Erin Andrews has been awarded by the Circuit Court jury a total of $55 million in damages after the court found Marriott owner West End Hotel Partners and Windsor Capital and Michael David Barrett, the man accused of stalking the broadcaster, responsible for the emotional distress she suffered after nude videos of her were uploaded on the Internet.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 7, 2016
The jury reportedly found Barrett 51 percent responsible and the hotel owners to be 49 percent responsible. Barrett was ordered to pay $28 million in damages while the hotel must pay $26 million.
Erin Andrews originally sought $75 million in her civil lawsuit that accuses Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt of negligence in security after Barrett successfully rigged her hotel room’s peephole with a camera and recorded videos of her while changing her clothes. Barrett was said to have found the sportscaster’s hotel room through a directory within the house phone at the hotel, after which he reserved a room next to hers.
— People Magazine (@people) March 1, 2016
Barrett, who admitted his stalking practices in a video played during the trial, will have to spend 2 ½ years jail time after the court found him guilty of stalking Andrews.
However, it is still not clear whether or not Andrews will be paid $55 million. Aside from Barrett’s current financial status, another problem to consider is the case involves co-defendants. The law states that when co-defendants are found liable, the other co-defendants who can pay must shoulder the share of the other co-defendants who are financially incapable. This will only apply if the co-defendants have acted in concert.
Since Barrett did not seem to act in concert with the hotel owners, it is unlikely the hotel companies will shoulder Barrett’s $28 million.
Juror in Erin Andrews case: "The hotel industry, we just felt like they need to get the message."https://t.co/NP7pX4mJeW
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 8, 2016
Nevertheless, Erin Andrews proved that speaking out against sex crimes is not something victims should be ashamed of, regardless of the outcome of the case.