United Airlines Humiliates and Abuses Its Elderly Passenger

Louis Zaharias, an elderly man who has dedicated the greater part of three decades to trying to locate his kidnapped children, suffered unspeakable humiliation, ridicule and physical harm at the hands of United Airlines at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. United Airlines employees laughed and watched as Lou lay in pain and unable to walk, dragging himself across the airport floor to get help. As a result of the careless and malicious conduct of United Airlines, Lou sustained a traumatic brain injury and concussion, as well as injuries to his thoracic and lumbar spine, left shoulder and knees.

After a five-hour flight back home from visiting his 92-year-old Aunt Lil (who was in poor health), Lou was distraught to learn that his luggage, including sentimental gifts from his aunt, was lost by the airline. Despite the exhaustion from the flight and mental anguish of the airline losing his possessions, Lou approached United Airlines baggage claim office, where United Airlines employees refused to provide him with a baggage claim form, demanding an inventory of his possessions. Lou was segregated to a corner of the airport and instructed that he could not leave the small area without giving up his right to reclaim his lost possessions.

While struggling to complete the baggage claim form, Lou struck his head on a disguised plexiglass shelf attached to the wall, causing him to fall onto the ground, resulting in a traumatic brain injury, concussion and orthopedic injuries. The United Airlines employees simply stared at the elderly man, watching him struggle. As Lou was unable to stand up, he proceeded to crawl toward baggage claim and across the airport floor, on his hands and knees, looking for any help. Due to a concussion and being disoriented and in pain, Lou then vomited and lost control of his bladder while on the airport floor, as United Airlines employees laughed and joked about him, presumably unaware that they were caught on a security camera.

Once the airline employees were bored of humiliating the ailing, hurt, elderly man, they contacted the police to have the United Airlines “vagrant” (but paying passenger) forcibly removed from the airport. Thankfully for Lou, the police recognized their duty to this longstanding member of the Orange County, California community. The police were horrified by the situation, chastising United Airlines for the humiliation and pain that Lou was forced to endure and helping Lou obtain medical attention.

Despite losing Lou’s possessions, a police incident and security camera video footage, United Airlines has done nothing to correct or remedy the situation. Not a single person from United Airlines has reached out to Lou to show a shred of humanity. As a result of the disgusting acts of United Airlines employees, Lou has been unable to resume working and has suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion, orthopedic damage and indignation. Lou continues to undergo medical and psychiatric care, including counseling, multiple orthopedic procedures and is no longer able to work as a result of ongoing physical pain and undeniable emotional trauma. Lou retained Nehora Law Firm to represent him.