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Negligent Security Just Made Major Headlines

Erin Andrews. Source: Wikipedia
Erin Andrews. Source: Wikipedia

Negligent security in places like shopping centers, hotels, and malls is a major issue that causes injuries and other traumas every year. From failed security systems and lack of security cameras to ineffective lighting, public places don’t always keep visitors as safe as they need to. This concept was exemplified recently in the news when Erin Andrews won a negligent security lawsuit against the hotel who allowed a stalker to secretly record her nude.

Background in the Case

Erin Andrews is a well-known Fox Sports reporter and co-host of “Dancing with the Stars”. In 2008, she was staying in a Nashville hotel when a man named Michael David Barrett asked hotel staff for Andrews’ room number and was informed accordingly. This information allowed Barrett to book the room next to Andrews. 

While Andrews was out in the city reporting on a Vanderbilt football game, Barrett created a camera through the peephole in her hotel room door to record her undressing and walking around nude. Unfortunately, the damage did not stop there. Barrett repeated the invasion of privacy in two other cities and eventually uploaded the videos online and tried to sell them.

Andrews Sues for Negligent Security

While this is a case of the dangers of stalkers to famous media figures, it’s also a negligent security case. The hotel gave her room number to Barrett in a blatant breach of privacy and security, and did not even alert her to the fact.

Andrews asked for $75 million in compensation in her suit, and she was awarded the full sum. In her testimony, Andrews explained that the trauma of having a nude video on the internet would never heal. People believe she created the entire plot to gain more media attention, while others no longer take her seriously in her role as a sports reporter in a largely male-dominated field.

Furthermore, the hotel’s negligence could have resulted in violence but thankfully did not. Despite no physical harm, the emotional harm of this negligent security issue has brought spotlight to the role of hotels in keeping their patrons safe.