American Airlines Accuses 9-Year-Old Girl in Hidden Camera Incident, Says She ‘Should Have Known

American Airlines Accuses 9-Year-Old Girl in Hidden Camera Incident, Says She 'Should Have Known

The American Airlines lawyers said in court documents that the girl, who was 9, “should have known” that there was a camera hidden under the toilet seat by a flight worker.

Federal authorities say that Estes Carter Thompson III, the 37-year-old worker, filmed several girls between the ages of 7 and 14 over the course of seven months last year.

Paul Llewellyn, the family lawyer, told Fox News Digital that the family was “outraged” and “angry” when the airline’s lawyers blamed the girl. The family had sued the airline and Thompson.

That’s not right. I can’t even imagine a world where you could tell a 9-year-old, “It’s not our fault.” You caused this. “You should have known that you were being filmed,” Llewellyn said. When asked if he had heard this defense before, he shook his head firmly no. “No, never.”

In a court filing, American Airlines’ lawyers said, “Any injuries or illnesses alleged to have been sustained by plaintiff, Mary Doe, were proximately caused by plaintiff’s own fault and negligence, 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.”

According to Llewellyn, the family “was absolutely appalled” when they read this defence.

Four people, ages 7, 9, 11, and 14, were said to have been hurt. The civil claim says that one of the victims saw a phone’s camera flash under the toilet seat, which was covered with tape and a sign that said “SEAT BROKEN.”

The suit says she took a picture of it and showed it to her mum, which made her parents very angry.

The girl’s dad ran straight to the flight attendants and yelled, “What the hell just happened in the first-class bathroom with my daughter?” as they held the phone picture under the toilet seat.

As the family’s lawyer put it, American Airlines took back the lawyers’ defence in a “grovelling” public statement and seemed to pull away from the defence team after multiple news stories and backlash of victim blaming.

American Airlines said, “Our outside legal counsel hired by our insurance company made a mistake in this filing.” “The defence that was included doesn’t reflect our airline, so we told them to change it this morning.”

“We don’t think this child is at fault, and we’re very concerned about the claims made against a former team member.” For us, caring for people is the most important thing, and that starts with making sure our customers and team are safe.

In the statement the airline put out Wednesday morning, Llewellyn said, “but the bell cannot be unrung.”

A federal criminal case is being brought against Thompson. It is about the 14-year-old who found the secret phone.

The family of the 9-year-old girl filed a civil suit in Texas Supreme Court on her behalf. The claim says that they found out from federal investigators months after the flight that Thompson’s phone had pictures of their daughter’s face and other inappropriate things on it.

When the girl was accidentally shown, she was on a flight with her family to Disneyland in January 2023.

The case claims that “what began as a memorable family trip has become an inescapable nightmare.” “That nightmare could have been prevented by the airline.”

In her civil case, it is said that the young survivor has had PTSD symptoms like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and nightmares ever since she learned what happened.

“This emotional distress has had fundamental impact on her interpersonal relationships, her schooling and her ability to function in the world,” as per the lawsuit.

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