Sportscaster and television personality Erin Andrews was recently awarded $55 million in a civil lawsuit revolving around an embarrassing nude video that was taken and posted on the Internet without her consent.
The person behind the incident was Michael David Barrett, a man who was reportedly stalking Andrews while she worked as a sportscaster for ESPN. When Andrews went to Nashville, Tennessee for a sporting event, she stayed at the Nashville Marriott. Barrett learned of Andrews’ whereabouts and followed her to the hotel. Beyond that, Barrett spoke with the front desk at the hotel and was able to find out exactly what room Andrews was staying in. Remarkably, the Marriott staff then allowed Barrett to rent the room right next to Andrews’ room.
Andrews’ true nightmare began when Barrett, unbeknownst to her, filmed the sportscaster through a peephole in her room. The explicit video was later posted online and quickly went viral, generating plenty of salacious news headlines and causing Andrews to understandably suffer from a great deal of emotional distress.
The FBI eventually located the source of the video and placed Barrett under arrest. Shortly thereafter, Barrett pleaded guilty to a charge of interstate stalking and was sentenced to time in federal prison.
Meanwhile, Andrews continued to suffer, both personally and professionally, as a result of the nude video being leaked on the Internet. So she filed a civil lawsuit against both Barrett and the Nashville Marriott. In court, Andrews’ attorneys argued that Barrett caused her emotional distress by filming the video and that the hotel caused her emotional distress by negligently assisting Barrett as he stalked the sportscaster.
The trial received plenty of media coverage, with online outlets reporting that Andrews broke down in tears on the witness stand as she recounted the embarrassment of knowing that she had been violated in such a public way.
A jury ultimately agreed with Andrews and found that she should receive $55 million in damages. Moreover, the jury said that Barrett and the Nashville Marriott were basically equally responsible for Andrews’ emotional distress. Although Andrews is unlikely to collect on the entire award, this was definitely a favorable outcome for her in the case.
To learn more about this civil case, read the AOL.com article, “Erin Andrews Won a Huge $55 Million Settlement – But She Will Probably Never See Most of It.”
If you have suffered physical injuries or emotional distress as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer. The experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Andres & Berger can help you explore your legal options. Contact us today for a free consultation.