(NewsNation) — A Charlotte couple has taken legal action against American Airlines, filing a lawsuit alleging their 14-year-old daughter discovered a camera in the bathroom during a flight from Charlotte to Boston on Sept. 2.
According to reports citing the lawsuit, the girl attempted to use an economy section bathroom but was directed by a male flight attendant to the first-class bathroom even though it had an "occupied" sign.
“Given that the first-class bathroom was also currently occupied, she thought it was odd that the flight attendant directed her to move to the front of the plane to use that bathroom,” the lawsuit reads. “However, as a fourteen-year-old, she had been taught to respect adults.”
In an interview with the local news, the teen’s father said the flight attendant made an unusual request before his daughter entered the bathroom, saying he needed to wash his hands before collecting garbage.
“Before she can go in, he stops her and says, ‘Hang on. I need to go in and wash my hands. We’re about to start collecting garbage.’ Which is odd. In retrospect, it’s just a strange thing to say,” he said. “When he came out, he told her ‘The toilet seat is broken. We’re going to fix it when we get back to Charlotte. Don’t worry about it.’ And so, she didn’t think very much of what she saw when she then went in after he left.”
According to reports citing the lawsuit, the family said the girl found the handwashing request odd, “given that it made more sense for him to wash hands after collecting trash, as opposed to prior to doing so.”
In his interview, the teen’s dad said his daughter saw red sticker tape indicating the seat was broken and then used the bathroom.
The lawsuit claims that the girl then discovered a phone taped underneath the "broken seat" sign with the camera flash on. She immediately informed her parents and took a photo of the camera before leaving the bathroom.
According to reports citing the lawsuit, the flight attendant re-entered the bathroom and locked the door once the girl had left.
The girl’s dad says he confronted the flight attendant in question and asked to see his phone, but found him “tapping furiously on his phone,” according to reports. He tried to grab the phone but it was locked.
The lawsuit asserts that American Airlines should have known the flight attendant posed a danger and accuses the airline of allowing him to destroy evidence by not confiscating the phone promptly.
The family claims they informed various flight attendants about the incident, but the pilot was only notified after the flight attendant became aware of the suspicion.
Upon returning to Charlotte, an FBI agent informed the family that law enforcement found no incriminating evidence on the flight attendant's phone.
The lawsuit alleges that the family has not received updates from law enforcement, and the flight attendant has not been arrested.
The parents express concern about the potential distribution of any unauthorized photos or videos of their daughter. The family states that the teen now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is anxious about being in public alone due to the traumatic incident.