Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Gay Couple’s Suit Over Defiled Dildo Displayed on Luggage Trolley Dismissed

The vandalized suitcase

The vandalized suitcase

Federal Judge Kenneth Hoyt of Texas ruled on November 29, 2012, to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger against Continental Airlines for negligence and invasion of privacy after a May 2011 incident in which the gay couple returned home to Norfolk, Virginia, via Houston, Texas, to find that their luggage had been vandalized. According to the petition, on arrival at Norfolk from Houston 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” for all to see and laugh at as it went around the baggage trolley. The couple was suing for damages. The airline argued that the matter was covered as a standard “mishandling of baggage” claim, according to which they would not be entitled to damages.

The judge did not dispute the events or the complaint that their privacy had been violated, but agreed with Continental that their suit was in fact preempted by a treaty covering the handling of baggage on an international flight.

Gay Couple Sues after Baggage Handlers Defile and Display Their Dildo

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