Airline Blames 9-Year-Old for What??

( – After a flight attendant secretly recorded a 9-year-old girl in an airplane bathroom, American Airlines is blaming the child for the incident while also facing a lawsuit.

The airline’s lawyers have speculated that the child should have noticed a “visible and illuminated recording device” in the “compromised lavatory,” alleging the child should have known about it.

The filing stated, “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.”

This legal challenge stems from incidents involving a former flight attendant, Estes Carter Thompson III, who was arrested in January and was also accused of attempting to film minors using the airplane’s restroom.

A pivotal moment came when a 14-year-old girl, flying from Charlotte to Boston in September 2023, was directed by Thompson to a bathroom where she discovered an iPhone hidden under what seemed to be a damaged toilet seat.

The teenager photographed and reported the hidden device to her parents, which prompted flight crew awareness and subsequent official investigations.

Authorities later discovered that Thompson had recordings of four other girls, including the 9-year-old, who was traveling to Disneyland from Texas with her family.

Moreover, the young girl’s family sued American Airlines and Thompson, stating the girl “has suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the incident including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, fearfulness, insomnia, and nightmares.”

Reacting to the airline’s defense strategy, the girl’s mother expressed her dismay to the Boston Herald:

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

In its legal filings, American Airlines also argued that Thompson was not acting “within the course and scope of his employment,” which suggested the airline should not be held “liable” for his “alleged actions.”

Thompson is currently detained in federal custody, having pled guilty to one count of attempted sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of child pornography featuring a prepubescent minor.

Following his arrest, American Airlines emphasized its concern over the allegations, clarifying that Thompson’s conduct “does not reflect” the airline’s values or mission.

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