November 13, 2012, Chicago, IL: Chicago personal injury attorney, Alexander Loftus of Fichera & Miller filed a lawsuit today against United Air Lines and Air Serv for mistreating a paralyzed veteran.

On November 19, 2010 Sergeant Joseph Smith was traveling from Charlotte to Colorado Springs and was injured during a layover at O’Hare International Airport. Smith is a retired Army Sergeant and former Marine paralyzed in Operation Enduring Freedom while in Afghanistan. Smith was traveling as part of a Paralympic shooting team—Team Semper Fi.

When Sgt. Smith’s United flight arrived in Chicago an Air Serv employee pushed him out the door of the plane and despite being warned the front wheel was stuck continued to push and Smith fell forward out of his chair striking the left side of his head. The impact immediately caused headache, bleeding, and dizziness. Ultimately he was diagnosed with a concussion as a result of this fall.

An Air Serve employee assisted Sgt. Smith back into his wheelchair and left Sgt. Smith to propel himself to his next flight. Moments later Sgt. Smith met two female Air Serve employees at his connecting flight. When he reached the top of the ramp he explained to the flight attendants he required an aisle chair to reach his seat in row seven. United and Air Serv employees refused to provide him with an aisle chair or provide him with a seat in row one so Sgt. Smith had to drag his limp body seven rows down the aisle immediately after suffering a concussion. In the course of dragging himself down the aisle Sgt. Smith’s catheter bag ruptured causing urine to spill on him. Sgt. Smith sat in seat 7a covered in his urine for nearly two hours until he arrived in Colorado Springs. No United Airlines or Air Serv employee offered to assist Sgt. Smith in cleaning off the urine or helping him to his seat.

Sgt. Joseph Smith and his wife Deborah are filing suit alleging negligence, loss of consortium, and negligent infliction of emotional distress to ensure no other veterans are subjected to this sort of injury, neglect, and disrespect when visiting O’Hare Airport.

Fichera & Miller is a renowned Chicago personal injury law firm representing clients in all types of personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. The trial lawyers at Fichera & Miller have over 100 years combined experience in personal injury litigation and have tried over 200 cases to verdict. Please contact the firm at (312) 673-2222 or visit for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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