Yesterday, Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million in a lawsuit against the Nashville Marriott and Michael David Barrett after the longtime sportscaster was secretly filmed in the buff at the hotel back in 2009. Conservative estimates suggest that the video has been viewed 17 million times, as the prosecutor revealed to the jury that “every minute, 1.5 people are watching the video.”
The general consensus at least from my scumbag friends was “I’d let Seabiscuit fuck me on national television while looking my father in the eye for $55 million” and “porn stars make about $4,000 for double penetration, Erin made close to 14,000 times that for ironing with her clothes off.”
Yes, all solid arguments, but honestly fuck the Marriot for facilitating a certified psychopath in egregiously violating the privacy of a public figure and distributing it to the masses. Sure, I watched it, but I never claimed to have any integrity. But I can also empathize with Erin–walking into work in the following days, weeks, months when you know the creepy tech guy has seen your naked body–even if you’re built like a goddess–must be scary and humiliating. So I was happy for Andrews when she was awarded the jackpot.
But, like all of life, nothing is as good as it seems. When its all said and done–after appeals, settlements, lawyer fees, and taxes, its likely that Andrews will receive only a small slither of the 55 mill–like one tenth of it.
According to TMZ,
Marriott will almost certainly appeal the verdict, which then opens the door to settlement. There are compelling reasons why Erin might want to settle. It’s a huge judgment when you consider there’s no physical injury … just emotional distress. An appeals court could overturn the verdict on grounds it’s simply excessive. It’s a crapshoot to go forward with an appeal … for both sides.
The legal experts we’ve spoken with all say the likelihood is the case will settle … for somewhere around $20 million on Marriott’s part.
Now the lawyers’ fees. In lawsuits where a case actually goes to trial, lawyers typically get around 40% of the recoverable judgment. So, if Erin settles with Marriott for $20 million, the lawyers would get $8 million, leaving her with $12 million. And Erin’s responsible for costs in preparing the case, which we’re told could approach $1 million, leaving her with $11 million.
Now the bad news. In cases where someone wins an award for emotional distress without any physical injuries, the award is taxable. So the $11 million becomes more like $6 million.
$6 million is probably more than I’ll make in a lifetime, but considering Andrews was initially seeking $75 million in the suit, it doesn’t feel so much like a win anymore.
Granted, she still can spend 42,857 nights in that creepy Marriott given the average rates. 117 years of free continental breakfast is a win in itself. Hard muffins and stale corn flakes, yum.