Skip to comments.Prank Costs Airline a Lawsuit
Posted on 08/28/2012 10:00:45 AM PDT by scottjewell
HOUSTON (CN) - A gay couple claims in court that Continental Airlines workers humiliated them by taking a dildo from their baggage and taping it outside the bag for everyone in baggage claim to see.
Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger sued United Continental Holdings and Continental Airlines in Harris County Court.
The men say they arrived in Houston from Costa Rica, retrieved their undisturbed checked luggage and after going through Customs rechecked their bags for a flight to Norfolk, Va.
"Upon arriving in Norfolk, plaintiffs exited the aircraft and went to the baggage claim area," the complaint states. "Plaintiffs' bags were sent to the baggage carousel where plaintiffs 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.
"Plaintiffs 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 claim area.
"Plaintiffs were experiencing such a high degree of shock and embarrassment that they felt compelled to call two friends to come to the airport to assist them.
"Fortunately, the friends arrived and were able to assist plaintiffs out of the airport and to their home, but by that time the damage had already been done, and plaintiffs had suffered severe emotional trauma."
The men claim the baggage handlers probably pulled the prank "because of the fact that the sex toy was contained in the bag of a male, and because the employee(s) responsible knew that the bag belonged to a male due to the name tag attached to the bag and the male clothing contained in the bag."
They seek punitive damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and negligence.
They are represented Harry Scarborough.
United and Continental Airlines merged in May 2010 to form one of the world's largest airlines.
I don’t think it’s comical at all. They shouldn’t be doing that with anyone’s belongings. Period. The whole idea is just gross anyway.
Must have been some good tape if it was covered with a greasy substance and kept its adhesion...
I agree. The person who did this should be fired.
Yes, I’m also grossed out, but people should have their privacy respected.
“always use the indefinite article a dildo, never your dildo.”
Yup. I still have a sample of the tape the TSA uses...
Can a TSA worker even be fired?
“They shouldnt be doing that with anyones belongings. Period.”
When you check a bag, you think the contents are safe. Whoever opened the bag could have taken something of value and it would be gone. Whoever did that should be fired.
Assuming the incident actually happened as described.
Given the events of the last few years, that’s by no means a sure thing.
Fired? How about jail.
Well, you’re right. Of course they shouldn’t touch any passenger’s private property, and they will pay now. Sorry.
I also had the same thought. My second thought was that this is a very unlikely story. The bags are scanned BEFORE they are put on the plane. Assuming that the act was as listed, the tape would have been exposed to:
external handling and bumping being loaded on to the plane
extreme cold temperatures while at altitude - further reducing the ability of the tape to hold.
external handling and bumping during off load and transport vial baggage handling
Is it possible that this was added after the bag was delivered so as to provide cause for the lawsuit? What evidence do they have that their bag was returned in such a manner?
They may in fact be prosecuted because they also got their employers involved in major litigation.
If they searched Obama’s luggage and taped his dildo onto the cover of his suitcase, they probably would have been.
“Fortunately, the friends arrived and were able to assist plaintiffs out of the airport and to their home....
Really? Talk about reinforcing a gay stereotype.
Actually, that was my point :-)
Well after the Nebraska hoax and many others and with your questions, it just may be a hoax. They likely know that involving Continental Airlines in major litigation might get them a quick and hefty settlement. Sure makes you wonder.
I agree that the TSA worker or airline employee who did this should be fired—assuming the event took place as reported, which is always a legitimate question in these situations. It would not astonish me if I were to learn that the passengers did this themselves.
If it did take place, imagine the silliness and weakness of two people, ostensibly adult men, who were so overcome by the “trauma” of being embarrassed in front of strangers that they had to call other friends to help them out of the airport. Imagine people being unable to function after an embarrassment and not even being able to walk. Is this not absurd?
Trauma is being hit by a car. Rape is traumatic. The death of a loved one is traumatic. Being involved in some hideously bloody, violent event, like a shooting, is traumatic. Having people see your sex toy is mildly embarrassing.
