When I fly commercial airlines, one of the announcements is the federal law requiring passengers comply with directives of the flight crew. Refusing to unazz your seat can technically fall under being disruptive and belligerent, aboard a aircraft that’s deemed breaking federal law ladies and gentlemen.
I might add there is NO video of the words that were exchanged between the passenger and flight crew/gate agent before the police arrived. (get both side of the story before making a judgement) VIDEO SHOW A SMALL PORTION OF THE ENTIRE EVENT...All that was shown in the video was the takedown and its aftermath.
I for one would not argue a traffic ticket with a police officer on the side of the road, NO ONE wins that battle. Many time you are taken away in handcuffs as a result if you push it too far. The courtroom is the place.
I do not think United would push this type of argument since public opinion is stacked against them, (as evident in their stock value) so settling out of court is their next best option. (OH...ALL AIRLINES, get ready for copy cats trying to seek a quick buck in the future)
As for the city and security/police personnel involved those lawsuits will not go too far either since the passenger was on the wrong side of the law. Both the city and security/police service mat also opt to settle due to public opinion. This passenger was wrong, the airline was wrong and could of handled the overbooking (which it would have known about in advance) better. They should have refused boarding of the four random passengers in advance! Calling those four passengers to the gate desk and explaining the situation.
Security/police were just subduing an uncooperative person aboard a crowded cramped place where many people could have additionally been injured had they NOT taken control.