American Airlines Faces Legal Battle Over Alleged In-Flight Bathroom Recording Incident

Charlotte, N.C. – American Airlines has requested to be dropped from a federal lawsuit involving a flight attendant who was accused of secretly recording a 14-year-old girl in the bathroom on a flight out of Charlotte last year. The airline argues that it should not be held liable for the actions or crimes of its employees. The request to dismiss the lawsuit comes after the arrest of the flight attendant, Estes Carter Thompson III, in Virginia last month. Thompson is facing charges of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography depicting a minor.

According to the family of the teenage girl, she discovered Thompson’s phone taped to the back of a toilet seat on a flight to Boston on September 2. The family alleges that Thompson advised the girl to use the first-class bathroom after he exited, claiming the seat was broken but assuring her it was nothing to worry about. However, he allegedly entered the bathroom after the girl finished her use. The incident has left the family deeply shocked and disturbed.

Lawyers representing the girl’s family argue that American Airlines “knew or should have known” that Thompson posed a threat. The lawsuit also claims that Thompson’s coworkers allowed him to destroy evidence when confronted by the girl’s family. American Airlines removed Thompson from flights following the incident.

An investigation into Thompson’s iCloud account revealed four additional instances between January and August 2023 where he recorded minors using the bathroom on planes. The victims in these incidents ranged from 7 to 14 years old at the time. The search of Thompson’s account also uncovered hundreds of AI-generated child pornography images, according to the FBI.

In light of these allegations, American Airlines is seeking to distance itself from the lawsuit, arguing that it cannot be held responsible for the actions of Thompson. The airline maintains that it has policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety and security of its passengers but cannot prevent the criminal actions of individual employees.

This disturbing case highlights the issue of passenger safety and the potential dangers of hidden cameras in public spaces. It raises questions about the responsibility of airlines to thoroughly screen their employees and take appropriate action when concerns are raised. As the lawsuit unfolds, the family of the teenage girl hopes to receive justice for the trauma they have endured, while American Airlines faces scrutiny over its handling of the situation.