SIGN UP FOR THE BREITBART EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Lawsuit by Gay Couple Against Airline for Exposing Sex Toy Covered in Fecal Matter Dismissed

HOUSTON, Texas – The lawsuit brought by a gay couple against United Airlines for allegedly exposing their feces-covered sex toy has been dismissed by a judge. The sex toy ended up taped to the outside of the couple’s luggage when they arrived at their destination. The judge granted a directed verdict against the plaintiffs, saying the case came down to a question of “whodunit.”

Breitbart Texas reported that Christopher Bridgeman and his husband Martin Borger sued United Airlines, alleging an employee intentionally exposed the soiled purple sex toy. It was clearly visible on the outside of their black duffle bag as it traveled across an airport luggage carousel in Virginia.

The jury trial was conducted in U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt’s courtroom in Houston, Texas this past week.

Judge Hoyt dismissed the case in 2012 but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reinstated the case in 2013.

The couple sued the airline for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, stating they were mortified when the soiled sex toy could be seen by others at the Norfolk International Airport baggage claim.

The couple had traveled to Costa Rica in 2011, and was returning home to Norfolk, Virginia on a Continental flight that connected through Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport, where they had to recheck their bags. Continental Airlines later merged with United Airlines.

The lawsuit alleged that the men have suffered anxiety, paranoia, sleeping problems, and weight fluctuations due to stress from the incident.

Bridgeman told the jury he thought the incident “happened because I am gay.”

The couple’s lawyer, Dax Faubus, presented their case for two days and then rested.

The lawyer for United Airlines, Edward “Teddy” Adams, then asked the judge to dismiss the case as a matter of law. He argued airline employees were not responsible for the exposure of the sex toy, but even if they had been, they would have been acting outside of the scope of their employment.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Adams argued that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) could have taped the device to the outside of the bag. “TSA had control and custody of the bag at least part of the time after it was dropped off by the plaintiffs in Houston,” he noted.

“There has been no evidence that anyone from United, Continental or any of the defendants authorized … any of the acts alleged,” Adams argued.

In dismissing the case, Judge Hoyt told the plaintiffs, “You have not presented clear and convincing evidence that TSA did not handle these bags and cause the situation that occurred. … In fact we know TSA handles these bags. We know that they scan them and in many instances they go into bags.”

The judge called the case a “whodunit” and said the plaintiffs have not proved that anyone with either the TSA or the airlines was the perpetrator.

“If you have two operatives and you do not eliminate one of those operatives by clear and convincing evidence, then you cannot go to judgement,” Judge Hoyt explained. “There’s nothing to submit to the jury – especially in light of the fact that you didn’t sue both of them.”

The couple vows to appeal, so their next step will take them back to the Fifth Circuit.

The couple’s lawyer stated their overall position is that “an airline, who is liable for these types of acts, can essentially avoid it by not doing an investigation, therefore not figuring out who did it, and then when the plaintiffs, as a logical result, can’t also figure out who did, there’s no liability. That’s not the law. That’s why we have circumstantial evidence.”

The lawyer for the airlines said during opening argument that the couple did not appear to be humiliated by their experience because they opened a website, and conducted numerous interviews on the subject.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2

P.S. DO YOU WANT MORE ARTICLES
LIKE THIS ONE DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX?
SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY BREITBART NEWSLETTER.


Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.

SIGN UP FOR THE OFFICIAL
BREITBART EMAIL NEWSLETTER

GET TODAY'S TOP NEWS DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

I don't want to get today's top news.

x