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Lawyer Claims United Airlines Cracks Down on New Threat: Violinists

Lawyer Claims United Airlines Cracks Down on New Threat: Violinists
Yet another Houston-area United passenger is stepping forward with tales of alleged mistreatment.

Yennifer Correia is a professional violinist who plans to take part in the summer season of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra. But when Correia tried to board a United Airlines flight at Bush Intercontinental Airport on Sunday, there was a confrontation that resulted in a missed rehearsal and “possible damage” to Correia’s hand, according to a news release put out by her lawyer, Philip MacNaughton.

“Today, United Airlines attacked yet another passenger,” the release reads. “Correia…was in the process of boarding her flight from Houston to St. Louis when a United supervisor refused to permit her to carry her violin onto the plane.”

When Correia explained to the supervisor that she needed her violin for work and asked for the supervisor’s name, the supervisor “became belligerent,” MacNaughton alleges. Then, the supervisor lunged at Correia “without provocation” and tried to take her violin, according to the release.

It’s unclear yet whether Correia plans to sue the airline. Philip MacNaughton, the Houston-based lawyer representing Correia, could not be reached for comment. In the news release, MacNaughton asks other passengers to come forward if they have “video of the attack.”

The Houston Press on Monday published a story about a disabled woman who is suing United Airlines after she was injured, and her wheelchair broken, while workers were helping her into a seat.

Meanwhile, the airline is still trying to recover from an infamous viral video from April, which showed workers dragging a bloodied man from an overbooked United Airlines flight. That man, David Dao, reached a settlement with the airline later that month.

“We’re disappointed anytime a customer has an experience that does not live up to his or her expectation,” United spokesman Charles Hobart told the Houston Press about Correia's incident. “We are reaching out to Ms. Correia to gain a better understanding of what occurred and to offer assistance.”

Hobart did not dispute any of the allegations made by Correia's lawyer in the news release.
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Stephen Paulsen is a journalist and native Houstonian. He writes about crime, food, drugs, urban planning and extremists of all kinds. He covers local news for Houston Press and cannabis policy for Leafly.