A jury awarded $55 million to Fox Sports reporter and Dancing With the Stars co-host Erin Andrews earlier this month in her suit against the stalker who secretly recorded nude video of her at a Tennessee hotel. The stalker, Michael David Barrett, was found 51% responsible, while West End Hotel Partners, the owner of the Nashville Marriott where the 2008 filming took place, and Windsor Capital Group, the management company, were deemed 49% at fault for letting Barrett book the room next to Andrews, per the Tennessean. But because Barrett will likely not be able to pay much, if anything, toward the judgment, Andrews' attorneys are now saying the hotel owner and operator should have to fork over the entire $55 million.
A new filing by Andrews' legal team asks a Nashville judge to apply the "joint and several liability" rule, a law that says all parties jointly liable for an act are also independently liable for the full extent of damages, per WKRN—which means the hotel companies would be on the hook for Andrews' entire payout. What complicates things: Tennessee overturned that law in 2013, but cases before July 1, 2013, are apparently grandfathered in. "The intentional conduct of Barrett was a foreseeable consequence of their negligence," Andrews' attorneys note in the filing. A Nashville attorney not involved in the case agrees, telling the Tennessean, "The jury found that the hotel enabled a predator to cause harm to a hotel guest. Ms. Andrews is asking that the hotel be held accountable for the entire amount of harm caused. It's a very solid legal argument based on well-reasoned Tennessee legal decisions." (Andrews has openly advocated for anti-stalking initiatives.)