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Starbucks sued over restroom toilet camera

Starbucks sued over restroom camera
FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2008 file photo, a man pulls a cart past a Starbucks store in Beachwood, Ohio. Starbucks will begin a phased-in nationwide rollout Tuesday of its Trenta cup size that can be filled with just shy of a quart's worth of iced beverages such as coffee, tea and lemonade. The nationwide rollout should be complete by May 3. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File) AP Photo, file

(CBS/WUSA) WASHINGTON - A five-year-old girl is now terrified to use the restroom after discovering a hidden camera in a Washington DC Starbucks snapping pictures of her on the toilet.

According to CBS affiliate WUSA, her parents are furious and are suing Starbucks in part because they say this kind of thing happens at Starbucks all too often.

The little girl went with her family to use the unisex restrooms at the Penn Quarter Starbucks. When she got up to wash her hands, she noticed a camera tucked under the sink and pointed right at the toilet.

The five-year-old's mother spoke with WUSA from her home in Norfolk. She says she's suing Starbucks because baristas 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 really pathetic," she told the station.

The camera captured a blurry, unidentifiable image of the man who may have placed it there. Police have yet to find him.

As for the little girl, her mother 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?"

Starbucks says it's impossible to foresee this kind of criminal act. The company released this statement on Monday:

"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."

The girl's mother said about her lawsuit: "It's not about money. It's that they need to take a stand and do what's right and take care of stuff."

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