Erin Andrews Obtains $55M Jury Verdict – Now What?
On March 7, 2016, a jury in Tennessee rightfully awarded a major verdict in favor of Erin Andrews. The defendants, Michael Barrett, the man who secretaly videotaped her through a peephole while she was nude in her hotel room and the Nashville hotel where the taping took place were both found liable. The jury awarded $55M to Ms. Andrews assigning 51% of the blame to Mr. Barrett and 49% to the Nashville hotel.
But, what does this mean to Ms. Andrews? in 2013, Tennessee, by statute, got ride of a doctrine called joint and several liability. If this doctrine was still in place, both defendants would have been on the hook to pay. Now, they each only owe their share of the liability.
As such, it is unlikely that Ms. Andrews will be able to collect from Mr. Barrett the $28M to pay his share of the verdict. The remaining $27M is owed by the Nashville hotel. This is a large figure and will most likely be heard by an appeals court to see if the figure matches the harm done to Ms. Andrews. It is likely that before the appellate court makes its ruling, Ms. Andrews and the hotel will reach a settlement.
While this verdict certainly sends a message to people and hotel chains, Ms. Andrews will see much less of that verdict than the media wants to have you believe.