The Erin Andrews Stalker Lawsuit

mauidano

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$28M is the number she'll work with it. Lawyers will get a substantial part of that too. She gets paid heavily regardless and all things considered, good for her. However it changes nothing about "the video" still being on the internet. That's the whole legal thing she should be focused on. This "revenge porn" thing is horrible. Maybe she can devote some of her energy and finances as a celebrity to helping change laws. Something good could come out of all of this.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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Is there some reason joint and several liability doesn't apply? Seeing a bunch of tweets speculating she can only go after the $26m, that's not how I understand J&S.
 

joe dokes

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Is there some reason joint and several liability doesn't apply? Seeing a bunch of tweets speculating she can only go after the $26m, that's not how I understand J&S.
Depends on state law. Some states require one defendant to have more than 50% for it to be joint and several against tthat defendant. Here, if the stalker is the over-50%, or if its 50-50, she can't go after the hotel for any more than its share. And without seeing the verdict form, its hard to know how, or if, liability was apportioned.
 

TheoShmeo

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Is there some reason joint and several liability doesn't apply? Seeing a bunch of tweets speculating she can only go after the $26m, that's not how I understand J&S.
It appears to me that the defendants were found severally liable for their respective pieces, not jointly and severally liable. As noted above, it appears that her recovery source will be the hotel and just the hotel.

PS: Or what Joe Dokes said...
 

SumnerH

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Is there some reason joint and several liability doesn't apply? Seeing a bunch of tweets speculating she can only go after the $26m, that's not how I understand J&S.
Hopefully a TN lawyer will chime in, but I believe Tennesee's done away with joint and several in most civil cases.

http://search.mleesmith.com/tca/29-11-0107.html
(a) If multiple defendants are found liable in a civil action governed by comparative fault, a defendant shall only be severally liable for the percentage of damages for which fault is attributed to such defendant by the trier of fact, and no defendant shall be held jointly liable for any damages.
Some background:
http://tntortdefense.com/2013/04/06/tort-reform-joint-and-several-liability/
 

joe dokes

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http://abcnews.go.com/US/erin-andrews-jury-set-deliberate-75-million-lawsuit/story?id=37460110
The jury found Barrett to be 51 percent at fault and required him to pay out more than $28 million. West End Hotel Partners, which owns and operates that Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University, was found to be 49 percent at fault and asked to pay out more than $26 million.
So that leaves, if Tenn has done away with J&S (per Sumner's post) , then hotel owner only on hook for 26M; and same even if Tenn follows "must be over 50% to be J&S"
 

CantKeepmedown

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That's an understatement. How many times has that video been viewed now? How many people have now seen her naked? A couple of hundred thousand? A couple million? A Marriott exec just got caught looking at the video with a couple of other guys at a restaurant during the trial, laughing it up the whole way. How much humiliation should she have to endure before fighting back and doing something about it?
A computer expert testified that it was 17 million and that would be a conservative figure.
 

Sportsbstn

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Good for her, hope she gets most if not all of the money from the hotel.
Still bothers me though that the jurors were coming up to her for autographs. Just does not feel right.
 

E5 Yaz

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Good for her, hope she gets most if not all of the money from the hotel.
Still bothers me though that the jurors were coming up to her for autographs. Just does not feel right.
Better her than OJ
 

Myt1

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$28M is the number she'll work with it. Lawyers will get a substantial part of that too. She gets paid heavily regardless and all things considered, good for her. However it changes nothing about "the video" still being on the internet. That's the whole legal thing she should be focused on. This "revenge porn" thing is horrible. Maybe she can devote some of her energy and finances as a celebrity to helping change laws. Something good could come out of all of this.
This isn't even revenge porn, though. She doesn't have even the tiniest sliver of responsibility for having consented to appear in nude videos for an ex-boyfriend or the copyright issues associated with that sort of scenario.

Before anyone bothers, I'm not saying that people who are victims of revenge porn deserve blame (and I've worked on legislation about the issue). Just that, on a spectrum of foreseeability, Andrews was in an even worse situation than most revenge porn victims.
 

