Erin Andrews in court
ESPN sportscaster and "Dancing With The Stars" television host, Erin Andrews, was victorious in court this week, with a jury awarding her $55,000,000 in damages against the Marriott chain of hotels (and her stalker), for allowing her deranged voyeuristic stalker, Michael David Barrett, to obtain her hotel room information and booking him a suite next to her, enabling him to secretly record her naked, then upload it to the internet like a depraved pervert and sexual predator. As the damages are split 51/49, Marriott Hotels is liable for $27,000,000 in damages. Barrett, who is not wealthy, is liable for the remaining damages. As such his wages will be garnished, as will any existing bank account in his name, likely for the rest of his life, in attempts to financially repay his victim. Barrett was also sentenced to 5-years in prison in a separate criminal case.
Andrews sued for $75,000,000, but the jury awarded her $20,000,000 less than requested. Previously, the Judiciary Report alluded to the fact the damages requested would be considered high for the crime in question, as usually cases that resulted in death for the victim (filed by heirs) or extreme medical misconduct, are awarded such high damages (Erin Andrews Seeks $75,000,000 In Hotel Voyeurism Case). The Judiciary Report's figure of $20,000,000 in damages is in line with what Andrews is likely due to receive, regarding the $27,000,000 verdict. The $27,000,000 damage award could be reduced on appeal, but hopefully the verdict regarding said figure will stand. Nonetheless, it is a sizeable sum of money for such a case.
Andrews deserves the money. What was done to her is cruel and inhumane. It was meant to degrade and humiliate. Regrettably, the Marriott's negligence facilitated the sick conduct of a sexual predator. Under the law, they are liable for the severe mental and emotional trauma Andrews sustained. Hotels are not supposed to release the information of their guests to unauthorized parties. It is an invasion of privacy and security risk. What if Barrett had been a killer.