Erin Andrews peephole video: Was one sportscaster over compensated for the invasion of her privacy? Or is her payment just?
Erin Andrews a former Fox sportscaster has won a whopping $55 million in her lawsuit against a secretly recorded peephole video that a stalker took of her in a Nashville Marriot hotel room and then posted online in September, 2008.
The verdict courtesy of a Nashville, Tennessee jury comes after a day of deliberations.
During trial proceedings the co-host of ‘Dancing With the Stars‘, maintained that the convicted stalker, Michael David Barrett (who went on to serve 30 months jail in 2009) and two hotel companies were to blame for the video.
Sparing few emotions, the woman ‘tearfully’ told of being publicly humiliated, shamed and suffering from depression as a result of the videos, which have been viewed by millions of people.
Andrews sued the owner and operator of the Nashville Marriott for $75 million, claiming the hotel was negligent in allowing him to request a room next door to hers.
During closing arguments in the two-week trial, the sportscaster’s lawyer, Bruce Broillet, argued that the hotel ‘enabled’ Barrett by confirming that Andrews was staying at the hotel and not informing her that a strange man had requested to stay next to her.
‘The case against Marriott has to do with their overwhelming negligence in putting Barrett in a position to be able to do what he did,’ Broillet insisted.
In its verdict, the court held that Barrett is responsible for 51 per cent of the damages ($28 million) while West End Hotel Partners, the company that owns the Nashville Marriott, is responsible for the remaining 49 per cent ($26.75 million).
Attorneys for the owner and former operator of the Marriott at Vanderbilt argued that while what happened to Andrews was terrible, they argued Barrett should be solely to blame for the video. The attorneys also suggested that Andrews’ rise in her career shows she did not suffer severe and permanent distress.
Barrett admitted to altering hotel-room peepholes in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio, and taking videos of Andrews and posting them online. He was sentenced to 2½ years in prison.
On Friday, a judge found Barrett at fault. The former insurance executive never showed up for trial.
Barrett pleaded guilty to stalking Andrews in three cities, altering hotel-room peepholes in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio, and taking risque videos of her and posting them online.
Barrett was a Chicago-area insurance company executive when he took the videos of Andrews at the Nashville hotel in September 2008.
And then there were these comments on the web that made me wonder. See what you think?
What a joke, that incident made her career. How did they even come up with that figure?! Good thing the hotel is going to appeal.
There is no doubt that Ms. Andrews was wronged and her life is not the same as it was before the video was posted. However, think of all the teenagers who have been tormented by unjust internet postings, some of which have resulted in suicides, and have received nothing in the way of compensation other than a warning about how they should know better than to pose for a picture that could be posted on the internet. No way she deserves 55 million.
Erin, this was not only a legal win for you and any others who might be so unfortunate, but you’ve also won in the court of public opinion.