There’s something wrong if you’re using a device that’s so shameful you are overcome with emotion at the very idea that others have seen it. Most people would be pissed off, not driven to their knees with “trauma” if this happened to them (again, assuming it really did happen).
That’s what had me thinking it may be another hoax, this time primarily financially motivated. Just too damn over-played.
What exactly would the criminal offense be in this case?
Embarrassment is not Trauma.
Not defending whatever baggage handler did this, but TRAUMA and EMBARRASSMENT are not the same thing.
I’m coming down on the side of a hoax.
Damn those baggage handlers are not only smart but clairvoyant.They need to be working Wall Street or Vegas.
I would assume most bags are being opened anyway given the extreme security measures being taken these days.
Whoever did this should be fired and held liable.
The fact that they were just soooo overwhelmed that they needed two friends to help them from the airport has to be the funniest thing I’ve heard this week. Can you imagine if these guys ever faced any real adversity? Bring the smelling salts....
Agreed, if they were lucky.
Yes, Im also grossed out, but people should have their privacy respected.
Oh, the private kind, not those found in the public square.
This article hits all the right PC buttons. So the two fairies in question were so mortified by events they couldn’t even compose themselves and “had to call a friend” to help? What a load of rubbish.
Also - you couldn’t pay me enough to touch that thing
I’m sort of suspicious of this story.
What else are these freaking idiots taking from bags?? Hope airline gets hammered.
“Plaintiffs were experiencing such a high degree of shock and embarrassment that they felt compelled to call two friends to come to the airport to assist them.
You are HOMOSEXUALS if that fact alone does not embarrass you then nothing should.........
This has TSA written all over it. This is the first time I got an inkling that the TSA had a sense of humor.
Everytime coming of going on international flights, I got a note inside luggage that TSA had opened and inspected. There is no expectation of privacy on international flights.
I am curious what the two other “buddies” did to save them at the fairy dildo go-round.
I am not buying this story at all
it seems way too stupid for even TSA workers
That’s what I more or less thought from the get-go. the whole thing read like a funny gay sit-com episode. Time will tell - I’m sure Continental has webcam surveillance of their baggage areas.
This story sounds queer to me...
Bet it is a set-up.
coming OR going...... I’m blaming it on these damn Walmart readers.
i didnt’ know suitcases were scanned at the destination. had this happened at the origin, the thing would have had to survive being taped to the suitcase being mooshed around in the bilge the entire flight, plus the rough handling the bag would have gotten when it was unloaded and thrown on the conveyor belt afterward.
i really doubt it happened as advertised. i call BS.
Well a few years ago on a flight to Vermont my daughter made the mistake of packing all hers and her kids electronics in checked baggage. Guess what? Every single one of them stolen. Kids mini computer/toys, her laptop, etc. Airline said too bad, file a police report. She did. Luckily most of the stuff was purchased through my Amex so once the police report was faxed to Amex she got a check for a large percentage of the purchase price.
I am sure it happens alot but she learned a great lesson.
The more you examine the facts, the more hinky it seems.
Yep, more and more joining that list. ;-)
“How about jail.”
“What exactly would the criminal offense be in this case?”
Probably tampering with private property while in an official capacity with an International airline. But I think this may turn out to be one more gay hate crime hoax, with big bucks as the incentive.
I’d bet on it. I don’t think baggage handlers have time to do this bullsh*t, and they know airport security forbids it.
how did they know who’s bag it belonged to, assuming they found it loose in the hold? else how did they manage to get the time to scan the bag, take it out, then tape it back to the bag? baggage handlers don’t have that kind of time around a piece of luggage.
i bet scanners find this sort of stuff all the time and don’t care enough to make a ‘prank’ out of it.
my money sez this is bogus...
Outstanding post! & BTW, what is the OTTB Mare?
LoL LoL.....what happens when TSA, x-rays you and your baggage...what privacy do you have....NONE!