Airline Says It Doesn't Blame 9-Year-Old Filmed in Lavatory

American says it dropped law firm over its lawsuit defense
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2024 11:55 AM CDT
Airline Says It Doesn't Blame 9-year-old Recorded in Lavatory
This undated inmate photo provided by the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority shows Estes Carter Thompson III.   (Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority via AP, File)

American Airlines says it is rewording a court filing that says it was a 9-year-old girl's fault that she was secretly recorded using a lavatory on a flight last fall. "Plaintiff's use of the compromised lavatory, which she knew or should have known contained a visible and illuminated recording device," the airline said this week in response to a lawsuit, was attributed to the child's negligence, USA Today reports. A flight attendant, Estes Carter Thompson III, has pleaded not guilty to charges involving a 14-year-old girl. Police say he had recordings of four other girls in lavatories, per the AP.

A lawyer representing two girls in the suit said American's filing outraged him. "As a lawyer I understand that you have to assert possible defenses, but I cannot even imagine a world where it would ever be appropriate to blame a 9-year-old for being filmed in an airplane bathroom," Paul Llewellyn told USA Today. The airline, in turn, blamed the law firm it had retained and said it has now dropped Wilson Elser, per the AP. "We do not believe this child is at fault and we take the allegations involving a former team member very seriously," American said in a statement. (More American Airlines stories.)

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