’s expressed concerns).

    It actually noted that “We are, however, unable to determine whether United followed the requirement in the Department's oversales rule to involuntarily bump passengers only if an insufficient number of volunteers come forward.” which would go to the point of UA exhausting other available more peaceful remedies.

    It also does not exonerate or clear UA explicitly in any other way, specifically, whether the carriage contract was violated or if there is any authority to forcibly remove someone. They do not report reviewing the carriage contract at all.
     
  6. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Every court case has at least one attorney arguing on one side, and another attorney arguing on the opposite side.

    Three attorneys is not a statistically significant sample.
     
  7. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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  8. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    I like to try and figure out the truth if possible. Habit from being a scientist I guess.

    I also, perhaps unfortunately, have experience with differences between regulatory, criminal and civil law that can bite people, so this caught my eye. Practice reading regulations and legal opinions probably also makes it go a bit faster.

    Of course I have to limit the number of items I read more deeply on or the time would get out of control. I think I mentioned I have an ongoing project regarding the whole MMR/autism scare and that has definitely consumed some time and will go on for a while yet!
     
  9. PeterNSteinmetz

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    Honestly I don’t think this is a particularly good reason to reject the 3 extant opinions.

    Unclear exactly how to cast this as a statistical problem, but in general, 3 samples, if one has variation, can be used in hypothesis testing. In this case, they all agree so there is no variation. But the best estimate of the average if one has 3 samples is the mean of those 3 samples.

    Dr. Dao’s lawsuit never got close to trial. UA settled soon after the demand to preserve evidence was sent. That strongly suggests that UAs lawyers also thought they were in trouble and would lose. So we don’t even know if UA had any lawyers that thought they could win. May have simply been a PR move but we just don’t know.

    So really we have no data here to suggest any lawyers thought UA was in the right.

    But of course looking at the actual regulations or statutes or decisions and the facts is better than debating second hand opinions if one really wants to get to the bottom of something.

    It does take more time and effort though. But the DOT letter is just two pages. 14 CFR 250 isn’t very long or complicated. The 3 references cited in the Wikipedia article were just a few pages. Have a look if you are interested and have some time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  10. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are you sure you're a scientist? :rolleyes1:

    I'm sure that there are a lot more than three aviation attorneys in the U.S. We don't know what percentage of them would agree with these three, because three attorneys are not a statistically valid representation of all the aviation attorneys in the U.S.

    A good scientist recognizes when it's necessary to say "we don't know."
     
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  11. PeterNSteinmetz

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    They also don’t engage in logical fallacies like the ad hominem attack. It is not only invalid as an argument, it is rude, particularly in a public forum.
     
  12. PeterNSteinmetz

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    All right, taking that remark seriously, two points:

    Is there any data extant in this discussion or elsewhere to suggest there are ANY aviation attorneys who would argue that UA was legally in the right?

    There was no case argued in court or in motions by UA. Thus the observation that in any case there are attorneys arguing both sides is not particularly relevant. So far as we know, there were NO such attorneys willing to argue UAs case in court. They are at this point imaginary beings like unicorns.

    If such existed, that would give rise to some statistical variation in the observations and then one could run a hypothesis test, yes, even on a sample size of 3. For example, go to http://rddr.io and enter “t.test(1.95,2.05,2.1))”. It provides a valid and significant statistical p-value for that case. The theory of hypothesis testing does not provide any basis for the broad assertion that a sample size of 3 is not a valid sample. Please provide a reference for that assertion. The validity of the sample depends on a lot of factors, including the level of variation in the sample.

    But AS I NOTED, it is unclear how one would even properly cast this as a statistical problem with this dataset.

    The question arose because of the assertion that a validly conducted opinion poll of aviation attorneys would be convincing. That is fair enough as a statement of what would be persuasive to the speaker, but then raises the question, why demand that standard of evidence?

    What evidence, other than the non-existant, larger opinion poll would be convincing? I suggested it might be best to examine the actual exhibits in the Long case, the regulations, and the contract for carriage, to try and see, as a more direct assessment.

    But I gather that would take too much time and effort. Fair enough, then perhaps best to just acknowledge that and that one simply doesn’t have the time or energy to fill in that gap in knowledge.

    But perhaps what is really meant here is that we don’t really know how this would turn out in court if adjudicated. That is true and I believe has been one of my points. I don’t even really understand , and I don’t believe it has been presented here, what the legal basis for UAs actions were. The available evidence strongly suggests UA may have violated their carriage contract though I also suspect they had a valid grounds under trespass law to ask Dr. Dao to get off the plane.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  13. PeterNSteinmetz

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    Just happened to re-read this part today. From the letter describing the DOT investigation:

    “It is undisputed that United sought volunteers willing to give up their seats for compensation several times and that one passenger offered to give up her seat for compensation following the initial request from a United agent for Drs. David and Teresa Dao to deplane the aircraft. There is conflicting information regarding whether United then offered Drs. David and Teresa Dao the opportunity for one of them to continue separately on Flight 3411.”

    So it is not clear that even after UA was informed they would have one more seat available they could offer to get Dr. Dao to his destination that they made it available. Wow.