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Federal Judge Again Tosses Gay Couple's Lawsuit Against Airline Over Sex Toy Taped To Luggage

Bridgeman

A federal judge has again thrown out a gay couple's lawsuit against United Airlines alleging that a baggage handler removed a sex toy from their bag and taped it to the outside to humiliate them. 

Last week we told you how the lawsuit from Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger was finally headed to trial four years after the incident. But after three days of testimony, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt granted summary judgment to the airline. 

The Houston Chronicle reports: 

Hoyt decided that the plaintiffs never proved their case, which remains a "whodunit," the judge noted, because no one with TSA or United was revealed as the definite perpetrator in the mystery of the rifled and manipulated bag.

"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. There's nothing to submit to the jury – especially in light of the fact that you didn't sue both of them," Hoyt explained from the bench.

"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 handled these bags. We know that they scan them and in many instances they go into bags."

The couple's attorney says he plans to appeal Hoyt's decision. Hoyt initially threw out the case in 2012, only to have it reinstated by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In case you're wondering, United Airlines maintains a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.  


Gay Couple Sues United Airlines After Finding Dirty Sex Toy Taped to Their Luggage

A gay couple is suing United Airlines after retrieving their luggage and finding a sex toy which had been taken from one of their bags, covered in a dirty oily substance, and "taped prominently" to the top of the bag, NBC News reports:

Bridgeman_borgerChristopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger of Norfolk, Va., are seeking damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and negligence in a lawsuit filed against the airline on Friday in the District Court of Harris County, Texas.

“It still brings butterflies to my stomach,” Borger, 35, told NBC News when recalling the episode.

United countered that it has conducted a thorough investigation and determined that there is no support for the allegations, spokeswoman Christen David said in a statement.

“United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” David said. “We will vigorously defend ourselves and our employees.”

The couple was returning from a vacation to Costa Rica:

“I knew exactly what it was when I saw it,” he told NBC News. “I was absolutely and utterly shocked and embarrassed and humiliated and I didn’t even know what to do at the time.”

Onlookers began laughing when they saw the bag, causing the men severe emotional trauma, according to the lawsuit. Bridgeman speculated an airline employee went through the bag — which was closed with a simple zipper — found the sex toy, saw that it belonged to a man and decided to humiliate the owner.

“I absolutely, fervently believe that this was intentional,” Bridgeman, 34, told NBC News. “It was very sick and it was very wrong and it was just maliciously taped to the top and targeted because we’re gay.”

The incident took place in May 2011.


Gay Couple: United Airlines Manager Called Us 'Faggots'

Canu

San Diego couple Billy Canu and his partner say they were threatened by a United Airlines manager who called them "faggots" before threatening to kick the couple off their flight after they got in an argument with gate agents over accuss to United's Gold Lounge, 7News reports:

HillCanu said the agents gave the couple "a very condescending, sort of rude answer. They were trying to figure out who was going to help us."

When Canu and his partner complained about the handling of their question, a manager approached them and escorted them away from the area. Canu claimed the manager then escalated the situation.

"As we were walking away he goes ‘idiots,’" recounted Canu. "So, my partner turned around and started walking up to him and said, 'I'm sorry. What did you say?'"

"He [the manager] says, ‘What f*****s,’" according to Canu. Canu said the manager even threatened to kick the couple off their flight to San Diego if they continued to complain.

Canu said he and his partner began tweeting about the incident. In one of Canu's tweets, he identified the airline employee as Rodney Hill and posted a screenshot of Hill's United profile. United Airlines is investigating.

Watch News7's report HERE.

Canu provided a more detailed retelling of the story on Facebook.

Read it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Couple: United Airlines Manager Called Us 'Faggots'" »


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