After almost seven hours of deliberation, a Nashville jury awarded sports reporter Erin Andrews $55 million in damages for the nude peephole video a serial stalker took at the Nashville Marriott in 2008.
Jurors on Monday decided that the convicted stalker who took the video, Michael David Barrett, should have to pay $28 million, while another $26.75 million should come from Windsor Capital Group, which was operating the hotel.
Michael David Barrett captured the 4.5-minute nude video of Andrews through a peephole that he doctored at the Nashville hotel. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to stalking the former ESPN reporter and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
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.
As for damages, the lawyer asked jurors to consider multiplying each person who’s viewed the video — an estimated 16.8 million people — by $1 and adding on future views.
“What I do know is it should be quite significant, and her hard work and success should not diminish what you reward to her,” he said.
Lawyers for the hotel said the blame rests solely with Barrett, who went to great lengths to capture the video and then post it on the Internet.
Andrews testified during the trial, offering her own gut-wrenching account of how the viral video has affected her life.
In a statement shared on Twitter Monday, Andrews wrote, “I would like to thank the Nashville court, the court personnel and the jury for their service.
The support I’ve received from the people of Nashville has been overwhelming.
I would also like to thank my family, friends, and legal team. I’ve been honored by all the support from victims around the world. 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.”