American Airlines Fires Lawyer Who Said Child Should Have Seen Bathroom Camera

An American Airlines Airbus A319.
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • American Airlines has replaced its lawyers after backlash over a toilet check-in case.
  • The airline is facing lawsuits related to a former flight attendant accused of filming underage girls.
  • Previous lawyers argued that a 9-year-old girl “should have known” she was being filmed.

American Airlines has new lawyers after previous attorneys said a 9-year-old girl should have realized she was being checked into the restroom by a flight attendant.

The airline faces several lawsuits stemming from criminal charges against Estes Carter Thompson, a former flight attendant accused of filming underage girls by taping his phone to a bathroom toilet seat.

Police arrested Thompson after a 14-year-old girl noticed a phone with its camera flashlight on in the bathroom during a flight from North Carolina to New York in September 2023, a the police said. He faces federal charges of attempted sexual exploitation of children and possession of child sexual abuse images.

The girl’s mother previously told Business Insider that Thompson used “psychological tricks” to make her believe the interaction wasn’t strange.

Paul Llewellyn, an attorney representing the 14-year-old girl’s family in a civil suit, also represents the family of a 9-year-old girl who claims Thompson also filmed her on a January 2023 flight.

Lawyers representing American Airlines in that lawsuit claimed in court filings this week that the 9-year-old “knew or should have known” that the toilet “contained a visible and illuminated recording device,” exonerating the airline from any negligence.

Llewellyn called the claims “not credible” and said the airline should never have “taken this position in the first place.”

The airlines later dropped their claims in court, amended the complaint, and issued a statement to Business Insider saying the defense was “not representative of our airline.”

Today, American Airlines confirmed to Business Insider that the airline no longer retains the lawyers who drafted the complaint, with no further comment on the change.

Llewellyn told BI in a statement that American Airlines changed lawyers “due to the intense media and public backlash surrounding this scandalous allegation.”

“With this new legal representation, we hope that American Airlines will now take a fresh look at the matter and finally take some responsibility for what happened to our client,” Llewellyn said. “If not, we are confident that a Texas jury will do the right thing and hold American Airlines accountable.”

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Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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