The New Stuff

Dad Suing Starbucks Over Hidden Restroom Camera

WASHINGTON, D.C. –A Virginia man is suing Starbucks Coffee Co after his 5-year-old daughter allegedly discovered a hidden video camera hidden in one of the coffee chain’s restrooms.

William Yockey is asking for $1 million in the civil suit on four counts, including breach of privacy and emotional distress, his lawyer, Hank Schlosberg, told Reuters on Tuesday.

According to CBS affiliate WUSA, Yockey’s daughter went with her family on an outing during which they stopped at a Starbucks in the Penn Quarter section of Washington, D.C.  She went to use the restroom. When she got up to wash her hands, she noticed a camera tucked under a sink and pointed right at the toilet.

“The little girl was very upset and the father was irate,” Schlosberg said.

Yockey contacted the manager, who called police.

The five-year-old's mother told WUSA that she is still furious.  Mrs. Yockey alleges that the Starbucks personnel failed to clean the restroom and failed to do the most obvious kind of checks for hidden cameras.

"It's completely unethical. It's disgusting, and the fact that the manager didn't know what to do. 'I don't know would you like a free coffee?' is really pathetic," she said.

Mrs. Yockey says, "It's not something she's forgotten. She questions every time I take her into a public restroom -- is something like that going to happen?"

The incident is at least the third involving a camera in a Starbucks bathroom this year.

A California man was arrested in May for placing a camera in a local Starbucks that captured at least 40 women. In June, a man in Florida was arrested for the same offense.

Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz said, “We take our obligation to provide a safe environment for our customers and our 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.'

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