Starbucks is being sued after a father and his five-year-old daughter found a hidden spy camera secretly filming them using the toilet in a bathroom at a branch in Washington D.C.
William Yockey was visiting the Starbucks near the National Mall in late Aug. when his daughter found the small surveillance camera hidden under the sink filming the toilet area of the unisex bathroom.
Police were contacted immediately and confiscated the camera from the Starbucks.
According to the civil suit, the Yockey family is suing Starbucks for $1 million for invasion of privacy, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring, training and supervision, citing permanent and continuing emotional pain and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment and great emotional distress.
It's not about money, it's not about focusing on that at all, it's just about getting Starbucks to pay attention in this is happening nationwide, Lindsay Yockey told ABC News affiliate WJLA regarding Starbucks' attempts to dismiss the case. 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.
Similar reports of hidden cameras installed in Starbucks' bathrooms have been reported in California, Florida and Connecticut, where a man was arrested for putting spy cameras in two Starbucks, a gas station and at a Subway, according to the Hartford Courant.