9 year old girl filmed in plane’s bathroom: American Airlines says victim’s fault, ‘she should have known’ - Hindustan Times
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9 year old girl filmed in plane’s bathroom: American Airlines says victim’s fault, ‘she should have known’

ByAditi Srivastava
May 22, 2024 10:37 AM IST

American Airlines faces backlash for blaming 9-year-old girl in bathroom filming lawsuit

American Airlines is being lambasted following its absurd response to a lawsuit alleging that a 9-year-old girl was secretly filmed while using the plane's bathroom. A civil lawsuit filed against the company and one of its flight attendants sparked an ‘outrageous’ response from the airlines. The company’s legal team reportedly attempted to shift the blame onto the child, suggesting she "should have known" about the hidden recording device.

American Airlines planes at Terminal B of LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the Queens borough of New York, US, on Sunday, April 7, 2024. American Airlines Group Inc. is expected to release earnings figures on April 25. Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)
American Airlines planes at Terminal B of LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the Queens borough of New York, US, on Sunday, April 7, 2024. American Airlines Group Inc. is expected to release earnings figures on April 25. Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)

American Airlines blames 9-Year-Old filmed in bathroom

A flight attendant accused of filming young girls aged 7 to 14 on aircraft lavatories using his iCloud account, Estes Carter Thompson, III, was indicted last year. The alleged incidents occurred between January and August 2023. Following this, the 9-year-old victim's family filed a civil suit against Thompson and American Airlines.

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While arguing in court, the attorney representing the airline blamed the whole situation on the victim, stating that she should have been aware of her surroundings. “Any injuries or illnesses alleged to have been sustained by Plaintiff, Mary Doe, were proximately caused by Plaintiff’s own fault and negligence." The defense continued that the incidents “were proximately caused by Plaintiff’s use of the compromised lavatory, which she knew or should have known contained a visible and illuminated recording device.”

American Airlines blasted for ‘outrageous’ claims

“What on Earth is American Airlines thinking by adopting such a strategy?” The family of the girl was shocked to hear what the airline had to say. The legal attorney from the victim’s side told the post, “I was absolutely shocked and I think it’s outrageous.”

Lawyer Paul Llewellyn continued, “The idea that American Airlines and its lawyers would blame a 9-year-old girl for being filmed, in my opinion, just smacks of desperation and depravity.”

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Thompson’s indictment happened last summer after he tried to film a 14-year-old in the bathroom of a Boston-bound flight with his cell phone while he was employed as a flight attendant. After an investigation was launched, four more cases came to light. According to reports, videos of girls aged 7, 9, 11, and 14 years old were found on his iCloud account. The recent statement from the airline also prompted a response from the 14-year-old girl’s family, saying, "This callous legal position shocks us. Our hearts go out to the Texas family."

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