A federal appeals court has ruled that passengers can legally pursue claims of abusive conduct by airport security screeners.
In a 9-4 decision on Friday, the court ruled the "intimate physical nature" of searching travelers means TSA screeners can be considered "investigative or law enforcement officers." That means people who feel they were intentionally mistreated by TSA employees can sue for civil damages.
The ruling reverses an appeals court decision from 2018 that said TSA screeners were not within the bounds of law enforcement and thus couldn't be held liable for abuse.
The lawsuit was brought by a couple who say they were victims of false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution over an incident at Philadelphia International Airport in 2006.