Marciano490

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What would her survivors have made in a wrongful death suit involving Erin Andrews?
 

joe dokes

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What would her survivors have made in a wrongful death suit involving Erin Andrews?

Less than what this jury awarded.

EDIT: to amplify a bit. In general, one who dies as a result of conduct gets less (their estate) than one who survives that conduct and must live out their remaining years with the injury. In a death case, the estate pretty much (but not entirely) is limited to lost earning capacity, which, as has been bounced around here, probably wasn't all that significant -- or at least not as significant as the personal injury-type damage she suffered. The survivors -- as distinct from the estate -- can be compensated for the loss of her "society and companionship," as they say, which can certainly be a big number, but again, is usually less than juries award to injured plaintiffs. Moreover (and more than you want to know), if she had been married with kids, her husband and children would be able to recover for *their* loss, that is, she used to be a great mother and wife, and now she's a shell of herself. (that's the theory; there was, of course no evidence on that).
 
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PaulinMyrBch

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Thanks for clearing up the liability. Pretty sure I read J&S applied in an article about a week ago, might have been McCann, so I was under the impression it was in play here.
 

BoredViewer

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Heaven forbid I think her suit against Marriott is frivolous. That makes me a bad man.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Heaven forbid I think her suit against Marriott is frivolous. That makes me a bad man.
Yes, it makes you a bad man. And an unmitigated asshole.

17 million views of that video. 17 million times, people have seen her pubic hair and breasts. 17 million times she's been publicly humiliated.

But you think this is all frivolous and just a money grab. Glad we cleared that up.
 

lexrageorge

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Heaven forbid I think her suit against Marriott is frivolous. That makes me a bad man.
You keep mistaking the facts.

The suit is not against "Marriott". It's against the owner and operator of the specific Marriott hotel where she stayed. The evidence unearthed during the trial indicated that the hotel did not take the necessary basic precautions to prevent the stalker from taking the video. And the actions of the owners after the fact indicated that they really didn't seem to care all that much. Realize that this may not strictly matter legally, but it does make one wonder if the hotel truly cared about guest security and privacy to the extent that they should have.

The damage to Erin Andrews was very real, despite your continued refusal to believe that basic fact.
 

CantKeepmedown

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How about Jen Royle's hot take...."I'm not saying what happened wasn't wrong but if you want to be a sex figure in sports....This shit will happen"


 

TheoShmeo

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I have to admit that until the recent articles and quotes from her testimony, I did not appreciate the level of pain she suffered and continues to suffer. I guess I just assumed that she got past it and yeah, that her success as a TV personality helped her do that. The biggest takeaway for me is that I believe that the incident still affects her deeply and probably always will. I'm a little embarrassed that I did not intuitively know that.

And I hope she collects that judgment (from the hotel). I'm guessing that either she will not see most of it or it will take a good long while before she does. But I hope that's wrong.
 

joe dokes

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Heaven forbid I think her suit against Marriott is frivolous. That makes me a bad man.
I think the major problem -- aside from misidentifying the defendant -- is "frivolous." If you really think that suing the operator of the hotel that, at least in one view of the evidence (the one accepted by a jury that actually *heard* all the evidence), negligently allowed a stalker to stalk her is "frivolous," then yes, you might be a bad man.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Heaven forbid I think her suit against Marriott is frivolous. That makes me a bad man.
One thing I think you're missing, that I haven't seen mentioned but probably was, is that this ignorance of procedure and privacy by the hotel could have potentially ended with a much worse out come (as bad as the outcome already was). His intentions could have been far more sinister than attempting to video tape her naked and publish it online. If she ended up physically or sexually assaulted; abducted; or even murdered by a deranged fan that got her hotel room in this manner, would that have met your bar for a lawsuit? Part of the number being so high is making sure this hotel - and every other one - doesn't let this happen again.
 

