Paralyzed Veteran Joseph Smith Sues United Airlines for Mistreatment, Left to Soak in Own Urine


Former U.S. Marine Sgt. Joseph Smith, who was paralyzed during his military service in Afghanistan, is filing a lawsuit alleging he was injured and left to soak in his own urine by United Airlines and workers at O’Hare International Airport in November 2010.

Smith is suing the Air Serv Corporation and United Airlines for $300,000 in damages, claiming an Air Serv employee dumped him out of his wheelchair at Chicago O’Hare airport, reports CBS Chicago.

Smith told CBS Chicago: “I flew out of my chair, hit my head on the left side of my head. … I landed on my head."

Smith suffered a concussion, was denied an aisle seat on his United Airlines flight and had to  drag himself to his seat without help. His catheter bag spilled, soaking him with urine. He was left to soak in it by flight attendants.

Smith added: “Apparently some people out there, they just don’t get it. So, I want to make sure this never happens to someone else. I just want people out there to know that … people with disabilities, we’re not invisible. We’re people, too.”


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