American Airlines received backlash on social media on Wednesday after its legal team blamed a 9-year-old girl for allegedly being secretly filmed in the bathroom on an employee’s phone.

The child’s family filed a lawsuit in February against the airline and Estes Thompson III, who allegedly recorded the girl on a flight from Texas to Los Angeles in January 2023 when he was a flight attendant for American Airlines.

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However, a recent court filing by the airline’s legal team argued that “any injuries or illnesses” that the little girl allegedly suffered were caused by her “own fault and negligence.” Defense attorneys argued that she “knew or should have known [the bathroom] contained a visible and illuminated recording device.”

American Airlines
An American Airlines Boeing 777-223ER taxis at Los Angeles International Airport on May 5 in Los Angeles, California. American Airlines received backlash on social media on May 22 after its legal team tried blaming a…
An American Airlines Boeing 777-223ER taxis at Los Angeles International Airport on May 5 in Los Angeles, California. American Airlines received backlash on social media on May 22 after its legal team tried blaming a 9-year-old girl for being secretly filmed in the bathroom on an employee’s phone.

Kevin Carter/Getty Images

In a statement sent to Newsweek via email on Wednesday, American Airlines said: “Our outside legal counsel retained with our insurance company made an error in this filing. The included defense is not representative of our airline and we have directed it be amended this morning.

“We do not believe this child is at fault and we take the allegations involving a former team member very seriously. Our core mission is to care for people—and the foundation of that is the safety and security of our customers and team.”

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The airline received fierce backlash on X, formerly Twitter, with some even calling for a boycott.

Collin Rugg, co-owner of conservative outlet Trending Politics, called the new court filing “absolutely insane.”

Conservative activist Ashley St. Clair wrote: “Wow. I will never fly @AmericanAir again. I remember feeling so sick reading the details of this case a while ago.”

Libs of TikTok, a conservative social media account, claimed that the airline “is defending a p*d* [pedophile].”

Jenni Farley, known as JWoww on the reality TV show Jersey Shore, wrote: “Please tell me this is a joke ⁦@AmericanAir⁩ !?!”

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Nick Sortor, who has appeared on Fox News and Newsmax, posted: “How the hell do you blame a 9 YEAR OLD girl for not knowing she was being recorded in the BATHROOM? I guess everyone on American will have to scour the bathrooms for their workers’ cameras from now on. These is utterly shameless, American Airlines.”

Disturbing Discovery

The Texas family’s lawsuit stems from a disturbing discovery last fall.

In September, a 14-year-old girl flying from Charlotte to Boston went to use the bathroom and saw red stickers on the underside of the toilet seat lid holding a cellphone with the flash on, which allegedly was Thompson’s. Federal authorities ended up allegedly finding videos of other school-aged girls on Thompson’s phone, including the 9-year-old.

Thompson is in federal custody and has pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of child pornography depicting a prepubescent minor.

Responding to the recent filing from American Airlines, the 9-year-old’s mother said in a statement: “Instead of taking responsibility for this awful event, American Airlines is actually blaming our daughter for being filmed,” according to the Boston Herald. “How in good conscience could they even make such a suggestion? It both shocks and angers us. American Airlines has no shame.”

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/713839671/0tpebihleBFKNoES?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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