SE Texas Record

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

United Airlines employee caught on video pushing man down countersues

By David Yates | Aug 2, 2017

HOUSTON – In June, Ronald Tigner, an area attorney, filed suit against United Airlines, alleging two years ago a pair of employees laughed at him, cursed at him and physically injured him for asking for a new boarding pass.

On July 21, one of the former employees named in the suit filed a suit of his own against United, in which he alleges the attorney was “shouting profanities and racial slurs” and even instigated the physical encounter.

Tigner, seeking more than $1 million in damages, filed his suit against United on June 7 in Harris County, also naming Alejandro Anastasia and Ianthe Phillips-Allred as defendants.

According to the lawsuit, on July 21, 2015, Tigner was attempting to catch a flight out of Bush Intercontinental Airport. He allegedly received a boarding pass that was “illegible” that United refused to reprint.

TSA then refused to allow him to pass through the security checkpoint “because of the illegible pass,” obliging him to proceed back to the United ticketing area.

Anastasia and Allred refused to offer assistance to Tigner, and began laughing and cursing at him, the suit alleges.

Anastasia then “suddenly, unexpectedly and violently injured” him. A video of the incident has since gone viral.

However, Anastasia’s $1 million cross-claim against United tells a different story, alleging that Tigner was the aggressor in the confrontation.

“Tigner then proceeded to put his face within inches of Anastasia’s face and stepped on his Anastasia’s foot in the process, causing him pain,” the cross-claim states. “All the while, Tigner continued shouting profanities and racial slurs at Anaastasia and the other United employees.”

Anastasia claims he asked Tigner to step away. When the attorney became “more aggressive and threatening” and refused to stop “his assaultive conduct,” Anastasia was “forced to physically remove Tigner from his personal space.”

“At no time prior to this incident, did United ever provide training … on how to deal with unruly, abusive and bullying customers such as Tigner,” the cross-claim states. “United failed at every step to provide a safe work environment.”

Anastasia says the criminal action brought against him as a result of the incident has been dismissed, but United has refused to rehire him and he has since “struggled to find work due to the fallout.”

Houston attorney James Ardoin is representing Anastasia.

Tigner is suing for his past and future mental anguish, medical expenses, pain, lost wages, impairment and disfigurement.

Katy attorney William Hoke represents him.

Harris County District Court Cause No. 2017-37998

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United Airlines