A Canadian court has ordered a cinema to pay $10,000 damages after staff searched a family’s bags looking for camming equipment, but ended up breaching their privacy. The search by staff also turned up something embarrassing in older daughter’s bag. Mom had no idea. Not impressed.
A little while ago we reported on a case in the UK where a woman went to the cinema and claimed she was “treated like a criminal.” Searching for movie camming equipment, staff instead found some candy. Because she wouldn’t hand it over, they called security to deal with her and the whole thing descended into farce.
Well, it seems the Canadians have been at it too.
These days cinemas believe that all paying movie-goers are potential Scene pirates, so when a woman took her two daughters to Cinema Guzzo in Montreal to watch Shrek the Third in 2007, they were searched for camming kit. Big trouble ensued.
Finding a stash of illicit smuggled snacks, staff ordered them returned to their vehicle, to be locked securely away so it would be impossible to consume them while watching the movie. The trio complied.
The search of the bags continued and then, jackpot! Although staff didn’t find the latest DV camera, they did find some birth control pills in the older daughter’s bag, an event that didn’t go unnoticed by her mother. Until this point, she had absolutely no idea her child took them. Understandably angry, the mother sued the cinema for invasion of privacy, demanding $60,000 CAD.
Last week a judge ruled that the staff did indeed breach the privacy of the family and ordered the cinema to pay $10,000 CAD ($9,000 USD). Signs at the point of ticket purchase must clearly state that there is a bag search in place and staff must not put their hands inside people’s bags. Cinema Guzzo failed on both counts, not to mention causing sensitive problems within a family and guaranteeing that they never, ever come back as customers. Fail all round then.