Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Gay Couple Sues after Baggage Handlers Defile and Display Their Dildo

The vandalized suitcase

The vandalized suitcase

Gay couple Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger returned from their pleasant Costa Rican vacation on May 21, 2011, via Houston, Texas, landing in Norfolk, Va., and went to retrieve their checked luggage. Their suitcases were undisturbed in Houston, where they had been unchecked for customs purposes, and then rechecked for the last leg of the trip. According to the petition filed in Harris County Texas on August 24, 2012, on arrival at the baggage claim area, the couple found that their “private sex toy had been removed from one of their bags, covered with a greasy foul-smelling substance and taped prominently to the top of their bag.” The couple experienced “extreme shock and horror when they observed the above-described bag and when observing the surprised and/or laughing faces of numerous onlookers in the baggage area.”

The couple is suing the carrier, United-Continental, for the actions of its employees, who according to the Bridgeman and Borger “searched through the plaintiff’s private items contained in their bag with no feasible basis, removed the sex toy, defiled the sex toy, and taped it on display with the intent to inflict extreme emotional distress and anguish upon plaintiffs. According to the suit, they succeeded, and the couple is suing for damages for mental anguish caused by invasion of privacy and negligence on the part of Continental’s employees during the performance of their duties.

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