American Airlines is backing down after blaming a 9-year-old for not seeing a hidden camera in a restroom

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines has dropped a lawsuit in which the airline said a 9-year-old girl should have noticed a camera taped to the seat of an airplane toilet.

A former flight attendant is accused of luring girls into the toilet after taping his iPhone to the toilet seat. The 9-year-old's family flew American from Texas to California last year and sued the airline after the FBI told them videos of the girl were found on the flight attendant's phone.

In response to the lawsuit, American said in a court document that it would contest the family's claim by showing that any injuries the 9-year-old girl suffered were caused by the girl's “own fault and negligence, and that they were approximately caused by (her) use of the compromised toilet, which she knew or should have known contained a visible and illuminated recording device.

A U.S. spokesperson said Thursday that outside lawyers working for the company “made an error in this filing.”

“We do not believe this child is guilty, and we take the allegations involving a former team member very seriously,” the spokesperson said.

Lawyers for the airline amended the filing Wednesday in a district court in Austin, Texas. The new application is shorter and removes the allegation that the girl caused her own injuries.

Estes Carter Thompson III, a flight attendant who was later fired by the American, pleaded not guilty this week to attempted sexual exploitation of children and possession of child sexual abuse images.

Authorities say Thompson, 36, tried to secretly record video of a 14-year-old girl using the bathroom during a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Boston, and that he had recordings of four girls, including the 9 year-old who used toilets on previous flights. He was arrested in January and has been in federal custody since then.

Thompson is scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston on July 1. The charges he faces include maximum penalties of up to 30 and 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

The 14-year-old's family is also suing American, which is based in Fort Worth.

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