A hidden toilet camera in a Starbucks bathroom has sparked a lawsuit from a father and his five-year-old daughter, who found the device filming them at a branch in Washington D.C.
William Yockey and his daughter were using the restroom in a Starbucks near the National Mall in August when she found a small camera filming the toilet area hidden underneath a sink, according to the complaint filed.
Yockey immediately notified the manager of the hidden toilet camera before police came and confiscated it.
The Yockey family filed a lawsuit against Starbucks for invasion of privacy, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring, training and supervision, according to the civil suit. They will sue for $1 million specifically for permanent and continuing emotional pain and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment and great emotional distress, according to Hank Schlosberg, the lawyer for the Yockey family.
The little girl was very upset and the father was irate, Schlosberg told Reuters.
Public records show Starbucks had requested to dismiss the case, though it was overturned by a judge.
Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz released a statement regarding the spy camera and its cooperation throughout the investigation.
We take our obligation to provide a safe environment for our customers and partners (employees) very seriously. Our store partners took swift action as soon as they became aware of the issue -- immediately alerting the police department and assisting in the investigation. We continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement on this matter; however, because there is pending litigation, we cannot comment on the specifics of this case. However, we can tell you that as a part of regular store operations, we monitor the seating areas and rest rooms in our stores on a regular basis to identify potential safety or security concerns.
This is the third known incident of hidden toilet camera placed in Starbucks this year. In California, a man was arrested for filming 40 women in the bathroom of a Starbucks in May. Another man was arrested for similar charges in a Flordia Starbucks.