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Man Injured on International Flight to Chicago to Visit Family; Clifford Law Offices Available to Speak on Alleged Conduct of Airline Employees

An elderly man from Nigeria visiting his family in Chicago had to spend two nights in the hospital after reportedly being injured by airline employees as he traveled Wednesday from Dubai to O'Hare Airport.

The family of 72-year-old David Okesone reportedly unknowingly sat in the wrong seat on the leg of his trip on Flight EK235 from Dubai to Chicago, and his family said when he tried to move his carry-on bag to be with him, employees of Emirates Airlines physically restrained him by zip-tying his arms and legs for eight hours.  No charges have been brought against the elderly man, according to media reports. 

"Once again, we have airline employees who appear to be over-reacting to a situation that is not a threat to others," said Michael S. Krzak, partner at Clifford Law Offices. "Training is lacking and airline employees who are not well versed in recognizing security risks are taking things to unnecessary levels."

Krzak added that it is likely the Montreal Convention would govern an incident like this. "The Montreal Convention is a multi-national treaty adopted in 1999 that has a number of countries who signed on over the years, including the United States, that attempts to establish uniformity and predictability of rules relating to the international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo," Krzak said. "In this particular incident, Nigeria, the country where the passenger's travels started, is a signatory of the Montreal Convention."

Krzak added that it is likely the Montreal Convention would govern an incident like this to a passenger. "The Montreal Convention is a multi-national treaty adopted in 1999 that has a number of countries who signed on over the years, including the United States, that attempts to establish uniformity and predictability of rules relating to the international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo," Krzak said.  "In this particular incident, Nigeria, the country where the passenger's travels started, is a signatory of the Montreal Convention."

Clifford Law Offices was the first firm 40 years ago that secured a verdict for former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kluczynski and his wife when they were unceremoniously removed from a flight despite their having tickets. After suing the airlines, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Kluczynski. That decision has led to many other opinions in the past four decades to protect airline passengers.

Krzak and Bradley M. Cosgrove, partner at the firm, are available to speak about the latest tragedy of an elderly man once again reportedly being unjustly treated with excessive force when he posed no threat to passengers or crew.

For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909.

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