Court Rules Passengers Can’t Sue Continental For Sex Toy Taped To Outside Of Bag

In May 2011, two men flying on Continental from Costa Rica to Virginia, via Houston, went to claim their luggage and discovered a sex toy had been removed from one bag, smeared with some sort of substance, then taped to the outside of the bag. Last week, the judge in the case threw the suit out, saying an international accord prevents the suit from going forward.

Per the Montreal Convention of 1999 (you may call it the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air around your house) sets limits on damage claims for international flights. In the case of baggage mishandling, this would put a cap of around $1,740 for the affected couple.

Since the plaintiffs say there was no purple sex toy taped prominently to the outside of their bag when they transferred flights and re-checked their bag in Houston, they argued that the mishandling of the bag occurred after the international leg of their travels was completed. To the plaintiffs, this means the Montreal Convention does not preempt their suit.

But the judge obviously disagreed, writing:

“The Court is of the view that the damages alleged by the plaintiffs arise from a mishandling of the plaintiffs’ luggage and, therefore, their claims are preempted. The conduct that the plaintiffs rely upon to establish their claim occurred during the time when the luggage was in the charge of Continental. Stated another way, the event that gives rise to the alleged injury occurred while the luggage was in the care of Continental.”

[via Courthouse News]