Federal Judge Dismisses Gay Couple's Lawsuit Over Sex Toy Taped To Their Luggage

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a gay couple who alleged that Continental Airlines removed a sex toy from their luggage, taped the item to the outside of a duffel bag, and then placed the bag on a luggage carousel.

In a U.S. District Court order, Judge Kenneth Hoyt ruled that while the “facts underlying this suit are undisputed,” the negligence/invasion of privacy complaint filed by Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger is preempted by a treaty covering the handling of baggage on an international flight.

According to their complaint, Bridgeman and Borger traveled home last year from Costa Rica to Virginia. When the couple retrieved their checked bags at the Norfolk airport, they discovered “to their horror” that “a private sex toy had been removed from one of their bags, covered in a greasy foul-smelling substance, and taped prominently to the top of their bag."

As seen above, the couple photographed the duffel bag in the condition in which they found it on the luggage carousel.

Bridgeman and Borger, seen at right, contended that an unknown Continental worker (or workers) taped the sex toy to the bag, which was spotted  by “numerous onlookers” in the baggage claim area. The couple said they were left humiliated and suffering from emotional trauma.

In answering the couple’s complaint, Continental argued that the matter was a standard “mishandling of baggage” claim, which would not allow the couple to pursue claims for damages. Hoyt sided with the airline in his November 29 dismissal order filed in Houston federal court.