Domer

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One thing I think you're missing, that I haven't seen mentioned but probably was, is that this ignorance of procedure and privacy by the hotel could have potentially ended with a much worse out come (as bad as the outcome already was). His intentions could have been far more sinister than attempting to video tape her naked and publish it online. If she ended up physically or sexually assaulted; abducted; or even murdered by a deranged fan that got her hotel room in this manner, would that have met your bar for a lawsuit? Part of the number being so high is making sure this hotel - and every other one - doesn't let this happen again.
Not to go any further down this macabre path, but based on what joe dokes posted upthread, the jury's award likely would have been less if it were a wrongful death lawsuit.
 

joe dokes

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Not to go any further down this macabre path, but based on what joe dokes posted upthread, the jury's award likely would have been less if it were a wrongful death lawsuit.
True on the compensatory side, not on punitives, though.
Probably time to give this matter a reast and hope she finds some peace.
 

RIFan

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Heaven forbid I think her suit against Marriott is frivolous. That makes me a bad man.
I can only assume that frivolous has a very different meaning to you than the rest of the english speaking world. To think otherwise would cause me to lose further hope that people so lacking in empathy actually exist.
 

Domer

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True on the compensatory side, not on punitives, though.
Probably time to give this matter a reast and hope she finds some peace.
Thanks, as someone outside the legal profession, it's interesting to think about the fact that we have a basic understanding of the value of a human life, but we don't have the same guidelines for the price for invasion of privacy and public humiliation. I think you could argue that $1 per view is an order of magnitude too large or too small of an award.
 

joe dokes

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Thanks, as someone outside the legal profession, it's interesting to think about the fact that we have a basic understanding of the value of a human life, but we don't have the same guidelines for the price for invasion of privacy and public humiliation. I think you could argue that $1 per view is an order of magnitude too large or too small of an award.
Without getting too deep in the weeds, if someone dies slowly and painfully, their estate can recover for pain and suffering, which is unthethered from any fixed point like lost wages would be.
 

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How much do you figure she'll actually collect? I'm going with $7.5MM -- $5MM from insurance coverage and $2.5MM from the owners of the hotel. However, it could be a lot less if the insurance coverage is, say, $1MM and the hotel is under water.
 

mauf

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Here's Marriott's press release. (They were dismissed from the case prior to trial.)

http://news.marriott.com/2016/03/the-facts-about-marriott-international-and-erin-andrews-trial.html


This website says that West End Hotel Partners has 99 employees and $5.1 million in annual revenue. I'm not sure what the relationship typically is between revenue and asset value in the hotel industry, but if those numbers are remotely correct and the verdict holds up on appeal, I'm guessing Erin Andrews is the de facto owner of a hotel in Nashville.

http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Nashville-marriott-at-vanderbi-615-321-1300
 
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John Marzano Olympic Hero

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. I'm not sure what the relationship typically is between revenue and asset value in the hotel industry, but if those numbers are remotely correct and the verdict holds up on appeal, I'm guessing Erin Andrews is the de facto owner of a hotel in Nashville.
I smell sitcom!
 

smastroyin

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Here's Marriott's press release. (They were dismissed from the case prior to trial.)

http://news.marriott.com/2016/03/the-facts-about-marriott-international-and-erin-andrews-trial.html
I guess it was merely good taste that got them to release this after the conclusion of the trial? Or maybe some legal bounds? I had been wondering why Marriott hadn't been issuing PR for the last week since almost every tweet, share, trend, etc. that I have seen on any media has said that Andrews case was against Marriott and that "Marriott's" defense was the business about her gaining fame from the incident. I even had a couple of feminist types I know declare they will never stay at a Marriott again.
 

joe dokes

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How much do you figure she'll actually collect? I'm going with $7.5MM -- $5MM from insurance coverage and $2.5MM from the owners of the hotel. However, it could be a lot less if the insurance coverage is, say, $1MM and the hotel is under water.
If by "she" you mean inlcuding the lawyers and before taxes......that seems like a low number for insurance coverage, and a bit on the high side for their deductible/self-insured amount. I would guess that between primary and excess/umbrella there is at least $10M in liability insurance coverage, and that the owners' policy-based responsibility is probably closer to $1M. (of course, if the insurance falls short, the owners will have to reach into their own pockets). If she collects 100% of the insurance and causes some personal pain to the owners, I doubt she will force them to cash out the property. But it would be within her rights to do so (assuming one of our insurance estimates is correct).


