Friday 24 May 2024

American Airlines Claims ‘Error’ After Blaming 9-Year-Old Girl For Not Noticing Flight Attendant’s Hidden Bathroom Camera

 American Airlines is backing away from its court filing blaming a nine-year-old girl for not noticing the hidden camera a flight attendant allegedly planted in the aircraft’s bathroom.

A former American flight attendant is accused of taping his iPhone to the toilet seat and then luring young girls to use the airplane bathroom.

Attorneys for the airline initially blamed the child, saying in a court filing that any injuries the girl suffered were due to her “own fault and negligence, were proximately caused by [her] use of the compromised lavatory, which she knew or should have known contained a visible and illuminated recording device.”

On Thursday, however, the airline distanced itself from that accusation.

An American Airlines spokesperson said that external attorneys working for the airline had “made an error in this filing.”

“Our outside legal counsel retained with our insurance company made an error in this filing. The included defense is not representative of our airline and we have directed it be amended this morning,” the spokesperson said. “We do not believe this child is at fault and we take the allegations involving a former team member very seriously. Our core mission is to care for people — and the foundation of that is the safety and security of our customers and team.”

The 9-year-old’s family sued American Airlines after the FBI informed them that videos of their daughter were found on the former flight attendant’s phone. The family had flown from Texas to California last year.

The fired flight attendant, Estes Carter Thompson III, 36, pled not guilty this week to charges of attempted sexual exploitation of children and possession of images of child sexual abuse.


Thomas is accused of having recordings of four girls, including the nine-year-old, using bathrooms on flights. He is also accused of trying to secretly record a video of a 14-year-old girl using the bathroom on a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Boston.

He was arrested in January and has remained in federal custody since then.

The court filing was amended on Wednesday. The new filing does not include the accusation that the girl’s injuries were her own fault. The case is making its way through a state district court in Austin.

On Tuesday, an attorney representing the 9-year-old, as well as the 14-year-old, excoriated the airline’s defense.

“To blame a 9 year old for being filmed while using the airplane bathroom is both shocking and outrageous,” attorney Paul Llewellyn said.

“In my opinion this is a depraved legal strategy that sinks to a new low. American Airlines should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves,” he added.

The 9-year-old’s mother said in a statement through her attorney, “How in good conscience could they even make such a suggestion?”

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