Jury Awards Erin Andrews $55 Million
On Monday, sportscaster Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million from a lawsuit filed against West End Hotel Partners and Windsor Capital, the two companies that operate the Nashville Marriott Hotel at Vanderbilt University, where a man secretly recorded an explicit video of Andrews and posted it online.
The man, Michael David Barrett, was sentenced to 27 months in prison in 2009 after pleading guilty to interstate stalking. Barrett was also named in the lawsuit filed by Andrews. He admitted to stalking Andrews on several occasions, tricking a hotel employee into giving him the room next to Andrews at the Nashville Marriott, and recording her on video through a peephole.
Marriott International was originally involved in the lawsuit, but were exonerated of any wrongdoing in January. Ultimately, the jury deemed Barrett 51% responsible for the criminal act, with the hotel operators 49% responsible for failing to protect the privacy of guests. As a result, Barrett is on the hook for $28 million of the settlement, with the hotel operators responsible for the rest.
Andrews originally asked for $75 million, and after seven hours of deliberation, the jury ended up awarding her $55 million.
At the trial, Andrews testified that she was humiliated by the video being widely seen on the Internet, and that she continues to be emotionally scarred to this day. On the contrary, attorneys for the hotel operators attempted to claim that Andrews’ public standing actually benefited from the video.
Following the jury’s decision, Andrews, via Twitter, thanked the Nashville court, the jury, the people of Nashville, and victims who reached out to her, as well as her friends, family, and legal team.
Of course, the next step is Andrews being paid the $55 million awarded to her, and it’s unlikely that she will end up getting much money from Barrett, who worked as an insurance executive before his incarceration and claims to have lost his life savings in the aftermath of his arrest. The hotel operators are more likely to pay out the roughly $27 million they owe to Andrews, although as private companies, their financial standing is not publicly available.