Was United Airlines legally allowed to force passenger off plane?

Many still want to know if United Airlines had the right to remove the man from the plane.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - As United CEO, Oscar Munoz, tries to make amends with the public, the debate continues -- did the airline have the right to remove passenger David Dao from the plane?

The WZZM 13 Watchdog team asked legal experts to dig through United's contract. The section in question is called "Refusal of Transport."

According to the contract, once Dao boarded the aircraft, United Airlines was legally allowed to remove him from the flight. But some say that unless there was a good reason, they shouldn't be allowed to do something like that.

►Related: Man physically pulled off of United plane after it was overbooked

Most of the reasons that would get a passenger ejected from a plane have to do with safety issues like disorderly conduct or being drunk -- which all are laid out in United's contract.

The Watchdog team spoke to a few different attorneys on Wednesday, April 12, who say the passenger didn't fit any of these criteria.

Michael Huff, Corporate Attorney with Mika Meyers Law Cffices says, “None of those apply -- so, the question is, was there an extenuating circumstance that allowed them to remove the passenger? In terms of the contract, specifically defined, it seems unlikely that a situation existed here.”

Huff doesn't foresee any lengthy court battles on this. He believes that this is a highly embarrassing situation for both United and for Dr. Dao and this will likely be settled quickly -- so it goes away.

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