A Southwest Airlines flight attendant claims in a lawsuit that two pilots were broadcasting live video from an aircraft bathroom on an iPad in the cockpit.
Rene Steinaker, of Maricopa County, Arizona, claims in a lawsuit against the Southwest and the two pilots who discovered a live stream from the toilet on a plane in February 2017 during a flight from Pittsburgh to Phoenix.
A lawsuit filed in October 2018 in federal court in Arizona and amended in June alleges that privacy was invaded by a hidden camera, she endured emotional distress after learning of the live broadcast, and her executives retaliated against her when she was reporting the video to the airline.
The Southwest stated that it would vigorously defend the case.
"When the incident happened two years ago. We investigated the allegations and settled on the situation with the crew involved," the company said through a spokesman Saturday. "We can confirm from our investigation that there was never a camera in the toilet; the incident is an inappropriate attempt at humor that the company has not bowed to. "
According to Steinaker's suit, the pilot of the plane, Captain Terry Graham, asked Steinaker to enter the cockpit to use the bathroom. According to the airline's policy, two employees must always be in the cockpit.
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When the pilot left, Steinaker saw the "iPad, mounted to the windscreen to the left of the hoof the seat, "and noticed that it was showing a live stream from the bathroom, the suit states. When the pilot entered the bathroom, his image appeared on screen.
The pilot pilot, Ryan Russell, could see the iPad from where he was sitting, according to
Steinaker confronted the pilot for the video, and he claims to have told her that the cameras were in the bathrooms of the aircraft but were hidden "so that no one would ever find it." He also claims that the cameras are a new security measure and that they have been installed in many aircraft in the Southwest, according to the Steinaker case.
Steinaker does not trust the pilot and took a picture of the iPad to report the incident. When the pilot returned to the cockpit and learned he had seen the iPad, he claimed to have tried to hide it from her.
The lawsuit alleges that Steinaker "physically fell ill with the admission" that the pilots "watched and probably recorded her debugging and using the toilet." She was also concerned about "passengers, including children who used the toilet." , is indicated.
After landing the aircraft in Phoenix, Steinaker reported the incident in the Southwest and was told that it would be investigated but that no disciplinary action was taken against the pilot and pilot. They continue to fly for the airline, according to the case.
"As a result of the invasion of her personal life, the plaintiff Rene Steinaker was damaged," the claim states. "She was unable to work for several days, sought counseling and continued to have physical, emotional and mental injuries as a result of the incident."
A lawyer representing both the pilot and the pilot did not immediately return a request for comment.
In court, the attorneys for the pilots denied that they were engaged in direct passage of the toilet, Arizona Central reported. Court documents also deny that the two violated an airline's policy or protocol.
After reporting the incident, Steinaker claims that she was "watched and watched" by managers in the Southwest and underwent an increased number of performance audits. [1
“The safety and security of our employees and customers is an uncompromising priority for the Southwest. As such, Southwest does not put cameras in the toilets of our aircraft, "