Wednesday 20 November 2019

Camera in Starbucks toilet: Father sues coffee chain for $3m damages


INTERNATIONAL coffee chain Starbucks is being sued for $3 million (€2.1m) by an American dad who says his five-year-old daughter found a video camera hidden in the bathroom of one of its outlets.

William Yockey, 28, has accused the chain, which first began in Pike Place market Seattle,of privacy, negligence, "intentional infliction of emotional distress" and negligent hiring, training and supervision of staff.

Yockey, who visited the Washington last April, "immediately reported this humiliating and disgusting matter" to the manager of the shop, near the White House, said a copy of his lawsuit.

Police cordoned off the bathroom and dusted the camera -- tucked inside the U-shaped drain beneath the wash basin, according to the plaintiff -- for fingerprints before confiscating it as evidence, the lawsuit said.

"It's embarrassing, humiliating, even today," Yockey told ABC News, adding that any video of his daughter in the washroom "could have been all over the internet. She could have been violated".

Yockey's lawyer Hank Schlosberg is asking District of Columbia superior court for a jury trial, $US1 million in compensatory damages and $US2 million in punitive damages just on the invasion of privacy count.

Starbucks could not be reached for comment.

Last May, police arrested a man on suspicion of recording at least 40 women with a hidden camera in a Starbucks in California, while another man was arrested in June for placing a camera inside another Starbucks in Florida.

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