What can hoteliers take away from the recent verdict in the highly publicized Erin Andrews case? Successful Front Desk and Security training programs are vital to guest, visitor, and employee safety and just as important to their bottom line. Hotels have a responsibility to provide “reasonable” protection to guests from harm caused by other guests or non-guests. NY Daily News, Sasha Goldstein & Nancy Dillon, outline the verdict.
Attorneys Randy Kinnard, Bruce Broillet and Scott Carr accompany Sportscaster and television personality Erin Andrews into court on Monday in Nashville, Tenn.
Sportscaster Erin Andrews scored $55 million in a jury verdict Monday over nude videos of her taken through a hotel peephole.
A Nashville jury announced the award after just a day of deliberations on Andrews’ $75 million lawsuit against stalker Michael Barrett and the owners of the Marriott at Vanderbilt University.
Andrews, 37, originally sued in 2010, saying the hotel negligently allowed Barrett to rent a room next to hers in 2008, alter her door’s peephole with a hacksaw and secretly shoot video that he later uploaded to the Internet.
“I’ve been honored by all the support from victims around the world,” she added. “Their outreach has helped me be able to stand up and hold accountable those whose job it is to protect everyone’s safety, security and privacy.”
The 4½-minute clip was posted online in 2009 and has been watched an estimated 17 million times, an expert testified at the trial.
Several jurors hugged Andrews after their decision, with one appearing to get an autograph.
The jury found that Barrett was responsible for 51% of the award — with the hotel on the hook for the rest.
In emotional testimony last week, Andrews said she vomited before she and her father viewed the footage with the FBI as part of the investigation.
Erin Andrews wipes tears as the verdict is read Monday in Nashville, Tenn.
She said the nightmare shattered her sense of personal security, caused her to suffer panic attacks and has affected her relationship with her hockey star boyfriend, Jarret Stoll.
“To try to explain to someone who has questions about why I have trust issues, why I’m insecure, why I’m humiliated, why I’m embarrassed, why I am obsessive about checking the Internet,” she testified last week.
“I feel sad, because I think he would have loved the girl more that was there before this happened. And I feel very guilty about that,” she said, breaking down in tears.
Andrews works for Fox Sports and co-hosts ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”
Erin Andrews took the stand last week and testified about the effects that the video had on her personal and public lives.
The hotel’s lawyers argued that Barrett was solely to blame.
“Your income has gone up substantially since this occurred,” the lawyer said in court before Andrews’ lawyer and then the judge cut him off.
In yet another sick twist, a hotel executive later was caught viewing the naked footage of Andrews while out with friends at a restaurant.
Michael Barrett, who recorded nude video of Erin Andrews and posted it on the web, is on the hook for 51% of the $55 million award.
It was a bartender who caught Neal Peskind watching the video just hours after Andrews broke down on the witness stand.
“He said it was costing him millions so he was going to show it to everyone. His friends were making fun of her and her body,” the bartender said in a Twitter post that went viral and landed Peskind in the hot seat.
“We had to ask him to stop. It was disgusting and horrifying,” the bartender said.
Judge Hamilton Gayden addresses the jury in the trial of Erin Andrews on Monday.
The exec was hauled back in to testify for a second time and claimed it was friends who pulled up the video at the restaurant.
Peskind said he had asked them to stop.
Barrett, a former insurance executive from Illinois, was sentenced to 2½ years in prison after his arrest in 2009.
Barrett said he posted the recordings online after celebrity gossip website TMZ refused to buy them.
The only reason he picked Andrews was because she was popular and he saw that she was trending on Yahoo, he said.
Lawyers for the hotel said Monday they were disappointed but unsure about an appeal.