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Lawsuit against airline for dildo taped to outside of bag goes back to court

Joseph McCormick May 16, 2015
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A lawsuit brought by a gay couple against an airline who allege that baggage staff removed a dildo from their bag and taped it to the outside, has gone back to court.

The case, which was originally thrown out in 2012, before being reinstated in 2013, was bought against United Airlines by Christopher Bridgeman and his husband Martin Borger.

After the lawsuit was dismissed in 2012 by US District Judge Kenneth Hoyt, a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel reinstated it two years ago.

Then, this week, the case finally went to trial in Houston, before a seven-member jury.

The couple are suing the airline for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, following the embarassment they endured.

According to the men, their purple sex toy was removed from their bag, covered “with a greasy, foul-smelling substance”, and taped to the outside of their duffle bag, before being sent out on the baggage carousel in Virginia in 2011.

Bridgeman this week told the court: “I truly believed this happened because I am gay,” saying he had discreetly tucked the toy in between folded clothes.

Saying they had been affected by anxiety, paranoia, problems sleeping and weight problems, the couple said they had suffered “such a high degree of shock and embarrassment that they felt compelled to call two friends to come to the airport to assist them.”

Lawyers for the airline, however, argued that the bag was “overstuffed”, and that the zip on the bag broke, causing the dildo to pop out.

The former baggage handler Emmanuel Fortunat, now retired, swore that he had not tampered with the bag before sending it out.

 

The case continues.

Related topics: christopher bridgeman, dildo, Houston, martin borger, sex toy, US, Virginia

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