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UA tries to get woman to sign NDA to get vet bills paid (PetSafe program)

UA tries to get woman to sign NDA to get vet bills paid (PetSafe program)

Old Nov 21, 13, 11:02 am
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UA tries to get woman to sign NDA to get vet bills paid (PetSafe program)

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigat...232739231.html

Seriously, that's pretty sleazy. Why would they want someone to sign an NDA saying that he or she won't tell the story of how THEY put her dog on the tarmac in July heat for hours, as a condition of getting paid?

Geez, I wouldn't sign that NDA either, and I'd drag UA to court if it was my dog.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigat...232739231.html

Seriously, that's pretty sleazy. Why would they want someone to sign an NDA saying that he or she won't tell the story of how THEY put her dog on the tarmac in July heat for hours, as a condition of getting paid?

Geez, I wouldn't sign that NDA either, and I'd drag UA to court if it was my dog.
on UA, and I'm glad the lady said the heck with signing the NDA and instead brought this to the media's attention. I would have done the exact same thing as she did!
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Old Nov 21, 13, 2:21 pm
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Dirtbags!

UA completely in the wrong here and are being jerks about doing the right thing!
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Old Nov 21, 13, 2:25 pm
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What's surprising is that NDAs are very common in settlements, but according to the article, UA's payment seems only to be for actual damages (the vet bills that owner incurred). I wouldn't have a problem if this were an offer of "we screwed up, here's a check for $XX,XXX and be quiet about this incident, sign this NDA", but an NDA just for actual damages? Give me a break.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 2:32 pm
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UA saved $2,700 towards that $2 billion in savings but cost themselves an undefined amount of goodwill and bad publicity. But on the balance sheet this is a win for UA.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 2:44 pm
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A better response would be to have her sign an NDA on the settlement amount in return for publicly admitting fault and promising to verifiably retool the way pets are handled. That any pet could be treated this way is a testament to the complete systemic breakdown. UA -- or any airline, really -- needs either to say we won't ship your pet, period; or do what they have to do to make sure things like this don't happen.

I will never ship my dog on UA.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 2:50 pm
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Unfortunately, this is pretty common and not limited to UA. I had to sign a NDA to get compensation for vet bills (nothing to do with travel), and it took a lot of work by my lawyer to reduce the scope of that NDA from the overly-onerous terms initially offered.

I will say that paying only for actual expenses is fairly common in this situation, too. This is in part a side effect of the way that most states treat pets as chattel property. In fact, companies could often get away with saying, "Oh, a new dog would cost you only $400, so you shouldn't have spent $3000 on medical bills. Here's a check for $400."
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Old Nov 21, 13, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
Unfortunately, this is pretty common and not limited to UA. I had to sign a NDA to get compensation for vet bills (nothing to do with travel), and it took a lot of work by my lawyer to reduce the scope of that NDA from the overly-onerous terms initially offered.

I will say that paying only for actual expenses is fairly common in this situation, too. This is in part a side effect of the way that most states treat pets as chattel property. In fact, companies could often get away with saying, "Oh, a new dog would cost you only $400, so you shouldn't have spent $3000 on medical bills. Here's a check for $400."
I understand that pets are only property, but in this case, UA is representing their product as a sort of "Cadillac" pet transportation service, and the woman has video evidence showing the truth! So, to buy that evidence from her, they should have offered an actual cash settlement, in addition to her vet bills, and a heartfelt apology to get a NDA.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
I understand that pets are only property, but in this case, UA is representing their product as a sort of "Cadillac" pet transportation service, and the woman has video evidence showing the truth! So, to buy that evidence from her, they should have offered an actual cash settlement, in addition to her vet bills, and a heartfelt apology to get a NDA.
Oh, I agree entirely.

Legally, though, there has to typically be intentional malice or intentional neglect to get more in damages.

But UA should have definitely offered far more than they did and should have handled the situation far better.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Lurker1999 View Post
UA saved $2,700 towards that $2 billion in savings but cost themselves an undefined amount of goodwill and bad publicity. But on the balance sheet this is a win for UA.
Just like cutting elite benefits and selling TOD upgrades "saves" UA money and "gains" revenue. And because it's hard to quantify how much bad word of mouth hurts revenue and costs money, those numbers don't get included.

Originally Posted by exerda
I will say that paying only for actual expenses is fairly common in this situation, too. This is in part a side effect of the way that most states treat pets as chattel property. In fact, companies could often get away with saying, "Oh, a new dog would cost you only $400, so you shouldn't have spent $3000 on medical bills. Here's a check for $400."
I wouldn't give up that easily though. Let the case go to trial; anyone who's ever had a pet would probably be far more sympathetic toward the person who lost the pet than the airline. And a trial would mean even more bad publicity for the airline, which is why I'd expect a settlement offer before it got that far. Then again, if my dog was actually KILLED by the airline, I might be more interested in raking them through the mud than in any monetary settlement.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
if my dog was actually KILLED by the airline, I might be more interested in raking them through the mud than in any monetary settlement.
Me too, this 100%. They'd have to pay to shut me up and it wouldn't be easy.

Since I work with dog rescue organizations that rehome dogs out of Spain, and we're bringing more and more to the US by airline, I find this very disturbing. It's already expensive to bring animals on flights, I expect proper care of them as part of contract of carriage.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 4:00 pm
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In the real world -- far, far away from FT -- it is not only common, but almost uniform to require that settlements be confidential. Any lawyer who advises a commercial customer otherwise is a fool and any company which does so is foolish.

It does not, in fact, hurt the carrier's brand. Bad stuff happens every day all across the world on airlines, in car services, at hotels & restaurants. 99.99% of the time, the NDA works, the customer is satisfied and the public never hears about it. In the miniscule # of matters where the issue goes public, it's a big nothing other than in places far, far, far away from the real world, such as FT.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
In the real world -- far, far away from FT -- it is not only common, but almost uniform to require that settlements be confidential. Any lawyer who advises a commercial customer otherwise is a fool and any company which does so is foolish.

It does not, in fact, hurt the carrier's brand. Bad stuff happens every day all across the world on airlines, in car services, at hotels & restaurants. 99.99% of the time, the NDA works, the customer is satisfied and the public never hears about it. In the miniscule # of matters where the issue goes public, it's a big nothing other than in places far, far, far away from the real world, such as FT.
If my dog was just injured (not permanently), then it would probably be possible to pay me to shut up. But if my dog was killed? I doubt it. And the story mentions that there are several hundred of THOSE types of cases a year.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 4:04 pm
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Scumbags, plain and simple; corporate America at its worst; yes, I am an animal lover and I work with a dog rescue group for FREE
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Old Nov 21, 13, 4:04 pm
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I find this very interesting from the article.

Also, by law, airlines must report whether a pet is hurt, lost or dies on a trip within 45 days of an incident occurring. As of November, the Department of Transportation has no record of Sinclair’s pets’ injuries, even though they were sustained in July.
Wonder what DOT will do after seeing that UA is not following what is mandated to do.
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