Old 27th Oct 2019, 02:14
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rockytop, Tennessee, USA
Posts: 5,074
Originally Posted by OldnGrounded View Post
Maybe. This case is in initial discovery in US District Court and the plaintiffs are represented by a major national personal injury law firm.
These lawyers claim to make a living suing airlines it seems.

From their website:

About Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman

In practice for more than 40 years, the law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman has obtained more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients across all areas of practice.

The firm’s aviation attorneys have litigated over 700 cases involving accidents and incidents against some of the largest airlines in the world, including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Aero Mexico, Asiana Airlines, British European Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Continental, Delta Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, EgyptAir, Germanwings, JetBlue, Korean Air, Pacific Southwest Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SAS-Scandinavian Airline Systems, Southwest Airlines, SwissAir, TACA Airlines, TWA, United Airlines, and US Airways, among others.

A narrative of the lav cam episode from the attorneys' website:

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant: Pilots Hid Secret Camera in Plane’s Restroom

On Feb. 27, 2017, Renee Steinaker was one of four flight attendants working aboard SWA Flight 1088, a non-stop flight from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Phoenix, Arizona. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 commercial airliner, was equipped with both forward and aft lavatories for use by the passengers and crew.

According to the complaint, roughly two and a half hours into the flight, Captain Terry Graham asked for a flight attendant to come into the cockpit so that he could use the restroom. Southwest Airlines protocol required that there be two crew members in the cockpit at all times. For this reason, if a pilot expressed a need to leave the cockpit for any reason, a flight attendant would be obligated to report to the cockpit and remain there until that pilot returned. Ms. Steinaker responded to the Captain Graham’s request by reporting to the front of the aircraft and entering the cockpit after he exited. Upon entering the cockpit, Steinaker observed an iPad mounted to the windshield left of the flight captain’s seat. On the iPad screen, she saw what appeared to her to be a live streaming video of Graham in the forward lavatory. At that point, First Officer Russell was in command of the aircraft due to the Captain’s absence from the cockpit.

Steinaker alleges she asked first officer Ryan Russell whether the iPad was streaming video from a camera in the forward lavatory. According to the allegations, with a panicked look on his face, Russell admitted that it was live streaming.

The lawsuit states that Steinaker had used the forward lavatory during the flight, as had other passengers, including young children.

In confessing that the live stream camera was functioning, Russell tried to convince Steinaker that cameras were a top-secret security measure that had been installed in the lavatories of all Southwest Airlines’ 737-800 planes, the lawsuit alleges; at the same time Russell then “ordered” that Steinaker not say a word to anyone about the cameras or the recording she had seen, because she was not supposed to know about this new security measure. He also indicated that the camera was hidden in the lavatory so that no one would ever find it, the lawsuit states.

Steinaker advised Russell that she wanted to document her observations to report the issue because she believed she had witnessed criminal or unlawful conduct. She pulled out her mobile phone and took a picture of the iPad which, at the time, displayed Graham in the restroom.

According to the complaint, when Graham came back into the cockpit from the lavatory, Russell left the cockpit and went to the same lavatory that Graham had used. While Steinaker was alone in the cockpit with Graham, she confronted him about the cameras, though he refused to respond to any of her questions. Grahamthen allegedly blocked Steinaker’s view of the iPad by positioning his arm and shoulder in a manner that obstructed her line of sight.

After she left the cockpit, Steinaker shared her observations with the other flight attendants and showed them the picture she had taken in the cockpit.

When the plane arrived in Phoenix, Graham and Russell immediately disembarked, leaving the plane unattended by piloting staff. According to the lawsuit, this was both unusual and a violation of Southwest Airlines protocol.


It will be interesting to see how Southwest and the unions handle this case. Will Southwest fire the pilots based on the accusations?

Remember the Alaska Air captain who was fired after an F/O filed a lawsuit claiming she was raped by him? Her subsequent behavior and anecdotal employment history raised serious questions about her credibility in my view.
Airbubba is offline