Skip to content
Call or Text Now (618) 641-9189


99% Success Rate Millions Recovered Contact Us

Explaining Erin Andrews’ $55 Million Jury Award And Why It Happened

Yesterday, a Nashville jury awarded sportscaster Erin Andrews $55 million dollars in damages for the taping and release of a video showing her naked in 2008.  This video of her was taken by Michael Barrett, a stalker, in 2008, at a Nashville Marriott hotel.

Following the incident, Michael Barrett pleaded guilty in 2009 to stalking Ms. Andrews and making the video.  Normally a hotel chain would not be responsible for the actions of a stalker, but this case involved some very unique facts.  In 2008, prior to recording the video, Mr. Barrett contacted employees of the Nashville Marriott and asked them to confirm that Ms. Andrews was planning on staying there in the near future.  The employees, shockingly, confirmed this information.  Mr. Barrett then asked to be put into the hotel room next to Ms. Andrews during her stay.  Again, shockingly, Mr. Barrett’s request was granted.  Mr. Barrett, armed with this information about Ms. Andrews, rigged a peep hole to shoot the video of Ms. Andrews while she was changing in her hotel room.

The actions by the employees of the Nashville Marriott opened up the hotel chain to liability because it could be argued that the hotel chain failed to properly train and supervise its employees which allowed Mr. Barrett to take video of Ms. Andrews while she was in the privacy of her hotel room.  In court, Ms. Andrews argued that these actions by the hotel’s employees were improper and directly led to Mr. Barrett being able to take the video at issue.  Attorneys for the hotel argued that Mr. Barrett was solely responsible for the video taking and its posting online and that the hotel could never have foreseen him taking these actions.

The jury saw merit to both arguments finding that Mr. Barrett was 51% responsible for any damages caused to Ms. Andrews and that the hotel was 49% responsible.  What does that really mean though?  It means, of the $55 million awarded, Mr. Barrett is responsible for 51% or $28.05 million dollars and Marriott is responsible for 49% or $26.95 million dollars.  It should be noted that it is unlikely Ms. Andrews will recover much, if any, money from Mr. Barrett due to his lack of assets.  Conversely, Ms. Andrews will likely recover a significant portion from the Marriott hotel chain.

This case demonstrates the importance of companies providing their employees with proper training and supervision.  Normally it would be unlikely for a lower level employee of a larger corporation to cost that corporation over $20 million dollars, but, as shown here, it is not impossible.

If you or someone you know has a legal question or issue, please contact one of the experienced attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, for a FREE CONSULTATION: 618.641.9189 | 314.312.2930 |

Request a free case review
Award Icon

Avvo-Rated Excellent

Award Icon

The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis

Award Icon

Super Lawyers® Rising Stars

Award Icon

The St. Clair County Bar Association

Award Icon

NTA Top 40 Under 40

Award Icon

Nation's Premier Top Ten Attorney

Award Icon

Illinois State Bar Association

Award Icon

AIOFLA 2015 10 Best Client Satisfaction

Award Icon

Proud Member of Belleville Chamber of Commerce

Quote Icon

John Hipskind was amazing! He was reliable, honest, and made me feel confident. John was always there when I had questions and very responsive…

Cori H.
Quote Icon

I can’t say enough good things about John. He truly cares about providing the best possible representation for his clients. I would highly recommend him!

John F.
Quote Icon

Brady did an outstanding job. I didn’t have to do anything or miss any work due to his exceptional service!! I would recommend him to anyone!

Erin H.
Quote Icon

I had a wonderful experience with my attorney Brady. He showed compassion and was always there to answer any of my questions.

Charlotte D.
Quote Icon

Brady helped facilitate my medical appointments, and made sure everything went smoothly. He settled my claim in a relatively short time.

Jeffrey M.
Quote Icon

John Hipskind was always a phone call or text away (we heard back from him within minutes). We are so pleased! You will be happy to have chosen him!

Jess M.