American Airlines Blames 9-Year-Old Girl For Being Filmed In Plane Bathroom

The airline argues the girl should have been aware of the recording device inside the airplane lavatory.

AP/David Zalubowski
An American Airlines jetliner waits on a runway for departure from Denver International Airport. AP/David Zalubowski

American Airlines, embroiled in legal battles after a flight attendant allegedly filmed a young female passenger while she used the plane’s bathrooms, says it’s the girl’s fault.

In recent court filings, the airline has argued that a 9-year-old girl should have been aware of the recording device inside the airplane lavatory.

“Defendant would show that any injuries or illnesses alleged to have been sustained by Plaintiff, Mary Doe, were proximately caused by Plaintiff’s own fault and negligence,” American Airlines’ lawyers wrote in their defense filing, the Boston Herald reports.

Of the  “the compromised lavatory, the lawyers said, the girl “knew or should have known [it] contained a visible and illuminated recording device.”

The legal issues began when a former flight attendant was arrested, accused of recording a 14-year-old girl in a bathroom during a flight to Boston. The attendant, Estes Carter Thompson III, 36, from Charlotte, North Carolina, reportedly had recordings of four other girls using the plane’s lavatories, including the 9-year-old girl from Texas, who was traveling with her family to Disneyland.

According to the family’s lawsuit, the 9-year-old was secretly filmed during the flight last year. The lawsuit argues that American Airlines either knew or should have known that Mr. Thompson posed a danger to passengers.

“Instead of taking responsibility for this awful event, American Airlines is actually blaming our daughter for being filmed,” the girl’s mother said in a statement. “How in good conscience could they even make such a suggestion? It both shocks and angers us. American Airlines has no shame.”

In another move that raised eyebrows, the airline’s lawyers also wrote: “Defendant Thompson was not acting within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the alleged wrongful conduct against Plaintiff… this Defendant (American) cannot be held vicariously liable for Defendant Thompson’s alleged actions that occurred outside the course and scope of his employment.”


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