I smell sitcom!
Too late!

 

Koufax

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The $2.5MM wasn't meant as simply the deductible. Assuming that she exhausts the insurance, she will still try to get something out of the owners, who might be willing to borrow more against the property in order to avoid having to sell it -- or who may have to sell it in a bankruptcy case in order to satisfy / extinguish the judgment.
 

joe dokes

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The $2.5MM wasn't meant as simply the deductible. Assuming that she exhausts the insurance, she will still try to get something out of the owners, who might be willing to borrow more against the property in order to avoid having to sell it -- or who may have to sell it in a bankruptcy case in order to satisfy / extinguish the judgment.
Got it. And that sounds about right.

I have to plead ignorance as to the specific trial evidence here, but in most cases involving punitive damages, the defendant's assets/worth comes into evidence. (Insurance does not).
 

Bowhemian

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Here's Marriott's press release. (They were dismissed from the case prior to trial.)

http://news.marriott.com/2016/03/the-facts-about-marriott-international-and-erin-andrews-trial.html


This website says that West End Hotel Partners has 99 employees and $5.1 million in annual revenue. I'm not sure what the relationship typically is between revenue and asset value in the hotel industry, but if those numbers are remotely correct and the verdict holds up on appeal, I'm guessing Erin Andrews is the de facto owner of a hotel in Nashville.

http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Nashville-marriott-at-vanderbi-615-321-1300
That revenue number seems awfully low to me. I have worked in restaurants that make $5 million a year. A hotel with a couple hundred rooms, a restaurant and banquet facilities should have revenue 4 times that.
 

Koufax

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I found the Marriott franchise agreement. It requires $1M of general liability plus an umbrella that varies with the height of the building. For 5 stories or less, the umbrella is $14MM. It appears that the hotel in question is about 12 stories, in which case the umbrella is $49MM. So I guess Erin will collect rather nicely.
 

joe dokes

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I found the Marriott franchise agreement. It requires $1M of general liability plus an umbrella that varies with the height of the building. For 5 stories or less, the umbrella is $14MM. It appears that the hotel in question is about 12 stories, in which case the umbrella is $49MM. So I guess Erin will collect rather nicely.
Hat's off for excellent research. I've yet to see any reported stories covering this angle beyond "it will be hard to collect, appeals, lawyer fees, taxes, blah, blah, blah...."

Anything in there about self-retention or deductible? (Feel free to decline the invitation to comb through what is probably a long and shitty read :cool:). While it may be up to the individual operator, I can't imagine that corporate allows operators to be too heavily exposed in the name of lowering their insurance costs.
 

Koufax

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Deductibles or retentions not to exceed $25,000 without the prior written consent of franchisor.
 

mauf

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I guess it was merely good taste that got them to release this after the conclusion of the trial? Or maybe some legal bounds? I had been wondering why Marriott hadn't been issuing PR for the last week since almost every tweet, share, trend, etc. that I have seen on any media has said that Andrews case was against Marriott and that "Marriott's" defense was the business about her gaining fame from the incident. I even had a couple of feminist types I know declare they will never stay at a Marriott again.
The press release was a couple weeks old, but I found it yesterday and saw it hadn't been posted here. Sorry, I should have been more clear.

Licensing deals exist because consumers trust well-known brands. A licensor that runs its business prudently can generally avoid legal liability for its licensees' bad acts, as Marriott did here, but avoiding bad press is a whole other story.


I found the Marriott franchise agreement. It requires $1M of general liability plus an umbrella that varies with the height of the building. For 5 stories or less, the umbrella is $14MM. It appears that the hotel in question is about 12 stories, in which case the umbrella is $49MM. So I guess Erin will collect rather nicely.
Great find.

I guess it makes sense that Marriott would require this --- imagine the potential liability if a fire broke out in a hotel that large on a night when it was full.