American Airlines blames 9-year-old girl for being filmed in plane bathroom: ‘Shocking and outrageous’

Estes Carter Thompson III. (Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority/TNS)

BOSTON — American Airlines, facing lawsuits after a flight attendant allegedly filmed girls using plane bathrooms, is blaming a 9-year-old girl for being secretly recorded.

The airline in a new court filing is arguing that the young girl should have known that the airplane toilet contained a recording device.


“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 airline’s attorneys added about the 9-year-old girl using “the compromised lavatory” on the plane: “She knew or should have known contained a visible and illuminated recording device.”

The lawsuits against American Airlines started after a former flight attendant was arrested in connection with allegedly recording a 14-year-old girl in a plane’s bathroom on a Boston-bound flight.

Estes Carter Thompson III, 36, of Charlotte, N.C., also allegedly had recordings of four other girl passengers using airplane lavatories — including the 9-year-old girl, who’s from Texas and was flying with her family to go to Disneyland.

During the flight last year, she was secretly filmed while using the airplane toilet, according to the family’s lawsuit against American Airlines. The family is arguing that the airline knew or should have known that Thompson “was a danger.”

The family and their attorneys were shocked by this recent court filing from American Airlines.

“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.”

Attorney Paul Llewellyn, a partner at Lewis &Llewellyn LLP, said, “To blame a 9 year old for being filmed while using the airplane bathroom is both shocking and outrageous. In my opinion this is a depraved legal strategy that sinks to a new low. American Airlines should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.”

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