All Tim and Claire Gautreaux wanted was to buy a new car when they headed to Toyota of Grapevine earlier this year. Yesterday the couple sued the dealership for allowing one of its employees to invade their privacy.
The couple showed up at the sprawling dealership with a financing offer in hand, according to their attorney, Gloria Allred. They saved the document on Tim's phone. As they were discussing their potential purchase with one of the dealership's employees, the salesman (whom the couple are not naming because of a pending criminal matter) asked to show the offer on Tim's phone to his manager.
Tim Gautreaux, who serves as the worship pastor at Hope Fellowship in Frisco, thought nothing of handing over his phone. "He thought this was just part of the sales transaction and handed his phone over to the salesperson," Allred said. "A few minutes later, the salesman handed the phone back to Tim. When Tim opened the phone, he immediately noticed that a private picture of his wife that he had taken more than a year earlier appeared on the screen."
Tim took the photo of Claire Gautreaux, Allred said, as his wife was getting into the bathtub.
"It was intended just for the two of them," she said, "and had never been seen by anyone else."
Thanks to an app on his phone that reported sent and deleted emails, Tim Gautreaux found out that two photos taken the same day as the bathtub photo had been emailed to a third party. The photos, Gautreaux discovered, were sent to a swingers website.
"I was shocked when I found that my private photos had been looked through, then sent to an email connected to a swingers website," Gautreaux said Thursday. "This private moment, which was meant to remind us of our happiness was ripped away and replaced with fear and suspicion."
When Tim Gautreaux called the dealership later to ask about the employee, employees falsely claimed that Texas Toyota had never had an employee by that name, Allred said.
Texas Toyota told the Observer Thursday afternoon it had just learned about the lawsuit, but that it doesn't comment on pending litigation.