ESPN star Erin Andrews has filed an interesting torts lawsuit against various hotel chains after a man was able to videotape her in her hotel room. Michael David Barrett was sentenced to 30 months after pleading guilty in a harassment case in federal court in Los Angeles. Now Andrews is claiming negligence against these hotels for their lack of privacy and security.
The videos were shot in Nashville and Milwaukee in 2008. The videos were released on the Internet and went viral.
What is astonishing is that Barrett was able to get the hotel staff to reveal Andrews’ hotel room number and was booked into an adjoining room. He was then able to rig the peephole to allow him to videotape her while she was undressed.
The lawsuit names Barrett and several hotels, including Marriott International Inc. and Radisson Hotels International Inc. The lawsuit has, in my opinion, merit. While criminal acts often cut off proximate causation, there are exceptions when the conduct is foreseeable — as here with a celebrity. This could result in a significant new precedent for hotels — much like the case of Kline v. 500 Massachusetts Avenue for renters. In Kline a landlord was found liable for not taking precautions to protect tenants from crime in an apartment building in Washington. The hotels in this case should have settled before the actual filing. This is not the type of case a respected hotel wants to litigate.
Source: LA Times